Normally, after a hospital staycation, I would just stare at the ceiling while lying on my bed praying that my strength finds me the soonest. Then I would watch Disney movies to cheer myself up and eat a lot of food whenever I can. This time makes a difference. I courageously picked a book from my bookshelf, one of my young-adult signature reads. My pick? 34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues.
This book is somehow reminiscent of Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman’s I Was Here. Well, needless to say, it’s actually reminiscent of all the books I’ve read about disturbed and suicidal teenagers. Ellie, was popular at school, but that didn’t stop her from killing herself. The story is written through point of views of various characters – Ellie’s brother, Jake, her bestfriend, Sarah and Sarah’s younger sister, Meg. All of them somehow held themselves responsible for Ellie’s death, which I have always observed as typical for those who were left behind. They have a lot of what ifs and only ifs. They have a lot of regrets. They all wanted to turn back the time so to undo the things that could make everything right again.
Now, to be honest, I felt that I missed something in the story. The blurb said that Ellie’s friends who were left behind found clues on why she killed herself. As much as I understood the traces that the author has written about the reasons for Ellie’s suicide, still I am looking for something more concrete, more definite. Was it just the abuse, parents’ neglect, an unbearable sense of loneliness of being a disturbed teenager or all of the above? But then like all the suicide-themed books, there are a lot of questions raised. Maybe it’s more of the fact that the remaining characters could no longer dig deeper into the realms of the dead.
It took time for me to find his book, and I’d say that finding it and finally reading it is worth it, if only for the satisfaction of my book craving! Ha! But kidding aside, this book is another reminder of an irreversible tragedy that could be prevented if the signs are read.