Review: Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

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Rating: 3.5 /5
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror, Mystery
Expected Publication: June 11, 2013 by  HarperTeen
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On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.

A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese’s fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.

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A copy was received in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my thoughts in any way.

Final verdict: High 3.5 stars

Interestingly enough, I’m finding this one a little hard to review. This doesn’t mean to say I didn’t enjoy it; I did! I think it’s a well thought-out and executed book touching on various elements that would appeal to audiences wanting to read a darker side of the paranormal genre, with a good amount of horror and a tad bit of mystery to finish it off. I have no qualms about the writing either; the prose was hypnotizing, successfully putting a mood of discomfort and secrecy, truly making us feel there’s something not right with the picture. This only proves how much of a promising writer Quinn is, and I no doubt would be looking forward to her future books just for her writing prowess alone. So why only 3.5 stars? Let’s just say it’s an instance of “it’s not about you, it’s me.”

Another Little Piece is a hard book to get into at first. The beginning can be quite frustrating to follow, especially with all the fragmented scenes that go back and forth from one perspective to another even if they come from, allegedly, the same person. And it’s confusing. Reaaally confusing, but surprisingly enough, it didn’t deter me away from the book. While it was deliberately slow and ambiguous, it only made me want to know more about the mystery: what really happened to Annaliese? Is she really suffering from amnesia or is she housing another consciousness within her? It made for a really good riddle to solve, and Quinn’s sublime writing made it all the more spectacular and thought-provoking.

However… the novelty didn’t last. While the memories and flashbacks were pretty neat at first, effectively giving us a clearer understanding of what happened AND what may happen, the disjointedness and fragmentation of it all became a bit exhausting, especially since it felt like I was a ball being passed around from one person to another. Surely, the confusion eventually settles and you kind of piece everything together yourself, but for impatient readers, this may pose as a problem.

I also had a problem regarding the main character. She was decent, but there were times she seemed too unfeeling and cold that it was hard for me to sympathize with her. I understand that like us, she didn’t know who she was or where she came from, and that she’s trying to put things together as well, but the personal relationship between the MC and reader never happened between us, and I really lament that. But even though her elusive nature didn’t connect with me, it did serve to really set the mood for the overall atmosphere of the story. I also had a problem with the MC constantly feeling like kissing the love interest… it really disturbed me that every time something drastic happened, they would kiss, which is almost always succeeded by her saying of how much she longed for that touch of the lips, the desperation, the feeling of their skins against one another… it sometimes felt overwhelming, but that’s probably just me. The other characters fell somewhat flat, too… they could’ve been promising individuals, but as the story went on, they eventually became a part of the background — unmemorable and forgettable. I only truly liked Shirley and Dex, as I felt they were the ones that had the most depth.

Bottomline, immediately get this if you like…
* a hypnotizing narrative that successfully portrays a dark, menacing story and background;
* a narration style that incorporates flashbacks and memories (because she does make it work);
* a slow-paced and mysterious plot that won’t drive you crazy but would rather make you want to learn more;
* a darker take on the paranormal/supernatural genre; and
* putting the pieces together yourself. Confusion and vagueness abound, so you may need to read between the lines a lot.

Overall, I think this is a very good debut. Quinn has mad writing skills and really knows how to make the mood right for the intended genres. I like creepy, and this is creepy, so I automatically like it. I just wish the heroine was more likeable and that the flashbacks didn’t become too overwhelming. But otherwise, this is a strong and high 3.5/5 :)

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Faye

Faye

A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena

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  1. Patricia says

    i’ve actually been looking forward to a darker side of the Pr genre. I’m just so tired of all the fluff of the other ones being published, focusing more on the relationships than the story. I’m a bit wary of the MC wanting to kiss over and over again but i really want to read something creepy :D Pre-ordering right now

  2. says

    I love creepy, so this sounds perfect. It sounds like there were a couple of problem points, but overall this is worth reading. I’m not sure if I’ll like the romance angle of this story, but I like a dark mystery. Great review :)

    • FayeFaye says

      Thanks, Kim! The romance angle… hmmm, I didn’t like how it was “developed”, but I guess it was okay. I’d say “less kissing, more action! chop chop, kids!” :))

  3. says

    I wasn’t a big fan of this book. For some reason I just couldn’t relate to the MC and felt that the atmosphere was too bland. I guess that’s what I get for getting too ready for somwthing spooky an chilly like Pretty Girl-13. I agree that the start was hard to get into. Such a shame. :/

    Lovely review, Faye! <33

    • FayeFaye says

      I actually liked this better than Pretty Girl-13! I thought PG13 had too many dilemmas crammed into one story. Haha. There were times that ALP felt bland, but those instances were the romance onces, which I believe was the weakest factor. :/

  4. Elijah H. says

    I really think the plot of the story is very interesting. I am intrigued by the creepiness of this book so I will definitely check this book out. Great review! :)

  5. Jaime Lester says

    All 5 points under “Bottomline:” describe me to tee! And I plan to do just what you said and go buy this right now. I know it hasn’t gotten perfect reviews, but something about this book makes me want to read it regardless. Even if it was getting consistently bad reviews. Thankfully, the points in your review aren’t enough to make me turn away. They are the perfect thing to bring my head out of the clouds, so that I can go into it with realistic expectations