New to You (2): Lauren Reviews All in Pieces by Suzanne Young {+ a giveaway}

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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First up is Lauren from Bookmark Lit. She came to me with the book she wanted to read because I have been talking about it for years. 🙂 So without further ado, here’s Lauren’ thoughts on All in Pieces by Suzanne Young. (Make sure you check out the giveaway at the end!)

New to You (2): Lauren Reviews All in Pieces by Suzanne Young {+ a giveaway}All in Pieces by Suzanne Young
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: November 8th 2016
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
four-half-stars

“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.

I’m already a huge fan of Suzanne Young’s books, but for some reason I kept putting this one off… even with Andi’s frequent recommendation. I jumped at the chance to read this for her blog because I knew that I’d finally have to do it – no excuses! I think the biggest thing that was deterring me is that I don’t really do heavier contemporaries. I like fluffy romance and don’t spend a lot of time being sad during books anymore. Well, clearly something worked with this book because I sat down and finished it in one sitting on a Sunday morning.

The premise of the story is that Savannah assaults her ex-boyfriend when he insults her younger brother. She spends most of her time taking care of Evan, going to her new school to deal with her anger management issues, and hanging out with her best friends. Her ex, Patrick, is still after her, looking for an apology, when she starts spending time with someone else from her class. Cameron is gorgeous and sweet and I totally fell in love with him. Savannah starts to open up again and soften her hard exterior. I loved her friendship with Retha and Retha’s boyfriend, Travis, even if it wasn’t necessarily the healthiest. There was a decent amount of girl-hate and judgement, plus dealing with their problems through violence, but I still felt myself drawn to them and understanding where some of their anger came from. Savannah was not a perfect character by any means. She was stubborn and unwavering in her support of her brother, even if it wasn’t always what was best for his future. I always appreciated where she was coming from even if I wanted to shake some sense into her almost every single chapter.

I don’t want to spoil too much about what happens, plot-wise, but I will say that everything comes to a head later in the story and it broke my heart. It’s a really hard story, but it’s one worth telling. I adored the last few chapters of the book and am really happy to note that it was relatively drama-free (at least romance-wise), which I love. I learned that I should absolutely never sleep on a Suzanne Young book, even if it doesn’t seem like a ~me~ book. The only reason this doesn’t get a full five stars from me is because of the frequent frustration with Savannah and the way some problems were handled, even though the constant fighting did make me smile way more than something like that should have! The moral of this story is to always listen to Andi when she yells at you to read a book, especially if the book is by one of your favorite authors and you have no excuses!

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 1, 2018. It is US ONLY!

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Thanks Lauren for signing up for New to You! I’m so happy you loved it. Fills my heart with joy!

Here’s my review of All in Pieces.

Have any of you read All in Pieces?

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Book Love – All in Pieces Paperback Release

When I fall in love with a book I fall hard. If I love it I want you to love it too. I like to get the word out for it, I like people to know it exists, I like suggesting people pick it up and read it. It’s just who I am as a reader and a book lover. Actually I’m like that with anything I love. I like to push and if I get even one person to fall the same way then I feel like I have accomplished something. That’s my goal today.

About a year ago Suzanne Young released a fabulous book, All in Pieces. I was lucky and I got to read it in August of 2016 and I was blown away buy it’s beauty. I loved it so much in fact I read it twice before it was even available on shelves. You all know I’m a rereader, but that was pushing it even for me. But honestly it was that amazing and I needed to return to that feeling and emotion I got. I loved it so much I have since read it a 3rd time and plan to read it a 4th time. I also have done numerous posts on my blog for it:

Guest Post – Riveted Lit Q&A with All in Pieces author Suzanne Young

Review: All in Pieces – Suzanne Young

The Book Push – All in Pieces (Suzanne Young)

So why am I talking about it again? Well it’s out on paperback today and it is the perfect opportunity for you to go and pick up a copy to see what I love so much about it. And if you have already read it and reviewed it? Today is the perfect day to put that review on sites like Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.

Book Love – All in Pieces Paperback ReleaseAll in Pieces by Suzanne Young
Published by Simon Pulse
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads

“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.

Now I ask, have you read it? Have you posted your review?

