All In Pieces by Suzanne Young
Published November 8, 2016 by Simon Pulse
e-ARC provided by Edelweiss
From New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young comes a heartrending new novel about a girl struggling to deal with anger issues while taking care of her younger brother with special needs.
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.
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I have so many emotions for this book, because of this book. This was raw and heartbreaking and adorable and amazing and it's everything I've wanted in a contemporary novel. If Suzanne Young wasn't an auto-read & auto-buy author before, she definitely is now.
Savvy's in a temporary detention center. After stabbing her ex-boyfriend's hand, everyone from her old life thinks she's got issues. While things aren't perfect there, she has met two great friends there, along with the new quiet boy that only seems to talk to Savvy. But things aren't easy for her. She's got a younger brother, Evan, with a disability, a drunk father, a jerk of an ex seeking revenge, and an aunt fighting for custody of Evan. Savvy's on her own but she sure as hell does not give up.
I don't know how to write a review for this book. I loved it so much and it was so everything that it's making me a mess. I want to hug it to my chest and read it over and over because it's that kind of book.
I just really want to start with the main character. I loved Savvy so much. While my heart ached for her situation--between having to take care of her brother, make sure there's enough food in the fridge, fight off her aunt, her deadbeat father, and school, the odds are definitely against her. But not once does she waver. Not even when she's on the edge and about to fall apart--she keeps it together for her brother.
That's why it's hard for Savvy to let people in. Despite her crush on Cameron, she still keeps up her walls, and while I loved them together and all their interactions, it didn't make it easier to see Savvy constantly do this. If there's anyone who deserves some kind of happiness, it's Savvanah Sutton.
Young writes impeccable characters. I've noticed this in all the books by her that I've read--they all have their flaws and their secrets and their hardships. They're real, they're believable. I found Savvy to be one of the best main characters written, along with her relationships with her friends, Retha and Travis. Their conversations, their adventures, their struggles--Suzanne Young did a perfect job portraying their friendship through their ups and downs. Although I do wish I'd seen more of them in the latter half of the book, I'm just extremely glad they were there with Savvy.
Savvy's relationship with Evan broke me. She doesn't have the easiest life because of him but she never once wishes he wasn't part it. She loves him to the moon and back and then some--she'd do anything for her younger brother. She's such an amazing sister, yet when she thinks that he deserves better, my heart just cracks a bit (read: a lot). There were times where Evan hurt Savvy, emotionally and physically, but she always, always did whatever she could to make his life easier. Young wrote the struggles Savvy went through in a believable manner, as well the innocence in Evan.
Now. I don't know where to start with Cameron. The amount of love I have for him is so ridiculous but I can't help it. I've had to stop a lot of times when I read of of the Savvy & Cameron interactions because they were SO CUTE. Young didn't write him to be some kind of saviour for Savvy, for which I am soooo glad. He was sweet with her, so supportive and kind and it just made my heart melt. He helped out with Evan, never once judging him or her family. He's just such a wonderful person and I'm so glad that Savvy decided to let him in--they both deserve happiness and each other.
Also! There's no insta-love or love triangles or anything like that here. It's a nice progression and it's super adorable.
The romance isn't the biggest factor in this book. If anything, this book teaches hope--even when everything's terrible, it won't always be like that. And that it's okay to accept help from others, sometimes. You aren't alone. I remember the author saying that this was the book of her heart, and I can see why--it's a book that's close to my heart, too.
So! With all of that being said, this earns an easy 5 stars from me! Highly recommend this book!