Title: Pieces of Georgia
Author: Jen Bryant
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction/Books in Verse
Number of Pages: 166
Thirteen-year-old Georgia McCoy is passionately devoted to art, but not even her intense creative drive can chase away the pain she feels about the abrupt death of her beloved mother. Georgia is the quiet girl at school and is often overlooked by her peers, while simultaneously being overshadowed by her charismatic best friend. Her emotionally distant dad is always working and leaves her with a large amount of responsibility, and her drawing and painting painfully reminds him of his similarly talented dead wife.
Pieces of Georgia is written in verse as Georgia tries to navigate her life without her mother and her feeling of not fitting in with anyone her age. It’s not all that plot-driven and it’s mostly a collection of small moments, with a minimum of huge dramas and crises. Georgia was a likable lead with problems a lot of teenagers can undoubtedly relate to, but I never found myself really connecting to her either.
I don’t think she had any character traits that made her stand out among other shy, responsible heroines in YA literature, to the point where she sometimes felt a little generic. However, I liked how much her passion for art was incorporated into the story. Andrew Wyeth is actually one of my favorite artists, and until I read this book I had no idea he had a son who was an extremely talented artist as well.
The inclusion of Georgia’s black-and-white artworks throughout the story were also a nice touch. Even though both their characters were a little on the underdeveloped side, I enjoyed Georgia’s complex yet tender relationship with her father. It showed how teens can have difficult relationships with their parents without either party being intentionally hurtful or entirely at fault. Pieces of Georgia had a nice story that believably handled painful issues, but unfortunately it wasn’t something that really stood out for me. I would still recommend it to others (both teens and adults) and I’ll be on the lookout for other books by this author.
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