Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
February 8th 2018 (first published February 4th 2017)
Jade is a girl striving for success in world that seems like it's trying to break her.
She knows she needs to take every opportunity that comes her way. And she 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 Jade could do without, like the mentorship program for "at-risk" girls. Just because her mentor is black doesn't mean she understands where Jade is coming from. Why is Jade always seen as someone who needs help? Someone people want to fix? But with a college scholarship promised at the end of it, how can Jade say no?
Jade feels like her life is made up of hundreds of conflicting pieces. Will it ever fit together? Will she ever find her place in the world? More than anything Jade wants the opportunity to be real, to make a difference.
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson moved me. I adore this book. The book really goes alongside books like The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It is just that good.
Piecing Me Together is taking what it means to be a black teen within modern world society. It doesn’t matter who you are on the inside or what you do, you will always be treated differently. The book really focuses on the everyday living being a black girl in a mostly all-white school. Jade creates art and the collages she makes is her form of self-expression. Piecing Me Together really puts a high emphasis on friendships and identity.
“Those girls are not the opposite of me. We are perpendicular. We may be on different paths, yes. But there’s a place where we touch, where we connect and are just the same.”
A highlight for me within the book is not just the struggles and divides between races. There are also struggles within the same race and Watson clearly shows this well. How one person can live a life of luxury and never worrying about poverty while another has a day to day struggles of keeping food on the table. This example comes when Jade is paired up with her mentor, Maxine. Maxine grew up surrounded by wealth and doesn’t really know what it’s like to be Jade in today’s society.
“Makes me feel like no matter how dressed up we are, no matter how respectful we are, some people will only see what they want to see.”
Books that talk about racial diversity makes me really open my eyes as a white woman. How people can treat others just because of what race they are. I find it completely shocking that it happens and makes me mad how little regard some people have. Piecing Me Together is a must-have in everyday schools and really needs more recognition. I really think this book got pushed under the radar when The Hate U Give released.
The book is powerful and I really hope more people read it and share it!