Girl in Pieces

Girl in Pieces

by Kathleen Glasgow

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Fans of Girl, Interrupted, Thirteen Reasons Why, and All the Bright Places will love the New York Times bestselling novel Girl in Pieces.

"A haunting, beautiful, and necessary book that will stay with you long after you've read the last page."Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything
   Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
   Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
  A deeply moving portrait of a girl in a world that owes her nothing, and has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together. Kathleen Glasgow's debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.

Girl, Interrupted meets  Speak.”—
“A dark yet powerful read.”—
“One of the most affecting novels we have read.”—
Breathtaking and beautifully written.”—Bustle
Intimate and gritty.”—The Irish Times

And don’t miss Kathleen Glasgow's newest novel How to Make Friends with the Dark, on shelves spring 2019, about a girl who deals with love, loss, and learning to cope when you feel like you're surrounded by darkness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101934722
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 08/30/2016
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 51,384
Lexile: HL740L (what's this?)
File size: 5 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Kathleen Glasgow's debut novel is the New York Times bestseller Girl in Pieces. She lives and writes in Tucson, Arizona. To learn more about Kathleen and her writing go to her website,, follow @kathglasgow on Twitter, or find @misskathleenglasgow on Instagram.

Read an Excerpt



I can never win with this body I live in.
—Belly, “Star”

LIKE A BABY HARP SEAL, I’M ALL WHITE. MY FOREARMS are thickly bandaged, heavy as clubs. My thighs are wrapped tightly, too; white gauze peeks out from the shorts Nurse Ava pulled from the lost and found box behind the nurses’ station.
    Like an orphan, I came here with no clothes. Like an orphan, I was wrapped in a bedsheet and left on the lawn of Regions Hospital in the freezing sleet and snow, blood seeping through the flowered sheet.
    The security guard who found me was bathed in menthol cigarettes and the flat stink of machine coffee. There was a curly forest of white hair inside his nostrils.
    He said, “Holy Mother of God, girl, what’s been done to you?”
    My mother didn’t come to claim me.
    But: I remember the stars that night. They were like salt against the sky, like someone spilled the shaker against very dark cloth.
    That mattered to me, their accidental beauty. The last thing I thought I might see before I died on the cold, wet grass.

THE GIRLS HERE, THEY TRY TO GET ME TO TALK. They want to know What’s your story, morning glory? Tell me your tale, snail. I hear their stories every day in Group, at lunch, in Crafts, at breakfast, at dinner, on and on. These words that spill from them, black memories, they can’t stop. Their stories are eating them alive, turning them inside out. They cannot stop talking.
    I cut all my words out. My heart was too full of them.

I ROOM WITH LOUISA. LOUISA IS OLDER AND HER HAIR IS like a red-and-gold noisy ocean down her back. There’s so much of it, she can’t even keep it in with braids or buns or scrunchies. Her hair smells like strawberries; she smells better than any girl I’ve ever known. I could breathe her in forever.
   My first night here, when she lifted her blouse to change for bed, in the moment before that crazy hair fell over her body like a protective cape, I saw them, all of them, and I sucked my breath in hard.
   She said, “Don’t be scared, little one.”
   I wasn’t scared. I’d just never seen a girl with skin like mine.

