Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.
But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.
Friendships, race, privilege, identity—this compelling and thoughtful story explores the issues young women face.
I’ve been talking about This Side of Home for a couple years now, so it’s about time I finally picked up Piecing Me Together. Renee Watson just has a way of writing characters that I can connect to on such a personal level. I feel truly represented through Watson’s characters.
It felt like Renee Watson probed my brain and was writing this just for me. When we ask for representation in books, this is what we’re asking for.
Jade’s family situation was something I related to so strongly, especially with E. J., her uncle, being more like a brother. I’ve never read a book with extended family written in that way and I loved it. I felt such a connection to Jade and her struggles. Every time she struggled with speaking up for herself, I was reminded of a time when I was in that exact situation.
The plot and character development was very well done, you could see the way Jade changed over the course of the story. I love the fact that each chapter had Spanish at the top, like one of Jade’s flash cards. That was a super cool element of the story.
The discussion on navigating predominantly white spaces as a black woman was just EVERYTHING. I completely agreed with everything said. The scenarios were so real and relatable. The main character didn’t have an actual romance but that didn’t mean she wasn’t curious about boys and dating, she was just focused on school. (Basically me when I was in high school.) This is my ideal YA.