Saturday, May 29, 2021

Review: Marly in Pieces by Cathrina Constantine

 Today's review is an amazing young adult read, which I've been meaning to pick up since it appeared last year but just didn't have the time. 

But it was well worth the wait, and I might be reading it again soon. (Yep, I loved this one)

by Cathrina Constantine
Young Adult Contemporary
260 pages


Marly refuses to believe her friend, Rae, committed suicide. Even though her wrists were slit, Marly knows her beautifully vibrant bestie would never do that.

Even though the two had drifted apart, Marly and Rae made a blood promise long ago to always look out for each other. Even in death, Marly intends to honor that vow.

Determined to find Rae’s killer, Marly faces a long list of potential suspects. It seems everyone has secrets or lies they are covering up… including the boy she loves. Can Marly uncover the murderer’s identity before she becomes the next victim?



This one does a few triggers: suicide, violent deaths, bullying, self-harm, abuse

With potent writing, this read pulls in, hits home and leaves one on the edge of their seat for a tense and gripping end.

Marly's very best friend has gone missing, a girl who she not only shares a blood oath with but who she loves deeply despite their recently drifting a bit apart. Hoping to help find her, Marly heads to their secret place, and there makes a horrible discovery. Marly has trouble coping with the idea that her best friend is now dead, but soon, she realizes that there's a larger problem involved. She has reason to believe there's a murderer among them, and she very well might be on that person's list.

I love how this one is written. The author first sets up a heart stabbing scene full of tension, which grabs the reader on the very first page. Marly's best friend is missing...more than just a friend...and nobody has a clue where she went. But the author soon flips into a dance between flashbacks and present day, which reveal all sorts of secrets and emotions, linking Marly and her best friend. It gives wonderful character depth and makes it hard not to feel for Marly and connect with her. Usually, I'm not a huge fan of this sort of time-hopping, but the author does it masterfully, drawing out the right atmosphere and information while never allowing it to feel forced or chaotic. 

There are heavy themes in these pages, and the reader should be aware of that before tackling this one. Yet, these are handled age appropriately and with care. It cuts at the heart and gut, while adding the necessary setting for the tale. It gives the friendship, and later more tense situation, a lot of depth. The thriller end starts out slowly and smoothly comes in as the chapters advance. It's a wonderful slide from the first chapters and kept me in the pages until the very end. This is one of those books, which I didn't want to put down until that last page.

1 comment:

Cathrina Constantine said...

Tonja, I am so glad you liked Marly. And thank you for this FABULOUS review!!