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Another Little Piece Hardcover – June 11, 2013

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Another Little Piece

In this Amazon exclusive list, author Kate Karyus Quinn shares the top three writing lessons she’s taken away from her enthusiastic TV-watching.

1. VILLAINS ARE HEROES. HEROES ARE VILLAINS.

Xander: [...] Let me tell you something. When it's dark and I'm all alone, and I'm scared or freaked out or whatever, I always think “What would Buffy do?” You're my hero. OK, sometimes when it's dark and I'm all alone, I think “What is Buffy wearing?” From Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 4, “The Freshman” Of course, I am going to kick things off with Buffy. Buffy is the chosen one—not just on the show, but in my own personal TV hall of fame. Buffy is the first show that I fell for so hard that in between seasons I went online looking for spoilers, just to get my fix. There are so many takeaways from the seven magical seasons that Buffy was on the air. And some jaw-droppingly killer episodes (“Hush”, “The Body”, “Once More with Feeling”) that ought to be sealed in carbonite so they’ll be preserved forever for future generations. However, the most important thing I took from Buffy was this two-sided question: what makes a hero/what makes a villain? It starts with Angel, the vampire cursed with a soul that Buffy falls in love with. It seems like these two crazy kids might be able to make things work—until Buffy sleeping with Angel turns him evil again. Then she has to kill him, because she’s the slayer and that’s kind of her job. But Angel isn’t the only character who tangles with the dark side. Faith, Spike (yet another vampire that Buffy becomes romantically involved with), and even Buffy’s best friend Willow all find that sometimes it’s good to be bad. And this entire good/bad dichotomy leads me to the next lesson...

2. WHO AM I ANYWAY?

Number Six: Are you alive?

Military Liaison: Yes.

Number Six: Prove it.

From Battlestar Galactica, Miniseries, Part I (first spoken lines of series) What does it mean to be human? BSG asked a lot of BIG QUESTIONS over the course of four brilliant seasons, but this was the one it kept returning to over and over again.

For the uninitiated, here’s the super quick recap: Humans made robots called Cylons. The Cylons and humans started fighting. The Cylons created new Cylons that looked EXACTLY like humans, and then blew up an entire planet, leaving humanity on the brink of extinction. The Battlestar Galactica holds all that’s left of humanity, but are there Cylons hidden among them? How do you decide who is human? And when you find a hidden Cylon you thought was your friend, lover, or superior officer—how do you respond?

I must also mention the secondary question of fate, which plays a large part in the BSG mythology. “All of this has happened before, and will happen again,” gets repeated throughout the series and is the note it ends on. For most of the series it was a riddle that made you ask, “What the heck are they talking about?”

And this leads me to my last lesson...

3. WHAT THE WHAT??!?!

Jack: I'll do it. This is why I'm here. This is... this is what I'm supposed to do.

Jacob: Is that a question, Jack?

Jack: ...No.

Jacob: Good, then it's time..

From Lost, Season 6, “What They Died For”

I didn’t always like Lost. In fact, by the end of the series, I was pretty tired of it. And yet... I couldn’t stop watching. I had to know what it was all about. Like Buffy, this show was interested in what made a hero or villain, and it wasn’t afraid of switching characters from one column into the other. Like BSG, it also asked questions about destiny. But what set Lost apart was the way it chose to tell its story—by making it a puzzle with Sudoku-like levels of addictiveness (except the numbers here always added up to: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42). The mysteries of the islands: the numbers, the others, the hatch, the smoke monster, Jacob, and MORE were just the beginning of the question-making.

Those I could have walked away from. But the show took the main characters and made each one of them a puzzle too. With a fade to white and a distinctive whooshing sound effect, we were given different pieces of their pre-island (and later post-island) lives. The flashbacks weren’t always in chronological order either. You needed a wall-sized corkboard to keep track of all of the histories of multiple characters over six seasons of the show.

This was not mindless television that you watched while flipping through a magazine. Even when the twists and character choices drove you crazy, Lost was never boring.

So that’s a bit of what I’ve learned from TV—and I applied all of these lessons to Another Little Piece.

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up-Annaliese returns to her family in Buffalo after disappearing. She has complete amnesia, a terrible scar on her forehead, and brain damage. However, the teen seems no worse for it-until she finds herself craving human flesh. Little by little, memories begin to surface, but they are not hers. Rather, they belong to Anna, the being who has taken over Annaliese's body. Anna's memories are of living one short year in the bodies of many other teenage girls until it is time for the bloody ritual that allows her to transfer to yet another. The old body turns to dust as the new one is inhabited. Anna realizes that she is some sort of monster. She is determined to stop the horrifying cycle with the love and support of an outsider named Dex, who has his own dark secret. Her story is nicely written in short segments, each with a title, and independent poems are dispersed throughout. The author cleverly assists readers in mentally switching between the past and present as the story unfolds, while the poems allow them to get to know the real Annaliese. The mystery builds at a leisurely pace, giving plenty of time to plot and character development. The varied story elements also tie together neatly at the end. This supernatural romance will fit the bill for teens who like eerie mysteries tinged with grit and gore.-Mindy Whipple, West Jordan Library, UTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (June 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062135953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062135957
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,207,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Karyus Quinn has a BFA in Theatre from Niagara University and an MFA in Film and Television Production from Chapman University. In addition, her short romantic fiction pieces have been published in Woman's World magazine.

