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Some of the Parts by Hannah Barnaby

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sometimes bad things happen, and we are not the same when they are over.

For months, Tallie McGovern has been coping with the death of her older brother the only way she knows how: by smiling bravely and pretending that she's okay. She’s managed to fool her friends, her parents, and her teachers so far, yet she can’t even say his name out loud: “N—” is as far as she can go. But when Tallie comes across a letter in the mail, it only takes two words to crack the careful fa├žade she’s built around herself:

ORGAN DONOR. 

Two words that had apparently been checked off on her brother’s driver’s license; two words that her parents knew about—and never confided to her. All at once, everything Tallie thought she understood about her brother’s death feels like a lie. And although a part of her knows he’s gone forever, another part of her wonders if finding the letter might be a sign. That if she can just track down the people on the other end of those two words, it might somehow bring him back.

Hannah Barnaby’s deeply moving novel asks questions there are no easy answers to as it follows a family struggling to pick up the pieces, and a girl determined to find the brother she wasn’t ready to let go of.

Goodreads Summary

I haven't experienced it yet, but the death of a close family member has to be bitterly hard.  Being an organ donor has its pros and cons and finding out that your loved one's organs are functioning in another human being could lead to happiness or an intense desire to see that person(s).  Tallie isn't handling her brother's death well.  The reader will experience her heart-wrenching sadness and deep-seated anger at the situation.  Some of Tallie's chaotic emotions make it difficult to connect with her until the reader gets to know her better.  A lot of her actions were done out of sadness, but they were still hard to take and understand.  She became verbally abusive, mean, and pushy, at times.  Her insistence on meeting the organ donors were, at times, overwhelming.  She approached everything with an overbearing attitude.

Despite not being so fond of Tallie's character, I can appreciate the plot and the author's ability to make the reader feel as if he/she were in that situation...experiencing the same emotions and living through it.  The author handled the emotion-filled scenes very well and portrayed the events and experiences very realistically.  This book would be great for young adult/teen/adult readers.

4 Stars

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