Hey y’all! Today I’m doing a book review of Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson.
Piecing Me Together is about Jade who lives in a poor neighborhood with her single mother and uncle but goes to school at an affluent, predominantly white high school on the other side of town. Jade is intelligent and also a collagist. This book explores the cultural differences and the way people are always looking to “save” inner-city children and families. The story follows Jade as she navigates both schools and the internal struggle she has with being grateful, being herself, and doing what she wants to do.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Jade is a great character and I really got to know her throughout the book. I enjoyed the way Watson discussed that when you go in to help a certain group you should also be attuned to their needs and not what you think. I also enjoyed how she talked about how selfish your reasons for helping can be and how that can cloud your judgment when dealing with different groups. The discussion of being Black in a “white world” really resonated with me because parts of the experiences that Jade went through were exactly some that I personally have experienced. I enjoyed the character of Maxine because I totally could relate to her on most levels (my parents aren’t rich but we weren’t poor either). There were many quotable lines throughout and I thought that the writing was succinct and readable.
There were only a few cons that I found with the book. The friendship conflict that arose between Same and Jade could have gone farther. The issue was discussed and brought up but I think that the conversation could have went a little deeper. Also, there is an instance of police brutality and the effect it has on the neighborhood and Black people in general and I felt that it was used as a plot device that didn’t add much to the story. I feel like we could have gotten to the resolution without that. It didn’t seem to have a place in the story.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I would highly recommend. It’s a short novel but it really packs a punch with the issues that are fully fleshed out.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Let’s chat in the comments.
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