EVERY MOMENT IS SPOKEN FOR. WE ARE UP AT SIX o’clock. We are drinking lukewarm coffee or watered-down juice by six forty-five. We have thirty minutes to scrape cream cheese on cardboardy bagels, or shove pale eggs in our mouths, or swallow lumpy oatmeal. At seven fifteen we can shower in our rooms. There are no doors on our showers and I don’t know what the bathroom mirrors are, but they’re not glass, and your face looks cloudy and lost when you brush your teeth or comb your hair. If you want to shave your legs, a nurse or an orderly has to be present, but no one wants that, and so our legs are like hairy-boy legs. By eight-thirty we’re in Group and that’s when the stories spill, and the tears spill, and some girls yell and some girls groan, but I just sit, sit, and that awful older girl, Blue, with the bad teeth, every day, she says, Will you talk today, Silent Sue? I’d like to hear from Silent Sue today, wouldn’t you, Casper?
    Casper tells her to knock it off. Casper tells us to breathe, to make accordions by spreading our arms way, way out, and then pushing in, in, in, and then pulling out, out, out, and don’t we feel better when we just breathe? Meds come after Group, then Quiet, then lunch, then Crafts, then Individual, which is when you sit with your doctor and cry some more, and then at five o’clock there’s dinner, which is more not-hot food, and more Blue: Do you like macaroni and cheese, Silent Sue? When you getting those bandages off, Sue? And then Entertainment.
After Entertainment, there is Phone Call, and more crying.
And then it’s nine p.m. and more meds and then it’s bed. The girls piss and hiss about the schedule, the food, Group, the meds, everything, but I don’t care. There’s food, and a bed, and it’s warm, and I am inside, and I am safe.
    My name is not Sue.
JEN S. IS A NICKER: SHORT, TWIGLIKE SCARS RUN UP AND down her arms and legs. She wears shiny athletic shorts; she’s taller than anyone, except Doc Dooley. She dribbles an invisible basketball up and down the beige hallway. She shoots at an invisible hoop. Francie is a human pincushion. She pokes her skin with knitting needles, sticks, pins, whatever she can find. She has angry eyes and she spits on the floor. Sasha is a fat girl full of water: she cries in Group, she cries at meals, she cries in her room. She’ll never be drained. She’s a plain cutter: faint red lines crosshatch her arms. She doesn’t go deep. Isis is a burner. Scabby, circular mounds dot her arms. There was something in Group about rope and boy cousins and a basement but I shut myself off for that; I turned up my inside music. Blue is a fancy bird with her pain; she has a little bit of everything: bad daddy, meth teeth, cigarette burns, razor slashes. Linda/Katie/Cuddles wears grandma housedresses. Her slippers are stinky. There are too many of her to keep track of; her scars are all on the inside, along with her people. I don’t know why she’s with us, but she is. She smears mashed potato on her face at dinner. Sometimes she vomits for no reason. Even when she is completely still, you know there is a lot happening inside her body, and that it’s not good.
    I knew people like her on the outside; I stay away from her.

