For What It's Worth

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

review: All in pieces by suzanne young

28954232“Anger-management issues.”

That’s how they classified Savannah Sutton after she stuck a pencil in her ex-boyfriend’s hand because he mocked her little brother, Evan, for being disabled. That’s why they sent her to Brooks Academy—an alternative high school that’s used as a temporary detention center.

The days at Brooks are miserable, but at home, life is far more bleak. Savvy’s struggling to take care of her brother since her mom left years ago, and her alcoholic dad can’t be bothered. Life with Evan is a constant challenge, but he’s also the most important person in the world to Savvy.

Then there’s Cameron, a new student at Brooks with issues of his own, a guy from a perfect family that Savvy thought only existed on TV. Cameron seems determined to break through every one of the walls Savvy’s built around herself—except if she lets herself trust him, it could make everything she’s worked so hard for fall apart in an instant.

And with her aunt seeking custody of her brother and her ex-boyfriend seeking revenge, Savvy’s fighting to hold all the pieces together. But she’s not sure how much tighter she can be pulled before she breaks completely. ~

Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Review: I’m really torn on this book. There are things that pack such an emotional punch that I was close to tears. Other things had me raging at the characters, and for at least 1/2 the book, I was left scratching my head in confusion.

So here’s the quick of it.

Savannah Sutton stabbed her ex-boyfriend in the hand after he called her little brother the r ( retard ) word (Evan is developmentally disabled) and landed in an alternative HS program. The ex, Patrick, is still harassing her and calling her Slutton whenever he sees her in public. She has two best friends at the new school – Retha, a girl with anger issues and the Travis, a boy from an abusive home with a drug/alcohol addiction. She also meets the mysterious Cameron who has a BMW and only speaks to Savannah. If you’re rolling your eyes at the description of Cameron – you should – and I’ll get back to that in a minute.

At home, Savannah is basically the sole caretaker for her 7 year old brother, Evan. Her mother left them and her father is a drunk who wants to give up custody of Evan to Savvy’s aunt. Something that Savvy refuses to let happen despite struggling to go got to school, be home for Evan, handle his outbursts, take care of her father and keep food on the table.

Everything about Savannah and her brother was wonderful and gut wrenching. She is doing everything possible to keep him and take care of him but it’s not enough. Their aunt keeps threatening to take full custody of Evan and it broke my heart how she didn’t want Savvy too and was so cold about wanting to keep Evan from his sister. Her father is no better with his drunken outbursts. It was hard to read and I hated them but it was that good kind of emotional reading – when you’re so caught up in the book that you want to crawl in and smack the characters.

Her friendships with Retha and Travis were a bright spot – even though they have troubles of their own, they are all supportive and protective of each other.

Then there’s the romance.

Cameron is in the HS program but doesn’t talk to anyone except Savvy. But it’s a “hi” or “what’s up?” with no eye contact and then he just walks away. This goes on for a while until Retha forces the issue so they have to talk face to face. There’s mysterious and then there’s mysterious. Cameron is SO mysterious that I thought he might be an alien or something lol He asks her dozens of questions, invites himself everywhere and then won’t answer anything. He's evasive and turns hot and cold. Not in anger but just walks off or stops talking. He picks her up, drives her everywhere and is obviously supportive but then walks away as if he wasn’t just about to kiss her. He’s a weirdo and somehow this is supposed to be super romantic and sexy. And I can see why people would think that – because, as he's written, the boy has zero flaws when it comes to Savannah. He’s like this perfect unicorn of a boyfriend. Always appearing at the perfect moment, doing the perfect thing.

Except, it’s ignoring an awful lot about him. Like the fact that he did hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to HS because he wanted to drop out because he’s not a school or job kind of guy. His parents are rich so they had previously bought his way out of trouble. The only reason he’s agreed to go to the alternative HS ( and I say that loosely because he skips classes all the time) is because his parents threatened to take his BMW away. And they didn't after all the damage he caused?? Nope. Instead they're worried he hasn't' made friends in his new school and order him take out all the time.

