Thursday, December 10, 2015

Letter to Kathleen Glasgow (Girl in Pieces)

Published by Random House/Delacorte, September 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

While most girls her age are dealing with college choices, love lives, and prom, Charlie is struggling just to survive.  After losing her best friend, Ellis, and her home, Charlie finds herself on the downtown streets of Saint Paul, Minnesota, where ever day is a fight to live. After a traumatic event lands her in the hospital, Charlie finds what might be her best hope: a recovery program for girls just like her.  When her insurance runs out, though, Charlie is back on the streets, alone.  Through the kindness of her old friend, Mikey, the roadie for a band in Arizona, Charlie finds herself in the endless desert of Tuscon, surrounded by musicians, artists, and eccentrics, and, in particular, a washed-up singer named Riley West.

Dear Kathleen Glasgow,

Coming across this book on Goodreads, I wasn't sure what to think at first. This might be evident at first, but I will explain.

I'm usually wary of books that have characters that self-harm and with good reason: I used to be that sort of person when I was younger and even into my twenties. Reading or watching material that involves a character with similar traits can be awkward at times.

However, after reading the synopsis and thinking about it, I've realized that I'm actually very interested in what your take will be on Charlie's situation.

For one, whenever I seem to come across characters like this, they have boatloads of support and all the opportunity in the world to accept help and treatment, even if they don't always take it. Charlie doesn't sound like she has that. Her support system is not ideal and she's homeless to boot. This gives her great potential to be an interesting and strong character from a literary point of view. Her depth of character is something I want to explore thoroughly when I get finally get a chance to read this book.

I'm curious to hear about the setting, too. I've only read one other book set in Minnesota, so I'm not familiar with what it's like as a setting for a novel. I'm already worried about Charlie because if this book takes place in winter, then how's this going to affect her? It's bitterly cold on the best of days for people simply walking to and from their car, but being homeless? That's frightening. I mean, obviously she goes to Tuscon, but before that.

I like books with a good musical presence and I'm curious to see what sort of person Riley is going to turn out to be. We don't know much about him from the synopsis, but I assume he'll be fairly important. And what's his story? Who is he, what's his music like, why is he washed-up? There are so many questions just about Riley alone!

I have the feeling that this going to be a book full of feels. I can't wait for it to come out so I can experience them all!

Waiting with much anticipation,
Heather aka The Hermit Librarian


  1. Heather, thank you so much for your wonderful essay! I'm glad you are looking forward to GIRL IN PIECES and I'm so happy we get to be secret agents together!--Kathleen

  2. Wow, I'm glad you can relate to this character and that you are better now. Yeah, Minnesota IS quite a strange setting, isn't it? This seems like a pretty dark YA, but nonetheless, very exciting!

    Jess @Princessica of Books

  3. Oooohhhh this book sounds interesting! It very much seems like Charlie is going to be going through a tough time period in this book and I am interested in seeing how that goes down and affects her. These musicians, I am excited to read about them though! Thanks for bringing this book to my attention :D

    ~Kaitlin @ Next Page Please!