Customer Reviews

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Girl in Pieces 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a highschool student who was given this book to read for my English final, I just finished it and was appalled by how poorly portrayed mental health was. Throughout the book, Charlie's scars are noticed by almost everyone, and were described as "fucking angelic", "revolutionary", and "beautiful" by other characters. I was absolutely disgusted, as self harm is none of those things and should not be described in such a glorifying tone. While it was a very raw and open tale about struggling with cutting, the author should NOT have gone into so much detail about the act of cutting. It was practically a tutorial of how to cut. I would almost set this book as an example of what not to do when writing a book about self harm. When Charlie leaves the hospital in Minnesota, she moves to Arizona where she meets a man named Riley. She develops a crush on him, and begins dating him. There were so many problems with this relationship. Charlie believes this man can fix all of her problems, and she can fix him, which is a horrible mindset, especially while recovering. Another problem is Charlie is a 17 year old girl, while Riley is a 27 YEAR OLD MAN. They have sex on multiple different occasions, it was extremely unsettling to read, I was absolutely disgusted and felt physically sick. While it was an awful representation of mental health, I did enjoy the writing style. It was written like a diary, but it was slightly difficult to follow. Charlie has a troubled past and it's important to her character, but it was confusing when she would suddenly have flashbacks. Over all, I would NEVER recommend this book to another kid around my age. Self harm should not be portrayed in this way, and I'm not quite sure what Kathleen Glasgow was thinking while writing it. Girl in Pieces could have been an excellent book, had it not been so romanticized and unrealistic. I'm concerned that this book could literally be dangerous to young teens reading it, especially if they're struggling with mental health. I sincerely hope that no one will use the gruesome details of how to self harm and follow through with that. Please be extremely careful with who you recommend this book to, talk to your child if they're reading this and make sure they understand how awful addiction and self harm is, and that there's nothing beautiful about it, maybe even read it with them or not at all. I cannot express how angry this book made me as someone who has dealt with self harm. I'm still not quite sure how this book has such great reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put this down. So real with raw emotion. Loved everything about it.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wasn't a big fan of the style of writing and get that it's suppose to be like journal entries, but there weren't and dates or times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book really hit home with me. Thank you Kathleen for writing this for us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This isthebest book I have read in a long time. Ifyou like a million little peices by james frey, I highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was the best book about self harm I have read . It's not one of those things that say "it gets better" or "move on" because sometimes it doesn't and sometimes you can't. Or in other words f###ing angelic!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knew right away a few teens I could put this book into the hands of. I LOVE a book like that! I have some students who are always interested in this kind of... psychology story? That's not how most people would probably describe this book, but I have a few teen girls who love learning about how people's brains work when they are different from their own brains. So they love Girl, Interrupted and this book made me immediately think of that one. Charlie is so broken and we not only want her to be well and get through her heartache, we're working to piece together what it is that broke her. We get it in bits and pieces, a beautiful type of frustration, forcing us to read on. We wonder if we'll ever know. We wonder if she will be better. We watch on pins and needles while she makes decisions that sometimes make us cringe and sometimes make us cheer. I felt like it was moving slowly at times, not the plot so much, but the getting through the book. I think it's my own reader issue, though, as opposed to a book issue. I've been breezing through things pretty quickly and I didn't move through the pages as quickly as I wanted to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn’t put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an amazing book. It is really interesting and i love the way this author writes. i really do recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an amazing book. It is really interesting and i love the way this author writes. i really do recommend this book.
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
Thanks to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for the opportunity to read and review Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow! A young woman named Charlie is found outside a hospital, hurt and alone. She's treated in the hospital for seven days and then is taken to a psychiatric ward. She has cut herself to cope with the struggles in her life. She's released from the ward and tries to get through it all one day at a time, and sometimes one moment at a time, while she finds a place to live and a job. Her social circle grows and she finds herself dealing with other's problems and she wants to move forward not backwards. Girl in Pieces is a true pay-it-forward story and the author relays her own story and shares resources with readers at the end of the book. A deep, complex story as raw and realistic as life gets. 5 stars for this young adult realistic fiction story that's inspiring and eye-opening.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this in two days! Love the characters and their stories
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way this books starts off it's so amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A deeply harrowing revelation of the thoughts and emotions of a girl with wounds on her soul that she can't express through words, but through the map of cuts in her own flesh. Her journey to healing has her taking the wrong turn at nearly every crossroad until she finally starts making the right decisions for herself. Read also Cut; Speak; Girl, Interrupted; By the Time You Read This I'll be Dead, all of which deal with mental health issues of young adults.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved thi book somw parts could relate to and some parts past me could relate to but this is such a amazing book im probably gonna read it again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Very dark and emotional. Real life struggle for many.
JoannaDursi More than 1 year ago
(3.75 stars) Walking through the book store one day my daughter says out of nowhere that she wanted to read Girl in Pieces. This book came along at the perfect time in my life. This book became my first buddy read with my daughter. In the months prior to starting GiP, she had a friend going through some of the same things as Charlie. It was a great way for us to discuss the situation. It does read a tad differently than most books I’m used to. It’s told with shorter diary entries but once I got used to it and was invested in Charlie’s recovery it flowed much better. It’s a good way to explain to children or young adults that not everything is always tied up in a pretty little bow. I thought this was a very good debut novel and I am looking forward to what comes next.
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
