Pieces of Me by Kate McLaughlin is a contemporary novel about mental illness and all the pieces of that. Dylan wakes up to find she has lost three days of time, which starts the series of events that lead to self-discovery.
All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.
When eighteen-year-old Dylan wakes up, she’s in an apartment she doesn’t recognize. The other people there seem to know her, but she doesn’t know them – not even the pretty, chiseled boy who tells her his name is Connor. A voice inside her head keeps saying that everything is okay, but Dylan can’t help but freak out. Especially when she borrows Connor’s phone to call home and realizes she’s been missing for three days.
Dylan has lost time before, but never like this.
Soon after, Dylan is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, and must grapple not only with the many people currently crammed inside her head, but that a secret from her past so terrible she’s blocked it out has put them there. Her only distraction is a budding new relationship with Connor. But as she gets closer to finding out the truth, Dylan wonders: will it heal her or fracture her further?
“These girls are me-pieces of me- and I’m them. They live in this place. In me. It’s their voices I hear talking to me. Their experiences I can’t remember. I’m more than one person. If I die, so do they.”
There is an obvious disclaimer here: I do not have DiD and my review is based on that standpoint. The author’s acknowledgments at the end make me feel comfortable that she did adequate research for this book, however, as I am not someone with DiD, I do not have the experience to say whether or not it was perfect.
“Being treated like you’re fragile isn’t any fun, especially when you’re afraid it might be true.”
With that being said, I loved this book. The way it handled this felt well-researched, and the way that the characters had distinct voices while still trying back to the Host in a notable way was well done. The book was interesting, with a plot I was invested in. There were several times I was worried about something negative happening to the Host due to her mental illness, but she was never villainized, and always allowed her own bodily autonomy.
“I felt like I didn’t deserve the help or love they gave me. I felt smothered by it even though I was desperate for it.”
There were, even, moments in this book that I related to as someone with a wonderful support system who often also feels “smothered by it but desperate for it”. This book made me tear up, and I sped through it faster than I’d been able to read in weeks. Truly well done and a fantastic read.
“But mostly I resent everything that happened to that little girl that made her need to hide behind me.”
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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