Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And Jade has: every day she rides the bus away from her friends and to the private school where she feels like an outsider, but where she has plenty of opportunities. But some opportunities she doesn’t really welcome, like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls.
Just because her mentor is black and graduated from the same high school doesn’t mean she understands where Jade is coming from. She’s tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. Jade wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain and her hope. Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference.
I received an ARC of Piecing Me Together from Netgalley. I’d seen the book floating around in the internet, and the US cover looked intriguing. I wasn’t so into the UK cover but now that I’ve read the book, I love it – more about that below!
It’s #ownvoices for black representation.
This book focusses on the intersection of class and race, and does so both by looking into the past and following the story of York, the slave who traveled with Lewis and Clarke, and by following Jade’s life in the present. Thus, the reader is given the opportunity to see how life at this intersection has changed throughout the centuries.
It also discusses the misconception that those in privileged positions think that the people who are minorities just want to be help. I like that Jade makes it very clear that she is also able to help other people. The concept of reverse racism is also dismantled.
The scenes with Jade’s mentor and the mentor programme were very profound. It was interesting to see that Jade’s feedback was welcomed and accepted here, and that she was valued as a person.
The chapters are very short, yet there is so much in each of them. They are very much to the point and succinct, while still leaving you with a lot to think about.
The scene where Jade’s friend ignores the fact that a situation was racist and fatantagonistic, and states that Jade might be overreacting was infuriating for me. I could relate to being surprised that the friend did not realise there was tension between them, after this fight. I have had similar situations in the past, and it makes me so angry when people who say they are friends, refuse to admit that racism influences how people act.
I love the UK cover so much. It really portrays Jade’s personality and how she uses her art to work through her feelings. I love it!
This novel does not have a romance storyline in it, which was quite refreshing to read.
I loved this book. It’s so strong and beautiful. Definitely worth reading! Check it out!
Trigger warnings: racism, fatantagonism, classism.
Would you be interested in reading Piecing Me Together? I definitely think you should!