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The Art of the Reread – The Books

Back in January I mentioned my love of rereading and some of the books I planned to reread this year. It has been 2 months since that post I have already reread 4 of the 7 books on that post.

Honestly I just can’t help myself. I get a book in my head, a book that I loved, and I can’t get it out of my system until I’ve read it again. And sometimes that doesn’t even work. I’ll Meet You There is an example. There are many times someone will say the name Josh and I immediately want to reread that gorgeous book. Truthfully, I just reread it and I want to do it again already (so if you haven’t read it, do it for me please!)

Since it is only March and I have read 4 of the 7 on my original list, I figured I should add a few more to go with the original 3 that are left:

Original 3

New Editions

The Sea of Tranquility: This is one of my favorite NAish books. The characters and the story break my heart but I love it all the same.

Something Like Normal: When ever I reread I’ll Meet You There I feel the need to read about Travis and Harper all over again. This Trish Doller book is one of my favorites.

What Happens Next: I still think this book is one of the most underrated books I have ever read. It is so great and it makes me sad that fewer and fewer people talk about it. Corey Livingston is the best!

Froi of the Exiles: Ah, the book that almost wasn’t. Probably my favorite books in the Lumatere Chronicles. When I reread this beast it will be on audio because the audio is fantastic.

The Program: I recently just did a post on why you should read this series. I finished The Adjustment not that long ago and I feel like I want to read all the books now. Stay tuned in the fall for when I plan to do a readalong.

What books do you think you will reread? Have you read any of these?

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Guest Post – Riveted Lit Q&A with All in Pieces author Suzanne Young

I was contacted by the wonderful people at Riveted Lit (Simon Teen) to do a really cool thing. They knew how much I loved and want to support Suzanne Young‘s newest book, All in Pieces, so they gave me the opportunity to do that by “interviewing” Suzanne for the Riveted Lit blog. It was probably the coolest thing I have done in a long time when it comes to blogging. The people at Riveted and Suzanne were fabulous and I hope to work with them again.

Anyway, in case you missed it, here is the heartfelt Q&A with Suzanne.

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Hi all! I’m Andi from Andi’s ABCs. I started Andi’s ABCs in January of 2013 as a way to share my love of accessories, books and clothes. Since then my main focus has been on books, mostly Young Adult but some New Adult, Romance and Adult mixed in, but I do share my love of accessories and clothes and my new card making obsession on the regular. And I offer guest opportunities for readers, authors, publicists and bloggers to do the same with my weekly feature The ABCs.

Anyway, I was super excited when I was contacted by Riveted to guest post and interview the wonderful Suzanne Young. Suzanne’s newest book, All in Pieces, is by far one of my favorite contemporary reads of 2016! There was something so magical about the story and Suzanne’s writing. The book just felt so honest and had raw emotion. It showed the reality of people that live hard lives and make hard decisions way before they should have to. The thing about All in Pieces is it was real. I never once felt like I was reading a story. I felt like I was in the story and that is something that rarely happens. I strongly feel this is a book everyone should read.

Now, on to the Q&A!

Suzanne! All in Pieces is so fantastically fantastic! It is pretty different than your series The Program (which I also love). Where did the idea to tell this story come from?

I wrote it shortly after my grandmother passed away, and I was emotionally devastated. As I was grieving, I thought a lot about where and how I grew up. I started writing All in Pieces, thinking about kids in low-income areas, thinking about those who society turned their backs on. I poured all of my grief, heartache, history, and most importantly—my gram’s fierce love—into this story.

I have seen you say many times that All in Pieces has been 10 years in the making. What was it like to work on one book for so long?

Well, I wrote the first draft of this book (which is pretty different from the finished version) in about 2006-2007. It was a short fast draft, but I became obsessed with the characters. I worked on it for about six months and sold it soon after. But… then I changed publishers and we got the rights back to it. After that, I worked on it on and off, sharing with editors, but never finding the right home.

Then I randomly mentioned the book to my editor, and told her it was the truest thing I’d ever written and she asked to read it. She emailed to tell me that she loved it and that she felt the book to her core. All in Pieces finally found the right home

For a small book (under 300 pages) you pack a ton of feeling and emotion onto the pages. So much in fact as a reader you forget you are reading. What was that like for you? Did it put a toll on your emotions?

