All The Broken Pieces
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication date: December 11th 2012
My rating: 4.5 Stars
What if your life wasn’t your own?
Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.
Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?
All the Broken Pieces just blew my mind in a good way, and I loved it! Cindi Madsen crafted a fascinating and mind bending mystery, and a swoony slow-building romance that left me in a puddle on the floor.
Olivia wakes up with no memories, tubes in her arm, staples in her head and a scar on her chest. She has only her parent’s version of what happened, a terrible car accident, and not many details. What’s more disturbing though, is that she can hear two distinct voices in her head and dreams that don’t make sense, and feel far too real. Are they really dreams, or could she be remembering events from her past? Whenever she asks her parents for details, they clam up and get upset and evasive. Plus, there’s the fact that as soon as she was well enough, they picked up and left Minnesota, and great jobs, and moved to a small town in Arizona. Now Olivia is faced with starting a new school, making friends, with no idea of who she is or what her past contained.
Right away she makes friends with Keira, a nice girl, but a follower of the popular crowd. Olivia would like to make friends, but the voices in her head have conflicting ideas about that. One side wants to fit in and the other does nothing but mock the in-crowd. Then there’s Spencer, the cute loner guy with shaggy brown hair and “geek-sheik” glasses who runs hot and cold with her. One minute he’s helping her and the next he’s insulting. Yet, he’s the only one she feels she can confide in when her dreams become more frequent, more real, more disturbing. Olivia feels a growing need to find out what really happened the night of her accident, but can she handle the truth?
This story gripped me from the first pages. I was riveted by the mystery of Olivia’s accident and loss of memory. Ms. Madsen did an excellent job of creating the air of suspense around this puzzle and I was anxious to piece it together and solve it. While some of the aspects may have been a little fantastic to believe, and I pieced together some of it early on, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story.
As everyone knows, I’m a romance junkie and this one did not disappoint. Ms. Madsen knows how to write a romance! The dreaded love-triangle and insta-love we see time after time is completely absent!! *does happy dance* Spencer comes off as a jerk at first, cautious of Olivia, because she’s hanging out with the popular crowd, and he has a troubled past with them. But he is a sweetheart:
A car drove by, and Spencer moved her from his left to his right. “What’s with the switch-up?” Liv asked. “I want to be between you and the street. That way if rocks fly up or whatever . . .”
“You’ll take the hit for me?” She leaned into him. “My hero.” Tightening the arm he had around her waist, he kissed her forehead.
I’m such a sucker for gestures like that, so it’s no surprise that I was a goner over Spencer. I had to put him on my ever growing list of book boyfriends!
The ending, while satisfying was thought provoking. I’m not sure how this would have worked out if it happened in real-life.
This is the second story I’ve read by Cindi Madsen and she just gets better and better. I’ll be picking up whatever she writes next!