After growing up in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY, at age 22, Kate left her hometown for California and then Tennessee. However, just recently she made the move back home, with a husband and two children in tow. She promised them wonderful people, amazing food, and weather that would... build character.

Kate is first and foremost an avid reader and unapologetic booknerd. Although, she mostly reads YA and romance, she often samples different genres in her constant search for the next great read.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By weathered1 VINE VOICE on June 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've gone back and forth numerous times regarding how to rate and review this one. It gets high marks for originality and for being dark, creepy, and mind-bendy from start to finish. Where it falters, in my view, is in how disconnected, disjointed, and fragmented everything is. Granted, that serves a purpose - the main character's mental state is all of those things for a majority of the book, so this makes the reader just as confused and frustrated as she is. However, it constantly shifts from the past to the present day, including flashbacks from various people (kind of) at multiple points in time, and it's all interspersed with the main character's poetry which is. . . well, there. (I have to be honest - I thought most of the poetry was less than good. Yes, the poet is supposed to be a teen girl, but most of it struck me as trying too hard.)

I will do my best to not give anything away, because this is the kind of book that hinges on readers going into it without knowing exactly what they're going to get. With that in mind, though, I fear this review may wind up being almost as fragmented as the book. . .

Before I delve into the story and characters, one important thing that potential readers may want to keep in mind is that this book is meant for older teens - there's quite a bit of language, violence, and even some relatively explicit (for a YA book) sexual content.

It begins with Annaliese appearing at a party, blood-drenched and screaming, and then she vanishes for a year. When she comes back home, it's clear that she's a very different girl. In more ways than one.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tamela Mccann TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
You know right away that something is off about Annaliese; the story begins with her in a hospital being interrogated because she's recently shown up after a year of being gone: Missing, no news type of gone. More oddly, she disappeared during a party...after showing up covered in blood. Everything went dark and Annaliese disappeared. Now that she's back, she has no memories of where she's been for the past year, but her hopeful parents believe they will be able to find their Annaliese somewhere inside the girl who is now home. Trouble is, their Annaliese disappeared forever the night of the party, and the Annaliese in their home is not the one they know.

The premise for Another Little Piece is riveting: Just who is this new Annaliese and why doesn't she remember anything? It doesn't take long to realize that there is way more than just a missing year going on here; Annaliese tells us what she knows as slowly the layers are peeled back to reveal someone who may not even be human. She doesn't want to become attached to the parents who are overjoyed to have her back but she does; she doesn't want the attention of the boy who took her virginity at the party from which she disappeared, but she can't bring herself to be mean to him. This Annaliese doesn't seem evil but there is definitely something evil happening and it centers on a razor, a strange boy named Eric, and her upcoming eighteenth birthday. Meanwhile, Dex, the odd boy next door, captures her interest as Annaliese struggles inside skin she doesn't really own.

Another Little Piece is a very different book, filled with violence and deception but also intense feeling and mythology.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Book lover VINE VOICE on June 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was soooo good and all kinds of creepy! I had an idea when I went into this but I was so wrong and what ended up playing out has to be one of the coolest ideas ever!

Annalise wakes up by herself with no idea who she is. She has no recollection of anything before waking up and so she starts walking, but she isn't walking to find help she is walking with a purpose. Something is telling her which direction to go and she doesn't understand it, she just knows she has to go wherever that invisible string is puling her. When she eventually comes upon people everything kind of comes together and her family is found and she gets to go home. Her story doesn't end there though, nobody knows what happened to her and Annalise isn't the daughter her parents lost a year ago. Things are different, Annalise knows something is going on but she can't figure it out. When the pieces slowly start coming together and we start seeing flashbacks all kinds of craziness comes out and holy moly is it insane!

I love creepy stories and I think this one tops my list! I have never read something like this before and I am still blown away. The way the story unfolds is brilliant! We get to see little bits and pieces throughout which for me was like putting a really confusing puzzle together and just when I thought I had the puzzle figured out I realized I put about a million pieces in the wrong place.

I really enjoyed the writing. The author had a wonderful way of bringing everything to life and I felt like I was right there in the story. I so didn't want to be there but I was and I was completely lost in the story.
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