The Best Teen and YA Fiction Reviews From BookViral

"Powerful, instantly compelling and often heart-breaking..."

Teen & Young Adult Fiction on Suicide Social & Family Issues

Recommend  for the coveted BookViral Crimson Quill. To make your recommendation simply click on the award badge below..…. 

  • ASIN: ‎ B0BBSC74XC
  • Publisher: ‎ Cathrina Constantine; 2nd edition (September 10, 2022)
  • Publication date: ‎ September 10, 2022
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Print length: ‎ 292 pages
  • Genre: Teen & Young Adult Fiction on Suicide Social & Family Issues


The BookViral Review:

A heart wrenching read, Marly In Pieces proves a welcome change from the deluge of romantic dribble that seems to dominate YA Fiction as Constantine explores the difficult subjects of Suicide, Social & Family Issues.

At its core, Marly In Pieces is a tender and knowing story about the secrets we keep and the toll they can take on the ones we love but like any work of fiction a story is the sum of its parts and at its most elementary it needs strong characterization to bring it to life with a writer capable of conveying events to maximise their impact. Constantine does this. She engages our moral compass and our sense of right and wrong, and causes our skin to prickle because a story like this should always leave us reflecting on what we have read.

Notwithstanding the all-around excellent ensemble of characters, it’s very much Marly’s story with Constantine giving her a backstory that not only allows for a shrewd exploration of the dynamics between Marly and Rae but their wider circle too. On this level Constantine is clearly aware of the weight of her subject. Violence and abuse are often included in Psychological Thrillers for the shock factor alone but here Constantine uses it to explore her main characters not only in the present but through the complicated history they’ve established in the past. To this end Marly’s story and the truth of Rae’s death evolves over disparate timelines and it’s a credit to Constantine that she doesn’t miss a beat as she juggles multiple plot threads.

With knuckle-down attention, she creates plausible and involving relationship dynamics between Marly, Rae and Duffy. We quickly come to care about and feel for them because they are so relatable and in this way, they are rightly liberated from the plot’s destiny. We’re reminded how confusing love can be and how easily trust can be eroded as she delivers a beguiling blend of moving and affecting moments. Yes, we know from the start where she is leading us, we know there will be a twist and a shocking denouement but she plays it straight and keeps us guessing to the very end. Reminding us how fragile relationships can be and delivering a bittersweet ending that is perfectly pitched.

Powerful, instantly compelling and often heart-breaking, Constantine hasn’t picked an easy subject on which to write but her willingness to steer away from a prescriptive approach means she reaches her readers on an intensely emotional level. A Golden Quill read Marly In Pieces is unreservedly recommended.

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