Series: A Foundation Novel #1
Published by Wattpad on August 11, 2014
For sixteen year old Peyton Lane, life has never been easy. She’s not popular, overweight, and oh yeah, her sister is embarrassed of her. But over the course of a tumultuous year, everything changes for Peyton. Suddenly all eyes are on her and it’s not because she’s fat. From a pair of handsome twins to a couple of dangerously sexy rockers, Peyton will have to find out who she can trust with her heart. From the ups and downs to the twists and turns—this is Peyton’s story of finding one’s voice and growing into your own.
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I’m not sure where to start here. This novel has a lot of promise but that promise isn’t executed well. As a whole it reads like a first or second draft.
I really enjoyed the premise of the book. Peyton is a character with deep flaws and the fortitude to change. She has the potential to be a really strong character that teen girls can look up to. Unfortunately, Adams does not deliver on this potential. I was on board with Peyton as she lost some weight with her friends and started a rock band. I thought, “This is a really interesting story!” The story engrossed me. Peyton is naturally boy crazy (as all teenagers are). Adams lost me when Peyton continued to fall for anyone who would give her attention. I get that she loves Colton because he’s in her favorite band. Who wouldn’t love a rock star? I get her crush on Jax. I secretly loved the most popular guy in school. I can understand the insta-love she has for Jace. But she flits back and forth between them all depending on who gives her the most attention. THEN she started questioning her feelings for Jace when her band mate professed his love out of nowhere. That’s where Adams lost me. I realized that Peyton really wasn’t as strong as I thought she was. This is solidified later on when she GIVES UP HER BAND in favor of an acting career with her boyfriend. Really? Co-dependent relationship much?
I might have given this book 3 stars if my gripes had stopped there. But there were several inconsistencies that jumped out at me too. The first really glaring moment is when the author refers to “Jace’s parents.” Adams established early on that his mother is dead. Though I will say that it’s a small error that is easily overlooked. I also had a head-scratching moment when Peyton was prescribed “over the counter anxiety medication.” You can’t get anxiety medications over the counter because you have to be closely monitored by a doctor. That’s something you can easily find out by doing a simple Google search. There are homeopathic anxiety supplements out there but I don’t think that’s what Adams meant. I was also flummoxed by Peyton’s friends graduating early. Why would they do that? More importantly, if they graduated early, why were they allowed to go to the school dance later in the book? I know at my high school you had to be a student to attend for safety reasons. I know all this sounds really nit-picky. I can handle one inconsistency. No book is perfect. But there were so many in the last half of the book that I had trouble staying engrossed in the story.
I think a lot of the plot issues boils down to a shoddily written first person narrative. This is one thing I always rail on about when I review indies (and traditionally published books, to be honest.). First person is HARD to write. Really hard. It’s hard to develop the supporting characters correctly. It’s hard to keep the story from sounding episodic. It’s hard to adhere to the “show, don’t tell” rule. It’s hard to keep the narrative from sounding contrived. It’s easy to use first person and pop unexpected elements into the story without any explanation. I have to wonder if this novel would have worked better in 3rd person. I craved details and Pieces of Me did not deliver them. For example, I was never sure WHY Jax terrorized Peyton.
But, Adams can sure write a great passionate “sex” scene. There was no sex in Pieces of Me but it came really close and was very well done. She definitely has that down to a science. I also really loved the rock band scenes and how powerful Peyton feels on stage. I just wish she could have harnessed that power to tell all the guys in her life to f*** off so she could go be fabulous. Peyton really is fabulous underneath the contrived romance plot that Adams fabricates.
I struggle here because it seems like I hate Pieces of Me. I don’t. It shows promise. But I can’t help but think that it needs to go through more substantive editing to truly live up to that promise. I read the story quickly because, at times, I couldn’t put it down. It was a weird mix of engrossment and me literally shaking my head and rolling my eyes.
© 2014, Jessica Workman Holland. All rights reserved.