Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books
Date of publication: April 18th, 2023
Trigger Warnings: Attempted Suicide, Child Abuse, Sexual Assualt, Alchohol Abuse, Mental Illness
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health, Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery Thriller
Purchase Links: Kindle | B&N | WorldCat
he next gut-punching, compulsively readable Kate McLaughlin novel, about a girl finding strength in not being alone.
When eighteen-year-old Dylan wakes up, she’s in an apartment she doesn’t recognize. The other people there seem to know her, but she doesn’t know them – not even the pretty, chiseled boy who tells her his name is Connor. A voice inside her head keeps saying that everything is okay, but Dylan can’t help but freak out. Especially when she borrows Connor’s phone to call home and realizes she’s been missing for three days.
Dylan has lost time before, but never like this.
Soon after, Dylan is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, and must grapple not only with the many people currently crammed inside her head, but that a secret from her past so terrible she’s blocked it out has put them there. Her only distraction is a budding new relationship with Connor. But as she gets closer to finding out the truth, Dylan wonders: will it heal her or fracture her further?
Wake up. I snuggle deeper into the blankets, trying to puysh away the voice in my head.Pieces of Me by Kate McLaughlin
When Dylan wakes up in an unknown apartment, she is freaked out. She has no idea where she is or how she got there. She is doubly freaked out when she calls home and realizes she has been missing for three days. Things go from bad to worse when Dylan attempts suicide and is hospitalized. She is soon diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder. As she begins to accept her diagnosis, she realizes there is a reason why her alters were created. With the help of Connor, the man whose apartment she woke up in, Dylan begins to unravel the secrets to why her alters were created. Will she uncover the truth, and if she does, will she be able to start to heal? Or will the truth destroy her?
Usually, I would have left the trigger warnings where they are at the beginning of the review. But, in this case, I am going to list them. Listing the triggers with how raw this book is will help you decide on reading it. The triggers are:
- Attempted Suicide: One of Dylan’s alters, Scratch, a protector alter, decided that the only way to help Dylan was to kill herself. Dylan woke up (for lack of a better word) right after Scratch’s attempt.
- Childhood Sexual Abuse: Dylan created her alters to protect herself from years of sexual abuse from someone she knew.
- Sexual Assualt: See above
- Alcohol Abuse: Dylan abused alcohol regularly in high school.
- Mental Illness: Dylan suffers from many mental illnesses, including anxiety and borderline personality disorder. She is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder after her suicide attempt.
If any of these trigger you, I recommend not reading this book.
As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, this is a raw book. I was unprepared for how raw it was and how it affected me. The emotions of Dylan, her family, and her friends came off the page and affected me to the point where I needed to put the book down. I couldn’t breathe because I was so upset with everything in the book.
Pieces of Me main storyline follows Dylan, her eventual diagnosis, her numerous alters, the treatment, her remembering of what happened, and what happens when she breaks her silence. I found the entire storyline heartbreaking. I was glad that the author chose to show Dylan’s memories of her childhood sexual abuse selectively. I don’t know if I could have dealt with reading what a grown man did to a 5-year-old. Some parts of the storyline felt unreal, like Dylan initially coming to her DiD diagnosis through a questionnaire her best friend found. But that aside, this storyline did keep me glued to the book.
I wasn’t too sure about how I felt about Dylan or her alters. I felt terrible because she was dealing with severe mental health issues. She came across as very immature during the book’s first half. But, I did see her character grow with her when she officially got her DiD diagnosis. The rules she set down for her alters were funny and sad at the same time. But I liked that her internal house (where her alters lived) also changed. The author spent time introducing the main alters and explaining their roles.
There were several secondary characters in Pieces of Me. I thought Dylan’s best friend was an alter until her brother started hooking up with her best friend. Speaking of her brother, I couldn’t stand him, but I got that he was so skeptical of Dylan’s diagnosis. Still, it didn’t excuse his behavior.
I wasn’t a fan of Dylan’s romance angle with Connor. I thought it was too fast, too soon. But he was good for her and did his homework when it came to being with someone with DiD.
Pieces of Me had a happyish ending. I say happyish because Dylan’s abuser was finally being brought to justice. But it caused a massive schism in her family. But the author did leave room for healing, and Dylan understood why a specific person in her life wanted to stand by her abuser. I liked how the alters was becoming accepting of integrating with Dylan. I almost wished there was an epilogue showing Dylan 5 years down the road and where she was in her journey.
I want to add that the author did post an author’s note at the end of the book. It explained the amount of research the author did on DiD.
I recommend Pieces of Me to anyone over 18. There is language, sexual situations (nongraphic), and violence. Also, see my trigger warning list above.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books, NetGalley, and Kate McLaughlin for allowing me to read and review Pieces of Me. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
If you enjoyed reading this review of Pieces of Me, then you will enjoy reading these books:
Other books by Kate McLaughlin:
2 thoughts on “Pieces of Me by Kate McLaughlin”
I have read two other Kate McLaughlin books and agree, she writes in a very raw way and it can be a bit in your face for sure. Great review, Jolie.
Thank you Carla!!!