Published by Simon Pulse on November 8th, 2016
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 could kick myself for not reading this book a long time ago. Then again, I was really disappointed by the author’s previous book, Hotel Ruby, so I’m sure that’s where my apprehension came from. All in Pieces was the kind of book that I didn’t expect to be crying over. The kind of book that I wasn’t expecting to have such strong feelings for, but I found myself sobbing into my shirtsleeve by the time I finished it.
I really wanted to love our main character, Savannah, but she just drove me insane. I understand that she was taking care of her little brother, Evan, but she just had this mindset that she was the only one who could do it. No one else could do it as well as she could. She was really mean to her Aunt Kathy who took Evan on some nights & weekends and that really bothered me. She seemed to think that Aunt Kathy hated her & that she’d never get back into Aunt Kathy’s good graces. She seemed to think that Aunt Kathy didn’t like her because of what she had done. And maybe she was right. Maybe Aunt Kathy had reason to be concerned for Evan given the circumstances. It just drove me crazy to have Aunt Kathy villanized by Savannah.
While her relationship with her brother was cute, she was honestly borderline obsessed with him, and I get it. They had a bad home-life. Dad was an alcoholic, Mom had taken off, leaving Savannah as the only in house constant in Evan’s life. I don’t want to say it was icky, because that feels like the wrong word, but it bugged me. In just about every chapter, Savannah uttered the sentence,
“I have to be home for Evan.”
Like I said, her devotion to Evan was cute, but I felt like it was too much. Maybe it’s because I’m not a kid person at all. Maybe that’s why it was bugging me. I couldn’t imagine being responsible for my little brother and I know at her age, I would have welcomed any kind of help. Whether it was from a relative or from a friend like Retha, one of Savannah’s friends. I sure as heck would not have been willing to do it all on my own. I want to commend her for being willing to do it all on her own, but honestly, I liked her so much better when she was hanging out with her friends. She was a lot lighter and more relaxed.
Retha and Travis had their own issues, but they were really good to Savannah. They were there for her when she needed them. Even if it was just a trip to 7-Eleven. Anything to get her out of the house and away from her horrible father. Savannah accepted help from Retha, mostly in the form of groceries, but it took a lot for her to actually accept the help. Even from her friends. Savannah was very prideful and it took me awhile to really get that.
Then there was Cameron. I loved Cameron and I loved his family. It seems like parents & families as a whole aren’t really present in YA books and so whenever I find a family where the parents are actually around, I feel the need to mention it. Not only did I love the romance between Cameron & Savannah, but Cameron’s family was pretty normal considering the fact that they were super wealthy. Not that all wealthy people are assholes, but they sometimes are. Cameron & his family were really good to both Savannah and to Evan in the later parts of the book.
I know a lot of people didn’t really like the ending and found it to be rushed. Not me. I LOVED how it ended. It ended pretty much the way I was hoping it would. It ended with me sobbing into my shirtsleeve but also smiling through the sobs (don’t ask me how I managed that) It was an ending that I wasn’t expecting, mostly because I wasn’t expecting there would be so many feels. But oh boy the feels were there in abundance.
Final thoughts: It was darker than I expected and I had some issues with the MC, but overall, I really enjoyed it.