Author: Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release date: December 11, 2012
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What if your life wasn’t your own?
Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.
Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?
All the Broken Pieces was definitely one heck of a ride that had me going and going and going until I was gone. It was definitely unique and it really had my wheels turning. There was so much mystery and intrigue that I really had no idea what to think or conclude; I had all these crazy theories to explain the voices inside Liv’s head to why her parents were so elusive every time she asked them something about her past… or even anything that was a little bit personal. I really enjoyed how Cindi Madsen executed the plot of the story and the way it all came about—I mean, I would have never (in a million years) ever guessed the how and why factors; I was literally dumbfounded, shocked, and to be honest, a little (or… a lot) creeped out when everything came to light.
First of all, let me just say that All the Broken Pieces could not have been a more appropriate and fitting title and this goes for the cover as well; after finishing the story, it makes all the sense in the world. The story opens up with Olivia on a hospital bed, waking up after being in a coma. The vivid images that Madsen evokes leaves nothing left to the imagination. I saw it all so clearly and from the get-go, I knew something was off, not quite right. As Liv recovers, she realizes there are two very distinct voices inside her head that are constantly bickering with each other. This had me reeling. For one, I didn’t know what to make of it. Based off the synopsis, I wasn’t really sure if I should expect Paranormal elements or if it was slightly Contemporary or… what. It was kind of creepy because these two voices had personality and their own character that just had me going off the charts, lol. I think Liv was such a well-written character, the way how Madsen put together her thoughts and her dialogue (if that even makes any sense, whatsoever), I loved it! Eventually, she begins to have these very detailed dreams that have her questioning everything: the voices, herself, her past, her parents, and her accident. Believe me, I was losing it; I couldn’t read fast enough to find out why, why, and why! As if all this going on inside her head wasn’t enough, she had high school to deal with—oh the joys of that, eh?
But, it’s at this high school that she comes upon the one and only, Spencer. *giddily claps hands together* I love him; he’s another character that Madsen wrote so well. When Liv first meets him, he comes off as rude and maybe even a little bit mean but the more Liv gets to know him, we find out that he has baggage and a heavy past of his own. I so, so, so loved the relationship between Liv and Spencer. It was comfortable. They were comfortable with each other and the way they talked to each to other—I loved it so much. At first, it’s kind of weird and guarded because well… you can’t just blurt out to someone when you first meet them that you hear voices in your head. Well, you can but how weird would that be? The more they’re together, the more they start to reveal about each other. Before you know it, the walls began to crumble around Spencer, with the help of all the friends from school. Told you, the joys! As Liv learns about Spencer, she begins to go hardcore at all the unanswered questions in her life.
The one place for all the answers is her parents… or even Google. When the first wave of how and why came to light, I was shocked and even a little bit scared. Oh wait, very confused too. Probably way more confused than Liv herself. Trust me, some re-reading of passages most definitely occurred as I tried to wrap my head around its possibility. As Liv picks up all the broken pieces of her life, this image comes together and I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Madsen definitely blew me out of the water. I had all these suspicions, these crazy theories, these ideas… but what was revealed left me jaw-dropped and just straight up surprised! Towards the end, the images become so real that you almost want to cover your eyes from what you’re reading. Like I said earlier, the title, All the Broken Pieces, couldn’t have been more perfect because when everything comes together, everything seems to be in slow motion, as if you’ve finally found the right puzzle piece after working on it for days and days and then boom, it slides right in and it’s the absolute perfect fit. Cindi Madsen has written and executed such a thrilling and one of a kind story that will glue you to your seat, one that won’t let you take your eyes off, no doubt about it!