It’s hard to describe what a book this deep, dark and intense makes you feel. Truth be told, I’m nothing but a bundle of emotions right now that I’m just trying to shove down so I can write this review semi-coherently. I’ve had an e-copy of Girl in Pieces for a while now, but for some reason, I could never quite focus on everything going on in this book through the screen of my iPad. And so, when I got my hands on a paperback, I dove right in. This book is one of the most intense portrayals of a harsh life that I’ve ever seen, but always with a glimmer of hope in the background and I fell in love with it. ”Each aberration of my skin is a song. Press your mouth against me. You will hear so much singing.” Girl in Pieces opens with a girl lying on the snow in front of a hospital, the red seeping out of her body and into the white underneath her. It will grip you right then, make you feel Charlie’s pain and understand it and leave you reeling. Some opinions/ thoughts: 1. Girl In Pieces is a deep, heavy and accurate description of what mental health problems feel like. While it is primarily about self-harm, it also deals with physical and sexual abuse, substance abuse and emotional abuse. It’s an intense book that I needed to keep putting on hold for hours before getting back to it. 2. This book is authentic. It handles the ups and downs or the ‘good days’ and the ‘bad days’ of mental health and addiction with stark clarity. It also shows the below average standard of health care given to those who need it when they don’t have the financial ability to pay for it. 3. Charlie Davis is a heart breaking character. She has had a less than ideal life, and my heart ached for all the four hundred pages I was in her head. I’ve never understood a character more, all I wanted was for her to find some kind of love and to be happy. She was unique, living a painstakingly real life in a harsh world and I only want the best for her. 4. I didn’t get Riley and Charlie. It felt like a bad idea from the start, not to mention the ten year age difference and the fact that Charlie was a minor. I didn’t get it, but I understood where she was coming from. I hated it when, as she put it, made herself smaller for him to notice her. Even the book portrayed it as something that wouldn’t end well, but I did sort of understand why Charlie did it. 5. The middle got kind of slow. There’s a sort of lag in the middle when Charlie and Riley are together, when Mike is gone and Blue isn’t there and they’re forming this unhealthy routine between them when I found myself counting pages, waiting for something to happen. 6. Mike was such a… filler character. I didn’t know what to think of him. I just didn’t. Also, BUNNY? A real name? I don’t quite know what I’ve even said in this. This book is a gorgeous and heart shattering rendering of what it is to find yourself and find your place when your biggest enemy is you. I’ve never read a better, more intense, more real or more heart-breaking book on mental health and hard lives and I could not recommend it enough. It was absolutely positively angelic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was great book about letting yourself go and be the person you've always want to be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you read this, it may mess with your head. It really made me sad and lonely while reading. As a teacher, I have to say that if your child wants to read this, you have GOT to read it along with him/her. There are very mature subjects that you need to discuss.
Flutterbella More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she's already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she's learned how to forget. Girl in pieces is a deeply moving portrait of a girl in a world that owes her nothing, and has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together. I feel like this book had so much potential. The characters are very complex and well-developed. The story pulls you in because you want to know Charlotte's story. The story had huge potential but for me, it fell short. The first main problem I had with the book was the profanity. That reason alone would have me not give the book a 5-star recommendation. I didn't approve of the fact that God's name is used in vain throughout the book. Kathleen Glasgow did well with her debut novel. I would encourage her to keep writing. She has real talent and I would like to see her develop her writing further. This book was a platform for her to raise awareness of cutting. I feel that she did that really well. She perfectly described life in the mental hospital. Having been in one I was impressed with the fact that her descriptions were accurate. She also gave you an in-depth look at the thought processes involved in cutting. As well as the battle against your inner demons. However, I found the story to be very stereotypical. It embraces Hollywood's style of showing mental illness. All the characters were seriously messed up. There was not one character who wasn't involved in drinking, drugs or self-harm. While it is true that some people who struggle with self-harm do it in every area of their lives. It is not true of each person who lives that lifestyle. I would have found it less stereotypical if there were a few characters that were less troubled. Perhaps someone who went to work, family, homelife normal except they cut. I have struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts and I can relate to it being a daily battle. There are other ways to self-medicate that would have presented a more realistic story. Instead of for every character to be into booze, drugs, and sex. The other thing that concerned me a bit was the very detailed talk around the cutting. Knowing how easily people are triggered that seems counterproductive. Especially when reaching out to others that cut. One really detailed explanation and more subtle hints throughout the book would deliver the message while being less triggering. I had high hopes when I started the book. I would like to encourage Kathleen Glassgow in future works to spend less of the book setting up the problems. Instead, include more of the redemptive qualities. The book went from sorely troubled to hopeful. But only 4 very small sections of the end talk about Charlie's hope for a better life. In some ways, it ends abruptly without the reader getting a sense of resolution to the story. We never got to see her overcome. I think that could have been shown a bit clearer even as we know life is never tied up with a pretty bow. I hope to see the author develop her writing more in years to come. However, I would have a friend read it first to see if the profanity was still strong. I don't care to read books high in profanity. If Charlie's story was not so compelling I would have never finished the book. I do not recommend this read unless profanity does not bother you as it appears every few pages. Overall not a bad book. Just not one that is going to stay with you long after you finish it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the whole story in a day and absolutely loved it. Katleen Glasgow has done an amazing job getting all of those detials in here. I cried about three times and felt so connected to Miss. Charlie Davis. Looking forward to new books by this amazing author.
KathyMacMillan More than 1 year ago
Raw, heartfelt, and at times difficult to read, this story draws readers into Charlie’s world of pain, desperation, and finally, hope. The first section unfolds in a series of snippets, short bursts of sensation that reflect both Charlie’s overwhelmed state as she adjusts to life at a treatment center and her refusal to speak to anyone. It’s a brilliant opening, because the reader comes to care deeply about Charlie, and when the extent of the horrors she has been through come out, you can’t look away. When she is released from the treatment center and abandoned by her mother and has to scrape by on her earnings from a part-time dishwashing job, she has to fight to keep from the self-harming behaviors that give her temporary solace. It’s easy to see why, with every day a struggle not to set a sharp object against her skin, she makes dubious choices and is so desperate to be loved that she falls in with a guy who is even less together than she is. In the end, though, Charlie’s story is one of perseverance and learning to accept help.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Source: Delacorte via Netgalley Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free. I wanted to read Girl In Pieces because I am drawn to the stories about mental illness and this one is about a cutter who is currently in treatment. Honestly though, I almost didn't want to stick with it because it is not in a traditional format. The "chapters" are short, generally a page or less, and it is almost like diary entries. I am not always so much on that sort of format, but it did catch my attention. The intensity, emotions and eventual road to healing, understanding and some sort of life after recovery are all themes explored and what are universal in this type of story, and what kept me from not finishing. Charlotte begins by mostly telling us about the others in treatment and group with her, and this works because we see what she notices, what of herself or her past that she latches on to. I felt for her, and its hard to see someone struggle with pain and depression and loss in these destructive ways. Bottom Line: Worth a go round if the subject interests you.