Thursday, February 21, 2013

[Blog Tour: Review] Pieces by Michelle Davidson Argyle

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(Check out the rest of the tour stops HERE!)

Pieces (The Breakaway, #2) 
Title: Pieces
Author: Michelle Davidson Argyle
Release Date: February 14, 2013
Published by: Rhemalda Publishing
Staying in love can mean running away...

Two years after watching her kidnappers go to prison, Naomi Jensen is still in love with one of them. Jesse will be released in a few years, and Naomi knows college is the perfect distraction while she waits. But when her new friend Finn makes her question what is right and what is wrong, she begins to wonder if Jesse is the one for her...until she discovers he's out on parole. Naomi must sort through her confusion to figure out where love and freedom truly lie - in Finn, who has no connections to her past, or Jesse, who has just asked her to run away with him.
THOUGHTS:

I know that Pieces is marketed as a companion novel that can work as a stand-alone, but I would recommend that you guys read Breakaway first to read through Naomi's kidnapping - why it happened; what happened to Naomi while in captivity; and how Naomi was finally able to free herself from her captors. Breakaway is a very emotional read, and a startling look into the eyes of someone who is experiencing Stockholm's Syndrome, and it left me thinking non-stop. Set two years after Breakaway, Pieces reintroduces us to Naomi and how she is currently doing.

Reading the first few chapters of the book actually left me heartbroken. Naomi is still obviously very deeply scarred from what happened to her, and she's still in pieces. She is not happy, and she is merely mechanically going through the motions of life. She has no passion for her studies; she has no friends; and her relationship with her mother is still pretty much non-existent. Naomi is as unsure of herself as she once was while in the hands of her kidnappers, and this absolutely broke my heart. Reading about this Naomi made me incredibly sad - while I didn't expect Naomi to be 100% better after what happened to her, I really didn't think she would be THIS removed from life.

There is however one guy who is starting to worm her way into Naomi's life. Finn, a guy who works at a coffee shop Naomi frequents, starts to become a friend. She is able to talk to him about absolutely everything, and yes, that includes Jesse and her past. Finn doesn't judge Naomi, and he becomes the person who Naomi so desperately needs - someone who cares for her unconditionally. I was glad to see Naomi actually living her life, and all this was made possible because of Finn.

Naomi, despite clearly caring for Finn as well, still feels that she is betraying Jesse every time she is with Finn. When Naomi learns that Jesse is out on parole, all the progress Naomi made with Finn disappeared at the blink of an eye. Everything that Naomi felt for Jesse never went away, and now that there was a chance that she can be with Jesse again, her love for him was amplified. Their love comes at a price though - Naomi cannot have the best of two worlds. If she chooses to be with Jesse, she has to leave the rest of her life behind - her family, her studies, and Finn.

Throughout the course of the novel, I never found myself hating Jesse. I never doubted the love that he felt for Naomi - he truly cared for her well-being; and he simply wanted to be with the person whom he loved. However, despite of his true love for Naomi, things will never be simple for them. Their past will forever hang over them like a dark cloud, and that's something that Jesse and Naomi must ponder - is their love truly worth it?

I loved how Argyle ended this novel, and ultimately, how she closed a chapter of Naomi's life. Truth be told, I was a little wistful at how everything ended, but I can't deny that there is no other plausible ending. Most authors aren't brave enough to tackle topics as sensitive as Stockholm's Syndrome, a kidnapping, and their aftermath, and I truly commend Argyle for writing this pair of novels.

Rating: 4 Stars

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