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  • Published: 29 May 2017
  • ISBN: 9780143770473
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $19.99

Pieces of You

Wise, tough, heart-breaking, funny, this compulsive love story is about facing your demons.

Wise, tough, heart-breaking, funny, this compulsive love story is about facing your demons.

Fifteen-year-old Rebecca McQuilten moves with her parents to a new city. Lonely but trying to fit in, she goes to a party, but that’s when things really fall apart.

I couldn’t tell anyone what had happened. Especially since I was the new girl in town. Who would want to believe me?

Things look up when she meets gregarious sixteen-year-old Cory Marshall.

‘You’re funny, Becs,’ Cory said.
‘You have no idea,’ I said, and clearly he didn’t, but I was smiling anyway.
And after that, he was all I could think about.

Cory helps Rebecca believe in herself and piece her life back together; but that’s before he shatters it all over again . . .

  • Pub date: 29 May 2017
  • ISBN: 9780143770473
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Eileen Merriman

Eileen Merriman works full-time as a consultant haematologist at North Shore Hospital. Her writing has appeared in a number of national and international journals and anthologies, including Smokelong Quarterly, The Island Review, Literary Orphans, the Bath Short Story Award Anthology 2015, the Sunday Star-Times, F(r)iction, takahe, Headland and Flash Frontier. Her first novel was Pieces of You, with reviewers calling it 'compulsively readable' and 'compelling, challenging, and heartbreaking'. It was a 2018 Storylines Notable Book and, along with her second novel, it was shortlisted for the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

Her other awards include runner-up in the 2018 Sunday Star-Times Short Story Award, third for three consecutive years in the 2014-2016 Sunday Star-Times Short Story Awards, second in the 2015 Bath Flash Fiction Award, commended in the 2015 Bath Short Story Competition, and first place in the 2015 Graeme Lay Short Story Competition.

Also by Eileen Merriman

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Praise for Pieces of You

“I found it to be compelling, challenging, and heartbreaking, but very real. It handles teen issues with grace and sensitivity but doesn't shy away from honesty.”

Katherine Granich, Tots to Teens

“Eileen Merriman’s debut YA novel Pieces of You is the kind of book you want to read in one sitting because it is so breathtakingly good. It is like a globe artichoke: sweet, layered, bitter. . . . this is an acute reading experience. It feels utterly real. It does not smudge the tough stuff. It is kaleidoscopic in both emotion and everyday detail. Detail that animates the lives of two teens. . . . Eileen writes with such a flair for dialogue, for family circumstances, for teenage struggles and joys. This is the kind of book that will stay at the front of my mind all week and longer – I recommend it highly.”

Paula Green, Poetry Shelf

“. . . really well done and sensitive . . . beautiful and tragic at the same time . . . a really good book . . . a controversial book”

James Russell, Radio NZ

“Welcome to New Zealand author Eileen Merriman’s debut YA novel, Pieces of You, which could well become one of the biggest local YA books of the year. It’s intelligent, literate—chapter headings reference classical and contemporary books—without becoming too scholarly, it’s pertinent, witty when it needs to be, thought-provoking and relatable.”

Dionne Christian, NZ Herald

“She absolutely nails the 15/16-year-old teenage girl mentality: the obsessive self-consciousness, the mood swings, the narrow focus on this very second of time and the belief that it’s all about them. . . The love interest in the story will keep the pages flying for many readers, I imagine. And here, again, Merriman’s acute observation and awareness of teen mentality comes to the fore. It all feels very real and fresh . . . what makes this novel fresh is her focus on the minutia of the teens’ lives and her awareness of teen mentality.”

Denis Wright, The Sapling

“This is quality New Zealand fiction for the young adult reader in your family. . . . Merriman captures the highs and lows, insecurities and the search for purpose as a young adult navigates their way into adulthood. A very honest, relevant and sometimes raw, novel.”

Wairarapa Times-Age Weekend

“This tragic teen romance is so compulsively readable it's hard to believe this is Kiwi writer Eileen Merriman's first published novel. . . I defy anyone to put Pieces of You down once they have started it. Not since John Green's 2012 novel The Fault in Our Stars have I read anything quite so tragically sweet.”

Diane McCarthy, Eastern Bay Life

“This book was nothing but a brilliant piece of young adult literature and I am so glad that I was able to have the chance to read something that brought a fraction of my teenage reality to life. I've never come across a novel that has been able to pin point specific issues that teenagers struggle with every day and has been able to resolve it in a way that doesn't leave you feeling frustrated and ripped off. I'd like to personally award Eileen Merriman for writing the most accurate and unbelievably heartfelt young adult debut EVER!”

Ella Fleming, Words of Euphoric Nostalgia bookblog

“Eileen Merriman creates genuine teenage characters . . . If anything is taken away by the reader from reading this book, it's understanding the importance of consent . . .The permeation of daily student life and goals makes Pieces of You so understandable, and therefore enjoyable, for the average teenage reader. . . . Merriman really knows what she's doing when developing Rebecca's (or Becs, as Cory calls her) and Cory's relationship, with heartstring-tugging lines that make you wish you were in the story. . . . it really is the metaphorical journey and the relationships of the characters within the novel that make this book worth reading.”

Flora Fan, NZ Books

“Pieces of You is the typical YA coming-of-age novel that surprisingly offers more than a cliche. Not least, it is uniquely set in a familiar setting of Auckland. Eileen Merriman creates genuine teenage characters – one aspect within the YA genre that often feels lacking or underdeveloped, and so is much appreciated when done right. . . . Regrets, anger, new beginnings, you name it – they’re all there. Even though, in this sense, Pieces of You doesn’t offer anything particularly new, it really is the metaphorical journey and the relationships of the characters within the novel that make this book worth reading.”

Flora Fan, aged 16, hookedonbooks.org.nz

Awards & Recognition

  • Storylines Notable Book Award

    Awarded • 2018 • Notable Book

  • New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

    Shortlisted • 2018 • NZ Awards for Children and Young Adults

Discover More

We asked some of our Instagram community to review advance copies of Pieces of You – here's what they had to say.
Book Clubs
Read the story being discussed on Jesse Mulligan’s show on Radio New Zealand on 22 February 2018.

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