Length: 272 pages
From New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young comes a heartrending new novel about a girl struggling to deal with anger issues while taking care of her younger brother with special needs.
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.
ALL IN PIECES is the first book by Suzanne Young I’ve read, and I was pretty impressed! This novel surrounds Savannah, a girl with a disabled little brother and alcoholic father, who meets Cameron, a new student at Brooks Academy. The concept of this novel was interesting to read about, and although it was slow and unrealistic at some parts, it overall had a steady pace throughout.
ALL IN PIECES had amazing characters, and I enjoyed reading about the dynamics of the relationships the characters had with each other. Savvy’s friends were so supportive of her, and I loved the friendships—new and old. I also adored the blooming romance between Cameron and Savvy; it was slow-burning and wonderful.
I really appreciated Young’s depiction of disabilities and realistic situations many teenagers and people actually experience. The portrayal of Evan was quite realistic, and I adored how tough yet caring Savvy was of the people she loved.
The only reservation that I had about this novel was that I felt that the ending was a bit rushed and perhaps too perfect. Realistically, I can’t imagine an ending so perfect for Savvy and the rest of the characters (no matter how pessimistic that seems). Of course, I did enjoy the friendship dynamic between the characters, but it just didn’t seem realistic for this contemporary novel.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel! It was a solid contemporary standalone, and I will definitely check out more of Suzanne Young’s work! If you enjoy contemporary romances with an underlying sense of angst, I recommend this one!
*Trigger warning: hints of sexual assault