Nyx Book Reviews

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Review: Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Title: Another Little Piece
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Series: Standalone
Rating: 4 Stars

419 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by HarperTeen
Bought

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Another Little Piece is Kate Karyus Quinn’s debut novel. I read (Don’t You) Forget About Me last year, and it was one of my favourites of 2014. My expectations for Another Little Piece were very high, and I wasn’t disappointed.

They tell her her name is Annaliese. All she remembers is that she woke up five days ago in a shed. They tell her that she has been missing for a year, and there are whispers that she should have been dead. Annaliese tries to find out what has happened in the time leading up to her disappearance, and what happened during the time she was away.

When writing a summary for this book, it all sounds pretty normal. It could have simply been a contemporary novel about a girl that has lived through some pretty traumatic things. What isn’t instantly clear is that Another Little Piece has a kind of creepy magic realism setting. Think cannibalism and human sacrifice. Even though the setting is creepy, I wouldn’t say this book should be categorised as horror. I don’t feel like the intention of the writer is to scare the reader. The most scary scenes in Another Little Piece actually had nothing to do with the supernatural or gore – they were the ones about human evil, about rape and abuse. Ms Quinn really doesn’t keep anything from the reader, and the book is brutally honest.

The story is told through a combination of running narration, dreams, memories, and poems. Usually I’m not a fan of dream sequences because they tend to be too confusing and too crazy, so I liked that in Another Little Piece the dreams are kept short and sensible. I’ve read some complaints that the dreams contained too much plot, but honestly, I was glad for that. And it’s not all that far-fetched. I have dreamt entire book plots in the past; it’s not like every dream is messed up and jumbled. Some of them can seem incredibly credible.

I don’t want to say much about the magical aspect of the book, because that would spoil all the fun. I can only tell you that it’s weird, and it’s gross, and it puts our main character for an impossible dilemma.

If Another Little Piece is to be compared with Stephen King, it should be compared with Lisey’s Story and not The Shining. It deals with themes like identity, conciousness, and as aforementioned, rape and abuse. It has a sweet though slightly dysfunctional romance to lighten the mood. Though Another Little Piece didn’t pack the same emotional punch (Don’t You) Forget About Me did, it’s a great read and a fantastic debut.

Blurb

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 escapeโ€”unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.

Other reviews you might be interested in
  • Don’t You Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn
  • The Witch of Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper
  • Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
  • The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
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    • http://herbookthoughts.reads-it.com/ Paula M. @ Her Book Thoughts!

      Oh, I DNF-ed Don’t you forget about me but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the book. I just don’t think its for me. Can’t wait to read this one!! I really loved the author’s writing and I like the sound of this. Great review Celine ๐Ÿ™‚

      • http://www.nyxbookreviews.com/ Celine

        Don’t You Forget About Me is very peculiar, I completely understand it might not be for you. Thanks Paula! I hope Another Little Piece works better for you (:

    • http://www.lunar-rainbows.com/ Micheline

      I’ve seen this book around quite a bit but yours is the first review I’ve read that really makes me want to check it out. And you said it best: it sounded like a run of the mill YA contemporary and I don’t tend to gravitate towards those, especially when the cover features some pretty girl in a pretty dress >.< Reading your thoughts here though, I'm intrigued. Thanks Celine ๐Ÿ™‚ lovely review^^

      • http://www.nyxbookreviews.com/ Celine

        I think I saw it around before, but the cover really doesn’t look all that appealing. It all became a lot more interesting when I found out how dark and twisted the inside is. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks!

    • Mawa Mahima

      Ah I love magical realism. It’s one of my favourite genres out there and the BEST thing about them is how ordinary and typical their blurbs sound. Then WHAM! The creep starts creeping in and by the time you finish it you get all “WTF did I just read?!” but in a good way. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • http://www.nyxbookreviews.com/ Celine

        I should read more magic realism! It’s a really cool genre, and I love how weird the books get. Definitely WTF-y but in a good way! If you have any recommendations, send them my way!

        • Mawa Mahima

          Anything by David Almond or Kevin Brooks. PERFECTION. I’d recommend Heaven Eyes or Clay by David Almond and Lucas/Martyn Pig or Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks.

          • http://www.nyxbookreviews.com/ Celine

            Thank you! Can’t believe it took me almost three weeks, but I’ve added your recommendations to my TBR ๐Ÿ˜€

    • http://lolasreviews.com Lola

      Not sure if this is a book for me, but the magic realism and slightly creepy feel sound interesting. Although I don’t like books that are too dark or creepy, it’s difficult to know where when it’s creepy in a way I will enjoy or too creepy. And just like you I’ve dreamt entire book plots in my dreams, although they always sound way less good when awake then I thought they were when dreaming, lol. So I think dreams don’t always have to be confusing, they can contain a lot of plot as well. Great review!

      • http://www.nyxbookreviews.com/ Celine

        Hmm yeah, I sadly can’t judge for you whether it’s good creepy or bad creepy for you.

        Ha, I get what you mean! So many seem so good at night, and when you look back at them in the morning, they aren’t nearly as amazing. Though I do sometimes use my dreams as foundation for my stories, but I kind of take the crazy out of it.

    • Nadia Santos

      The book is uncompromising in its
      exploration of taboo subjects, cringe worthy scenes and a few icky
      moments. This book grabbed me from beginning to end. It was intense, not
      in action, but in the darkness that permeated it. If you like Edgar
      Allan Poe, this book is a must read. It is well written, enjoyable,
      confusing, frustrating, and so very good.

      Nadia
      Customer recommendations for Seattle SEO service

    • http://www.desertsagenatural.com DesertSageNatural

      In a theoretical sort of sense. Sort of. How bad for triggers do you think this would be for someone with a background of ritualized sexual abuse as a child? Inquiring minds want to know.

      • http://www.nyxbookreviews.com/ Celine

        If I recall correctly, there are two instances of abuse: one of rather questionable consent between two teens, and one of downright abuse between an adult and a child. I have no background in abuse so I have a hard time judging this for other people – it might be good to know beforehand though that the adult receives his just deserts.

        • http://www.desertsagenatural.com DesertSageNatural

          That last is definitely good to know.