Title: Some of the Parts
Author: Hannah Barnaby
Published: February 16th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Source: Finished copy courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review
"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."
Thoughts: SOME OF THE PARTS is a heartfelt, captivating story about a teenage girl who loses her older brother and desperately needs an escape. It's one of those rare real YA novels that will make you think about the decisions you make and how grief can affect people in different ways. From the writing to the characters, to the overall touching story, I found myself falling in love with this novel.
First off, let's talk about Tallie. Her brother dies in an accident, and Tallie is stricken with both grief and guilt. She wasn't expecting to lose him and still isn't ready to let go. One day, she learns that Nate was actually an organ donor. Are pieces of her brother still out there? To help with her anguish, she enlists Chase to help her begin searching for the recipients in the hopes of finding Nate again. To do this, she must lie to her parents, sneak around, and do things I don't necessarily approve of. Regardless, you have to understand that she's 16 years old. My mind may be wiser now, but it took over a decade to get there. With that said, I'm not sure if my 16 year old self would've done some of the things Tallie does in order to find the patients and meet them, but I can understand why she did.
It was interesting to read about the grief process and how others acted towards her. The sheer awkwardness of it all felt real yet sincere. What do you say in a situation like this when nothing can fix it? I also felt the way Tallie coped with it all was authentic. I was grateful for Mel, her friend, who stuck by her and didn't look at her differently. She treated Tallie like she always had, and I think that helped. The part her parents played was both touching and heartbreaking. I just couldn't imagine what everyone was going through, and they tried to help in whatever way they knew how, but how do hurt people help those who are hurting?
Now, while romance doesn't play a huge factor in this story, there is a guy who's there to help Tallie. I really admired Chase. Both him and Tallie will always have a soft spot in my heart. He's simply one of those rare good guys willing to help and doesn't want anything in return.
All in all, I truly adored this novel. I found myself shedding a few tears here and there and praying for even the smallest amount of comfort for these characters. SOME OF THE PARTS is a well-written novel I think both young adults and adults will enjoy.