Friday, 15 February 2013

Review: Pieces by Michelle Davidson Argyle

Staying in love can mean running away...

Two years after watching her kidnappers go to prison, Naomi Jensen is still in love with one of them. Jesse will be released in a few years, and Naomi knows college is the perfect distraction while she waits. But when her new friend Finn makes her question what is right and what is wrong, she begins to wonder if Jesse is the one for her...until she discovers he's out on parole. Naomi must sort through her confusion to figure out where love and freedom truly lie-in Finn, who has no connections to her past, or Jesse, who has just asked her to run away with him.

I enjoyed Pieces a lot more than I did The Breakaway. This one, I felt, had a lot of depth to it, and it's very easy for a lot of people to relate too. It's more real, in a sense. I liked Naomi more in this book, because she really has grown. And I absolutely loved the new character, Finn. I think he's a large part of the reason I loved this book!

Pieces begins quite a while after the events of The Breakaway. In fact, it's not really a sequel. I think this would be great to read as a standalone too, but I liked knowing the background and reasons behind Naomi's and Jesse's actions. When Pieces begins, Jesse's in jail along with Naomi's other kidnappers, and Naomi's attending Harvard University. She meets Finn, a waiter at the cafe she visits every Wednesday. They talk a lot, and slowly become really good friends. But Naomi finds out some news about Jesse, something that changes everything.

Naomi's still really hung up on Jesse, and she can't seem to forget him or her other kidnappers - Eric, Evelyn and Steve. She has nightmares about them often, and she's even been seeing a counsellor for the past two years. Naomi's got quite a weak character and resolve, and she knows that. She really does try to be strong in this book, though. There are a lot of changes happening all at once, and she has no idea what to do. This book is mainly about Naomi becoming an adult, and learning to make good decisions on her own, which is why it's more of a New Adult book rather than Young Adult. Naomi had this epiphany when she was with Jesse - something that really opened her eyes. I think this was a turning point in the book, and I really admire her for realizing it. And here it is - (don't worry, it's not very spoiler-ish)
When she was staring at a blank screen, she remembered something she had thought was gone forever. She remembered a series of dreams from her time in captivity. They were filled with dragons and there was a prince who kept trying to save her. He had never succeeded.
She still did annoy me at times, but I admire her for rectifying her mistakes and making the right choices in the end. Some predictable, others not so much. Finn really helped her out in making these decisions.

Finn is pretty much the best guy Naomi could ask for - he doesn't know about her past, he's funny, he's hot, and he makes her feel comfortable. They connect immediately, but Naomi makes sure he knows that there can never be anything between them. Why? Because she still loves Jesse. But Finn's cool with giving her some space, and I likes that he didn't pressure her into anything, not like her previous boyfriends. Finn has problems of his own - he's lied to his dying mom that he goes to Harvard, and instead he's a waiter at a cafe. But he desperately wants to make it in the world, and he's willing to work hard for it. Finn is the kind of supportive friend anyone would want. He never judges Naomi on her decisions, and reminds her of why she made them in the first place. He's incredibly patient with her, especially at times when I wanted to go into the book and smack her on the head. And he's pretty much the only person who tells Naomi to go for what she wants, instead of telling her what to do.

And Jesse, I honestly don't know what to think of. I really liked him in The Breakaway, despite the fact that he helped kidnap Naomi and rob jewelry stores. Because he was the one who freed Naomi. And he loves her, he really does. Anyone can see that. But in Pieces, he takes a dark turn (which I blame Naomi for, of course). He gets into contact with some bad people, starts messing with illegal stuff, and basically he's not the good guy we once thought he was. I think he can change for the better, but that's up to him. I did feel sorry for him a lot of times in this book, though. I won't say why - spoilers! But yeah, he could be a good guy if he wanted to. And he really gets Naomi - he knows how strong she can be if she wants to. I just wish he didn't have to make all the mistakes he did...

I was hoping to get a glimpse of Eric or Evelyn in this book, but sadly that was not to be. They're still rotting in jail, and there's nothing Naomi or anyone can do about it. Naomi's struggles with college are something that many of us can relate to, because I think most people would go through the same things. Just not in the same situation, of course. I'm glad that Michelle Davidson Argyle decided to write a companion novel to The Breakaway, because this one tied up a lot of loose strings, and it's really insightful.

Pieces kept me turning the pages anxiously, trying to figure out what decisions Naomi would make. This really is a nail-biting book. It's dramatic but realistic, and beautifully written. This is a story about growing up, and I'd recommend it (standalone or not) to anyone - teen or adult. It's about making the right decisions, learning from mistakes, and just getting through life. Pieces is a thrilling novel and suspense-filled novel, and it really is unforgettable!

*Thank you to Michelle Davidson Argyle for providing a copy for review*

Rating: 4/5


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