Published: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
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.
My Thoughts“Maybe this is the ultimate puzzle. Maybe, knowing there are pieces of Nate still in the world, I can find a way to fix what I did.”
A heartfelt story about loss, grief and the road to recovery. Some of the Parts by Hannah Barnaby sacrifices no expense at sharing a poignant story about a girl who tirelessly searches for ways to recover from the death of her brother.
Tallie McGovern lives is very different life than six months prior. She’s working at a job that requires little engagement from her. Her friends are no longer a part of her life, and mostly importantly she attends a grief counseling group at school to attempt to find ways to recover from the lose of her older brother.
The accident that took Nate’s life plagues Tallie with an overwhelming guilt because she was driving the car the day it happened. Then, months after that horrific event, Tallie comes across a correspondence that reveals her brother’s organs were donate the day he died. That leads Tallie on a quest, with the help of Chase, to find the organ recipients in an attempt to put the pieces of Nate together and find some comfort in knowing a part of him is still out there.
Throughout the story, I had to keep reminding myself that Tallie was young, grief stricken and well young… Some of her choices would have bothered me if she were older, wiser and in a different frame of mind. For example, I struggled with the lies and deceit that got her through the day, such as going through her dad’s history browser, reading her mom’s journal, skipping class, falsifying who she was to the possible donor recipients and doctors, and pretty much disregarding the two people who really cared about her. I found it ironic that she was upset her father read her email when Tallie was guilty of much worse.
There was a part of the story that I felt was conveniently dropped, and it revolves around her newly acquired friend Mel who has odd interests, such as welding old pieces of farm equipment into dangers sculptures, abstract paintings, and taxidermy. She’s different, but the reason Tallie gravitates to her is because Mel is the only one that doesn’t treat her differently. However, Mel’s true self was never fully explored. She shared something at the end with Tallie (view spoiler) that felt unresolved. I would have liked to see this fleshed out a bit more.
Overall, this story explores the grief of a sibling that harbors intense sadness and guilt over the death of her brother. I appreciated the messages explored throughout the novel. Emotional story…
If this sounds like a book you might enjoy, I'm giving away a hardback copy of Some of the Parts by Hannah Barnaby. Simply fill out the Rafflecopter and share a thoughtful comment. Entries will be reviewed for comments. Open to US Residents only.