I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
Published by HarperTeen on June 11th 2013
Genres: Mystery, YA
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On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.
A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.
Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese's fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.
Whoa! This book has to be one of the strangest reads I’ve come across. I can see how its eccentric nature will not be for everyone, but for me the beautiful, often disturbing, writing style captivated me and never let go. It’s not the type of story that just anyone could pull off, the author definitely did some thinking outside the box for this one, and Quinn has my two thumbs up.
Calling this book Another Little Piece is quite fitting, as it felt like with every turn of a page, another piece of this mind-boggling puzzle was put in place – or at least moved a tiny bit closer. And this review is especially hard, because in almost every piece lies a spoiler. The first of these spoilers comes at the 15% mark, thus I’m not able to go into the plot itself, but let me just promise you that you will not have read anything quite like this before! I was shocked by what I was taking in at regular intervals in this book – and from someone who reads as much as I do, shock is a good thing! My advice: be very careful what reviews you read beforehand.
Annaliese has no recollection of the past year of her life, the year she disappeared. The character growth in this novel is substantial; we see Annaliese go through a complete remodeling from who we first meet. The girl at the start is timid and confused, yet she surprises you with the strength of character she possesses even then. As she finds out what happened to her, she transforms into the tough person she needs to be to weather this information, even refusing part of who she is. Because she gets to know her old self through flashbacks, and she’s learning who she is now, all the while fighting her inner demon, it makes it difficult to connect with this type of disjointed character. I wouldn’t have changed anything about her, however; this strangeness makes her character. Due to the nature of the plot, the secondary characters can take some situating, but they all become important players in this mystery. I especially liked Dex who has an oddity of his own to add even more complexity to this bizarre plot.
The writing is what makes or breaks a book like this, and this one makes it, completely and thoroughly. Quinn’s writing is at once terrifying and wonderfully addicting. I was haunted by some of the images that she produced, yet I was unable to stop imagining them, in greater detail each time. Suffice it to say, those who are easily queasy may have to skip a few passages in this one. Aside from her skill for the disturbing, Quinn is also a master at intricately layering her tale. It begins as what feels like a jumble of words and events, until, little by little, we begin the deciphering process. With her show rather than tell manner, we’re left to our devices to bring this story together with what we’re given, which I highly appreciate even though I was confused as all heck at the end. A re-reading of the last chapter and a discussion with a friend amended that, some, but I’m still not sure how I feel about it.
Profoundly original and disturbingly odd, I think everyone should experience Another Little Piece. Not because I believe everyone will love it, but because I think everyone should experience the anomaly that it is.
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