Piecing Me Together
• Publication Date: 1st March 2018 • Bloomsbury Australia • RRP: $14.99 AUD
Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she's ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And Jade has: every day she rides the bus away from her friends and to the private school where she feels like an outsider, but where she has plenty of opportunities. But some opportunities she doesn't really welcome, like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for "at-risk" girls.
Just because her mentor is black and graduated from the same high school doesn't mean she understands where Jade is coming from. She's tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. Jade wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain and her hope. Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference.
Thank you Bloomsbury for sending me a finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
Piecing Me Together is an honest, raw and beautiful novel. It is so real and relevant to the everyday life for people all over the world, not just for teens of colour but for underprivileged teens as well.
We follow our main protagonist Jade throughout the novel and the journey she goes on through her junior year. Jade is on a scholarship at a private school and she is signed up for a mentorship program for at risk woman. Jade resents this, just because she is a woman of colour doesn’t mean she is at risk – she is an A grade student who is given this “lifeline” when she believes she doesn’t need it. However, it turns into something she did need, just not for the reasons her school thought.
Jades mentor, Maxine, is a previous graduate of her school who is a woman of colour – who actually doesn’t have her life together like she would like people to think. Her mentor comes from a family of “privilege” yet she dates a guy from the “wrong side of the tracks” and flakes out on Jade.
Throughout the novel Jade and Maxine both grow on this mentorship program, Maxine is the mentor but she learns from Jade as well as Jade learning from her. They both, with Jades initiative change the program to be more insightful and helpful to the teenagers of the program – to better prepare them for the real world. Jade is a talented young woman, she is surrounded by love – her mother works herself to the bone to provide for her and her uncle – she has her best friend Lee Lee and becomes friends with Sam, another girl at her private school.
Jades art is a central part to the book – it is how she expresses how she feels, she creates art that matters – that sends a message, that tells a story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the parts where she was creating her art – I wish I had of been able to visually seen on the pages her art.
Jade’s journey in the book is not all happy – she is subjected to discrimination because of the colour of her skin, fear walking down the street and seeing Police – the people who are supposed to protect create fear within a community. Friendships are tested but she comes out of it stronger and more determined to be herself and to create good within a world that has people within it set on bringing people of colour down.
Piecing Me Together has a very important and relevant plot, it’s definitely a book that every person should read. Police brutality is shown in the novel, not directly at Jade, but within her community and to see her rise up and make something positive happen for that girls family was moving and deeply important.