Title: Pieces of Love
Author: P.J. Sharon
Publisher: P.J. Sharon Books
Release Date: June 2014
Length: 289 pages
Genre: YA, Romance
Source: CBB Book Promotions
To see all of the goings on for the Pieces of Love tour, visit the tour schedule. Be quick, because the tour will be over before you know it!
Sixteen year-old Alexis Hartman wants nothing more than to play her guitar and get high, hoping to escape the pain of losing her sister. But when her second arrest for pot possession leads to her mother’s breakdown, Lexi is sent to stay with her grandmother for the summer. While embarking on a Mediterranean cruise hardly sounds like punishment, being forced to face her demons and falling for a guy she may never see again gives Lexi a chance to discover what it means to love someone—even when you have to let them go.
Ah, pieces of love. We all have them…sometimes they just don’t fit together right, and we think we’re broken.
That’s exactly how Ali feels. She is a teen staggering under the weight of guilt and grief, and despite going to therapy, she’s slightly spiraling out of control. Her second arrest for pot sets of a catastrophic event in her house, and her mother goes away and she’s shipped off to grandmother’s…by her cop stepdad.
Only, Ali’s wants don’t end there. In Malibu, she meets a guy on the beach, which later also ends with her being taken home in a police cruiser. That’s when her grandmother, obstinately making it clear that she is Maddie and not “Grandmother,” announces that they are actually going on a seniors cruise in the Mediterranean…for over two weeks! Most people would be excited to get a free ride and see another part of the world, but Ali is not too terribly grateful for this “punishment”…because she gets motion sickness, and on the flight, well, let’s just say YUCK.
And the boy who that YUCK adorns is none other than handsome young Ethan, very out of place on the cruise. In fact, he and Ali are the youngest on the ship! Like Ali, Ethan has his own troubles with his father to work through, and even though their first meeting was less than spectacular, Ethan and Ali start developing this bond over the course of the trip.
Now, I know this sounds cliche – even Ethan points that out to Ali at one point – falling in love on a cruise in an exotic place with little supervision – but it’s not…at least not all. See, what Ali carries around is for the most part what Ethan has worked through himself, and he acts in a lot of ways as a mentor to Ali to try to help her see everything she’s harboring inside, and let some of it go.
I’m not going to lie, Ali (or Lexi as Maddie calls her) is a self-centered, selfish, angry person. I can understand – I was too after this event. But as time went on and I grew up, I started realizing things on a grander scale, and Ethan is there to help Ali along with these realizations, or at least spark some ideas in her head to get her thinking. By the end of the cruise, after a very scary medical emergency, Ali has grown up a lot. In a way, this is a coming of age book, and she realized that all the pieces of love were there…she just wasn’t looking.
Maddie and Ethan – I have to tell more about them. Maddie is not your typical grandma – she did some interesting things in her younger days, and always took these trips with her late husband. She is a fiesty, funny, nose-in-your-business woman, but she tries guiding Ali and Ethan in the directions they need to go. She is kind, sweet, and loving…and she loves spending money! Ethan, on the other hand, has already tried doing just that to get his father’s attention, to no avail. He is a very mature, gentle and compassionate 18 year old kid. He has this charisma about him that is very appealing and attractive, and catches both Ali and Maddie’s eye. I was very glad when Maddie invited Ethan to spend the cruise with the girls.
I struggled getting through this book to the 40% mark, I think in a lot of ways because PJ Sharon dangled bits and pieces of information about what Ali was holding inside, and I started getting frustrated. I also think my own parallel to Ali had me dragging my own feet for different reasons. But, I turned my Kindle sideways and magically it didn’t seem that I was trudging through a bog of mire. (I know I just compared this book to a bog of mire, but it’s not! I just couldn’t think of another metaphor.) I flew through the remainder of the book and craved the sights they visited in the Mediterranean.
This book covers some heavy emotional material, and having a similarity to the book, I thought at some point I’d cry, but I didn’t! I did, though, get very stressed at a few key scenes in the book. High emotion, high tension, WORDS.
I loved how the book ended. It brought meaning and life to some of the things that Ethan and Ali expressed to one another on the cruise, and overall it was a wonderful way to wrap up the book.
*****About the Author*****
PJ Sharon is the award winning author of contemporary young adult novels, including PIECES of LOVE, HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, ON THIN ICE, and SAVAGE CINDERELLA, winner of the 2013 HOLT Medallion Award and the 2013 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. She is excitedly working on The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael, a YA Dystopian trilogy. WANING MOON, Book One in the trilogy, was a finalist in both the 2013 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, and a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit recipient. Book Two, Western Desert released in June of 2013. Watch for Book Three in the fall of 2014.
Writing young adult fiction since 2007 and following her destiny to write romantic and hopeful stories for teens, PJ is a member of Romance Writers of America, CTRWA, and YARWA. She is mother to two grown sons and lives with her husband in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA.
There is Beach Bag & Swag (US) up for grabs in this giveaway.