Hannah Barnaby - Some of the PartsExpected publication: February 16, 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Sometimes bad things happen, and we are not the same when they are over.
For months, Tallie McGovern has been coping with the death of her older brother the only way she knows how: by smiling bravely and pretending that she's okay. She’s managed to fool her friends, her parents, and her teachers so far, yet she can’t even say his name out loud: “N—” is as far as she can go. But when Tallie comes across a letter in the mail, it only takes two words to crack the careful façade she’s built around herself:
Two words that had apparently been checked off on her brother’s driver’s license; two words that her parents knew about—and never confided to her. All at once, everything Tallie thought she understood about her brother’s death feels like a lie. And although a part of her knows he’s gone forever, another part of her wonders if finding the letter might be a sign. That if she can just track down the people on the other end of those two words, it might somehow bring him back.
Hannah Barnaby’s deeply moving novel asks questions there are no easy answers to as it follows a family struggling to pick up the pieces, and a girl determined to find the brother she wasn’t ready to let go of.
~Very We'll Never Be Apart meets Things We Know By Heart. Interesting. Just not for me.
After a car accident on a wet road, Tallie's brother, Nate, is left dead and Tallie is traumatized. Tallie takes a majority of the blame as she'd been the driver. Months later, her parents are slowly coming to terms with their son's death and her best friend, Mel, tries her best to help Tallie through the situation but she remains stuck on what could've been. Tallie carries around his MP3, affectionately named Matty, and reminisces about the better times.
One afternoon, Tallie discovers a letter in the mail, informing her Nate's organs have been donated. Not only is she devastated, but she wants nothing more than to find the recipients. Mainly, the owner of his heart. She pretends to be her mother and emails every organ donation agency in desperate search of their recipients. However, her luck in this investigation is dim.
Though I certainly identified with Tallie's grievances, there were times I simply couldn't deal with her. She routinely verbally harassed and stalked her brother's ex-girlfriend, was outright rude to strangers for absolutely no reason, and outside of her brother, she had no interest in anything. If the story was centered off the POV of Nate's girlfriend, instead, it may've carried my interest further.
And Tallie's love interest was clingy. Like, really. I have no problem with a boy tagging along to a few outings but he followed her everywhere. In the school hallways, to coffee shops, whatever. And if Tallie wasn't with him, she'd be texting him. Honestly, where is your life?
Tallie's best friend, Mel, was so darling. Though she had an unusual penchant for taxidermy - um, okay - she remained by Tallie's side as often as she could. Whereas, Tallie didn't appreciate most of what Mel did for her, Mel never argued against her.
I can't explore too deep into the storyline without diving directly into spoiler territory, but I have to say the ending and what led up to it was confusing and cliché and could've been executed better. Even so, I have nothing but praise for Hannah Barnaby's debut. Her writing is stunning and I was particularly taken by a few quotes. Nonetheless, it's an empowering, realistic, thought-provoking read.