- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: HarperTeen (September 29, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062348396
- ISBN-13: 978-0062348395
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,580,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Very in Pieces Hardcover – September 29, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Very Sales-Woodruff is the versatile, down-to-earth good girl. Being clever, in control, and predictable allows her to be the glue that holds everything and everyone together—including her artistic family. However, Very is preoccupied with her grandmother's dying, her mother's alcoholism, and her sister's precarious behavior. After she learns that her grandmother was a famous local poet, Very starts to reconsider her last year of high school. Should she stay on the "right" path or stray and find her heart's true desires? The novel begins slowly, with an even pace throughout and a strong ending. Frazer guides readers through the complexities of family life and roles, choosing between individual needs and selflessness. Readers who admire poetry will enjoy how some passages refer to poetry. Fans of Jandy Nelson's I'll Give You the Sun (2010) and The Sky Is Everywhere (2014, both Dial) will appreciate the realistic, authentic, and lyrical teen voice that this novel has to offer. VERDICT A general purchase for school and public libraries.—Krista Welz, North Bergen High School, NJ
“Blakemore spins a thoughtful story of a family breaking apart. [A] believable and engaging story of a girl trying to find her place in her family, her relationship, and life.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A...solid coming of age story.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“[R]elatable. A thoughtful story.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
“Fans of Jandy Neslon will appreciate the realistic, authentic, and lyrical teen voice that this novel has to offer.” (School Library Journal)
“Very’s conflicted emotions will resonate with readers. A[n] introspective novel for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jandy Nelson.” (Booklist Online)
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Top customer reviews
You know those books where the blurb turns out to be more exciting than the book itself? That’s how Very in Pieces turned out for me. I was thrilled to discover the book in my mailbox. It had all the making of a thrilling romance: teenage rebellion, a delicious bad boy, and an intriguing mystery. But once I opened the book I discovered it wasn’t nearly as exciting as I hoped it would be.
5 reasons Very in Pieces wasn’t for me
1. There was a distinct disconnect between the writing and the emotion Blakemore was trying to portray. Very’s beloved Nonnie is slowly dying of cancer. This book is supposed to be an emotional roller coaster. This is one of the few books I had Kleenex on standby that I didn’t actually need! What a letdown.
2. The secondary characters showed more character development than the main characters. I certainly learned more about the secondary characters than I did about Very or Dominic.
3. Very in Pieces moved at a snail’s pace. The ending was a bit more exciting than the rest of the plot, but it was no big deal. I gave serious thought to putting it down halfway in.
4. I didn’t get the romance at all. There was no sizzle at all, and it had a sex scene! It was such a bummer.
5. Despite the awesome blurb, Very in Pieces was a very unremarkable book. It’s such a sad thing to realize, but it just doesn’t stand out among hundreds of other young adult romances. What is truly disappointing, is it had the potential for so much more, but it just fell flat.
Sorry my review wound up being so short. I really just couldn’t find anything I wanted to say about Very in Pieces other than I wish it had gone differently. Have you read anything that left you utterly uninspired to talk about?
Very is a math genius and so she sees things in a very analytical way. A square on a canvas is just a square on a canvas. As she spends time with her grandmother in her final days she starts to see that she might have allowed herself to play a character in a story her family wrote. She does what is expected but she isn’t sure what she wants. We see her grow throughout the book not in one giant leap but with small changes.
Very’s family is what the story really centers around. She has her grandmother who is this famous poet, her mother who drinks her problems, her father who is absent and checked out of the family and then her sister Ramona. It goes through the way they handle the grief but also shakes out some other family issues that were floating just below the surface. They all have things to work out.
There are two boys but that’s not really the focus of the story. It’s more like the represent the safe option for Very and the unknown option for her.
I really enjoyed the way Very grows and how the story revolves around her family mainly. There were times it felt a little slow but I was intrigued enough to keep reading. It’s a great book to read to break away from the norm and I finished feeling satisfied with the story.
you kinda just have to sink into it. There are really no big grandiose gestures or...and just like thinking back on some things the characters say, and how they're kinda speaking in a meta way about the book itself, it's just. Absolutely buying this book for my collection.
You can't really look at this book as big and gradiose. those gestures...they don't know what they're doing. nothing is so big and gradiose in that way that is true. it's subtle, it's quiet, everything about it is subtle and quiet, but the relief and the sadness. In a book about a beloved family member dying i was brough to tears once, not by some maudlin death scene, but by a random quiet occurence between the main character and a barely mentioned side character. It's not...voyeuristic at all. It just...I don't know how to say it i suppose. it's just a very quiet very subtle book. and i love how none of the characters are...caricatures. they're not shrieking blooming gorgeous...and again i'm hit my how meta the book is...with the mother's portraits...i just.
and that ending. As someone who has a kind of tenuous painful hopeful relationship with my younger sister, that was just a gut punch. in a good way. this is one of those books that gave me peace.