Book Review: Kate Karyus Quinn’s Another Little Piece

June 10, 2013 4 out of 5, review 6 ★★★★

Book Review: Kate Karyus Quinn’s Another Little PieceTitle: Another Little Piece
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Genre: Young Adult
My Rating: four-stars
My Copy: Complimentary Copy via Epic Reads
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: The spine-tingling horror of Stephen King meets an eerie mystery worthy of Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars series in Kate Karyus Quinn's haunting debut.

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.

How many times have we coveted something we can’t have? While reading Another Little Piece, I couldn’t help but think of the old saying, “be careful for what you wish for.” A year ago, Annaliese Rose Gordon was at a party and it’s the last night anyone saw her alive. Most believe she’s dead, but when she shows up miles away from her hometown, her parents are overjoyed. Annaliese has no recollection about what happened to her the night she disappeared or what she was doing before she woke up. Little by little she tries to piece everything together only to come to a terrifying conclusion, she may not be Annaliese. If she’s not her, then who is she and why does she have this craving for blood? Another Little Piece is Kate Karyus Quinn debut novel and it’s a beautiful haunting debut.

The writing is beautiful and is told primarily in first person narration. It makes sense because this is Annaliese’s tale and her journey to find answers. Everything we see comes from her perspective and yet it’s not clouded and one sided. Through Annaliese we meet Dex, a neighbor her same age who sees the world through his use of lens. He’s an outsider and many in the community consider him a creep and he befriends her; together they form a friendship and they both realize they have something else common, they aren’t who they say they are. Quinn also sets up the relationship between Annaliese and her parents and slowly we find out Annaliese isn’t close to her mother as we first believed. There’s a particular heartbreaking scene during the reunion when the mother hands her a piece of chocolate because they often had chocolate tastings. This Annaliese cannot stand the taste and it’s right then and there that Annaliese’s mother realizes this isn’t her daughter. It’s interesting that Quinn has this Annaliese call them “the parents” or “the mom” and “the dad.” She sets up the difference and this Annaliese never has a relationship with them. They keep a distance and it’s intriguing because the mother never wants to leave her alone and she’s showing her distrust of this girl who looks like her daughter, but isn’t. At first, I thought it had to do with them trying to find the family dynamic back after going through the trauma of Annaliese’s disappearance, but it makes the reader wonder. Reading Annaliese’s poems, they are littered with loneliness and I can’t help, but wonder what her home life was like prior to the event. If I can take the moment to touch upon the narration’s timeline, it’s told primarily in the present, but a few times it switches to a past event in her life. It may confuse the reader at the first and few might not think it’s necessary, but again I’d like to point out that we’re on a journey to find out who this Annaliese is.

Character development is strong and we have a lot of characters. Not only do we have Annaliese, we have the old Annaliese that we get to know. Every girl has been in her shoes, crushing on the popular boy and getting excited when he notices us. It was difficult to associate with this Annaliese than the one we are left with because the “real” Annaliese seemed selfish at times and even kept her best friend Gwen in the dark and kept a lot of secrets. Again, I’m not sure if it’s because she was lonely and wanted a different life or because Quinn set it up for us to like the other Annaliese. We also get introduced to Logan, the popular jock who may know more to Annaliese’s disappearance than meets the eye. I had trouble warming up to him; his guilt is genuine and yet I just couldn’t see him other than this pathetic jock who screwed up. In the background, we have Eric who tries to infiltrate this Annaliese’s life and get her to do things, but she has no memory of who he is. We’re left asking the question, if we should trust him.

I know there are a lot of mixed reviews for Another Little Piece. Quinn doesn’t come out and lay the facts immediately. She slowly feeds us the information we crave and yet even when she gives us the answers we want, not all our questions get answered. The biggest centers around the shadowy figure called The Physician. By the end, I had more questions than answers and yet, I like that Quinn kept us in the dark as to who he is. After all, when reading a horror book or even watching a film, the scariest unknown parts are the best because they feed our imaginations. There are also a lot of questions regarding the ending and while it’s not your typical ending, it leaves a lot to interpretation. I like to think of it as that film with an open ending and therefore I like to believe Annaliese was free from the life she had no choice to partake in and lives the best she can as “the” Annaliese.

I debated with the rating between a three and four, but decided on a four. The reason has to do with Annaliese’s poems which were heartbreaking and beautiful and because the writing had rich descriptions. I gagged a few times during the scenes where the promise process was fulfilled and won’t go into details as to not spoil to you. Just don’t eat anything prior to reading. Also because of the suspense and mystery were well done and thought out.

Overall, Kate Karyus Quinn’s Another Little Piece is a strong debut and she’s an author to watch. It’s not an easy book to read, but if you’re looking for a slow read and can handle gore, this is a book for you.

Please note: Although it’s a categorized as a YA book, it really is for older teens.

6 Responses to “Book Review: Kate Karyus Quinn’s Another Little Piece”

    • Jessica

      I hope you get around to it! I can’t find my copy or I’d lend it to you.

  1. Eve

    This book sounds so good! I’m almost tempted to go to Goodreads and read reviews with spoilers… haha. It seems like it’s chock-full of mystery and I love that <3 As soon as I saw that it was compared to Pretty Little Liars, I added it to my TBR list; I'd forgotten about it until now, though. And the whole things about Annaliese not being the 'real' Annaliese is so intriguing… I really can't wait to read this!
    Eve recently posted…Top Ten Books I’d Read On The BeachMy Profile

    • Jessica

      I understand the need for spoilers because I went in search of them when I was reading. I had so many questions and I wanted someone to confirm a few things. The jury still is out there with this and I’m curious to see how others react. When you get a chance, let me know your thoughts even if you end hating it.

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