Like I mentioned, my grandmother died shortly before I wrote this book. I think I sobbed a good 75% of the time, and laughed the other 25%. It’s so real and emotional—I couldn’t have accomplished that if I hadn’t actually felt it and soaked my keyboard with tears.

Let’s talk about Savannah for a minute. That girl broke my heart. She was trying so hard and it just never felt like it was enough. Where did your motivations come from to give your readers a character like Savannah that was broken yet strong?

A little bit from myself, how I grew up. Also from a person I greatly admired. But the character came together and I think my favorite part about her is that she is so hard, so tough—but when it comes to Evan or her friends, she is loyal and loving. I like how fiercely she loves and protects them.

Savannah also deals with some pretty serious stuff concerning her ex-boyfriend. It was a truly important part of the story and I admit it was hard to read. Was that tough for you, as an author (and mother) to write?

Yeah, it really was. I think so many of us have experienced that feeling of being powerless, of violation. It wasn’t hard to tap into the emotion, but it sure was hard to stay there. It brought up a lot of bitter resentment. But in the end, it wasn’t Patrick’s story. I wanted to get Savannah to a better place.

And Cameron. Sweet, adorable Cameron. He was the perfect person to come into Savvy’s life just when she needed it. Why was he so important for you to have in your story and for Savvy?

I liked that he didn’t give up on her. So many other people had, including some of her family members. He also didn’t pressure her—only proved that he’d be there. She didn’t need Cameron, that’s not what he’s about. But when she was able, she let herself care about him and was able to have a loyal, trusting relationship with him.

What is the one thing you want everyone to know about All in Pieces?

I know that All in Pieces is not everyone’s story, but it is a story that’s important to me. It’s very real, very authentic. The friends in All in Pieces become each other’s family. And I thought that was an important story to tell.

Lastly, when I interview authors on my blog I always ask the same final question. What is the one item of clothing you could never live without?

Ooo…. I love this fuzzy, multi-colored sweater I have. Although I don’t get to wear it too much since I live in Arizona

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Guest Post – Riveted Lit Q&A with All in Pieces author Suzanne YoungAll in Pieces by Suzanne Young
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: November 8th 2016
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads

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.

“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.

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Review: All in Pieces – Suzanne Young

Review: All in Pieces – Suzanne YoungAll in Pieces by Suzanne Young
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: November 8th 2016
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
five-stars

“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.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

It isn’t often that you get the privilege of reading a book that wraps you up in the story so much that you actually forget you are reading. Usually when I read I’m aware there is a book in my hand, aware I’m flipping pages on my Kindle, aware that I’m reading fiction. All in Pieces was one of those rare occasions where I forgot I was reading. I forgot that I wasn’t part of the story. I forgot it was fiction. I forgot everything but the beauty of the story Suzanne Young crafted to perfection. I can’t say enough how much I loved this book.

All in Pieces! What do I say about All in Pieces?? The book was mesmerizing and beautiful and heartbreaking and gorgeous. That’s what I can say about it. The way Suzanne told the story of this poor girl that was dealt a crappy deck of life cards just blew me away. Savvy tried so hard, loved so much, and did everything she could for her brother and she just never felt like it was enough, like she was enough. She would have given everything she could of for her little brother, Evan, and my heart broke because there was then nothing left for her. The way she loved Evan was just beautiful and pure and it made me love Savvy all that much more.

Speaking of Savvy I also loved her family. When I say family I don’t mean it in conventional terms. For Savvy her family was made up of her two friends, Travis and Retha, who had her back no matter what. They were the ones that made her believe in herself and if it wasn’t for Retha I don’t think Savvy ever would have let Cameron in. Cameron, oh Cameron. He was so imperfectly perfect and the best person Savvy would ever invite into her life and heart. He was so patient and loving and kind and just awesome. Instead of walking away (which I think most people would have) he gave her time to trust and open up and I think that right there was everything to Savvy. Basically he and Savannah were perfect together.

All in Pieces is everything I wanted and needed in a book that I didn’t know I wanted or needed. It’s the kind of book that gives you a plethora of feels and just leaves you wanting more. I was a sobby mess in the end and I’m so thankful for this book and for Suzanne Young for writing it. A must add to your TBR.

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