When high school oddball and introvert Jessica Chai is killed in a car accident, her parents decide that Jessica would have wanted her organs donated to those who so desperately need these gifts of life. But Jessica is angry about dying and being dismembered. Taking the idea of cell memory to the next level, not only do the recipients get pieces of Jessica, but gets pieces of their memories and lives moving forward—she knows what they know and keeps tabs on their growth, recovery, and development. This begins her journey to learn her purpose as she begins to grasp that her ties to these teenagers goes beyond random weirdness. It's through their lives that Jessica learns about herself, as she watches the lives she literally touched continue to interlock.
Have you ever considered what happens when you sign those organ donation forms? If your organs are needed after you die? When Jessica dies, she learns that her organs give the gift of life and tie her to life in unique ways. Jessica isn't happy about the donation nor her death at first; she gradually comes around to learn more about each recipient. The novel is told from the recipients' perspectives as well as Jessica's. I loved how the author developed each character carefully and somehow made the reader care for them.
The characters had stand-out personalities. I never had any trouble remembering whose back-story belonged to whom. I loved Jessica's revelations about how she thought that she didn't have an important life and that it was cut too short, but that her life had a huge impact on others. I liked how Kizer handled the subject of organ donation...which is often a touchy one. I think this option still remains a choice, but this is a good book to read for anyone wanting to learn about a possible outcome. The ending was wonderful and this book does not disappoint. Pieces of Me is perfect for young adult/adult readers.
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