They're perfect unicorn parents too. They welcome Savannah and her brother right into their home – which is wonderful! – but they let her stay over, sleep with Cameron, pay for whatever Cameron wants – which apparently includes a road trip at the end of the book. Because Cameron is free man...can't tie him down...

He may be a supportive guy to Savannah but he’s also an entitled brat with anger issues that apparently don’t matter.

And let’s talk about the anger issues in this book. Several characters solve everything by beating people up. No-one calls or tells the authorities. There are no consequences to anyone’s actions. No-one really learns anything IMO.

The end just wraps it all up says – oh look there’s hope! but while it does wrap up Savannah’s immediate problems well (if too easily after all that heartache) – Evan, her aunt, her father – it doesn’t deal with Cameron (who’s so perfect who cares if he’s a slacker who beats up people and destroys property) or her friends who pretty much vanish except by phone for the second half of the book.

I don’t know…there were things I really liked about All In Pieces but the romance was a deal breaker for me. I adore romance in my stories but I’m finding it more and more difficult to be on board when they are shoehorned into books with serious issues. I absolutely think relationships and love can help turn your life around but in this book it’s ignoring some pretty big red flags and acting like Savannah finding a rich boyfriend solves everything. Cameron and his family are nice but it’s a weird way to disentangle Savannah from all her problems without addressing anything else the author brought up.

So yeah…that was a bit of a ramble.  I had feelings. Which I haven't had in a long time about a book. So there's that. lol

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

music: alice merton & Nothing but theives

I'm still plugging away at my TBR pile. I'm reading Wolf by Wolf right now and I'm not sure how it will go. Alternative history isn't something I read much of but there's a skin shifter element that has me intrigued. Either way it will get two books (it's a duology) off my shelf so it's a win win lol

In the meantime - I'm really loving these two songs right now.


No Roots by Alice Merton

Super fun catchy earworm.

Sorry by Nothing But Thieves

I’ve featured Nothing But Thieves on the blog before - Trip Switch – but the lyrics to this one….LOVE.

And here’s a link to a pretty acoustic version

What do you guys think of these two songs? What are you listening to this week?

*Click here for my 2017 Spotify playlist of songs featured on the blog.

Monday, September 18, 2017

monday musings…

20170917_093153I’m still getting my bearings after Irma passed through last week. We did fine other than losing a few tree limbs but the week of preparation then a week of putting everything back was draining lol No complaints though! We were really lucky!

If you recall my last post, I said I made it through my ARC pile and was turning my focus to the physical TBR pile. While I didn’t get much reading done last week – I managed to get four books in this weekend.

Waiting for Spring was my first manga about a shy girl who befriends the very popular basketball team. Cute – a little young for me but a good way to learn to read *backwards* and get used to the panels.

All in Pieces by Suzanne Young left me alternately between tears and stabby. I have a, slightly ranty, review for that one coming up Wednesday.

All the Liars by Charlaine Harris is the 9th book int he Aurora Teargarden series and it was a DNF. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Harris went on to describe Aurora’s bathroom habits…this was so tedious and boring – filled with unnecessary filler.

Summer Days and Summer Nights anthology – I’m reading this one now and we’ll see. Anthologies are always 50/50 but it does have some of my favorite authors and was put together by Stephanie Perkins.

Let’s get random!

So, this has nothing to do with books, but I noticed this weird thing about Fonzi lately. He won’t use the dog beds but he does sleep right next to them. I don’t know why, but I find this fascinating. Is it just me? Probably. lol

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Indy on the other hand is almost twice Fonzi’s size and jams himself into the cat bed. lol


Not to be ignored – this is how Figment spent Irma….


He LOVED it! We spent the night in the living room so we could be closer to the space we chose to go if there was a tornado. He had mom, dad, and several blankets and pillows everywhere. He was in kitty heaven. Didn’t even move for 12 hours.

Have a laugh at Fonzi’s expense…

I meant to do an end of summer post this past week but…Irma. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve already seen it but it’s so damn funny.


Don’t worry – he didn’t get hurt and was up and running (and falling in again) right away.

(I know there's a pic under the video but I'm having problems removing it so...sorry and just ignore it)