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The Million Pieces of Neena Gill
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The Million Pieces of Neena Gill (Paperback)

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'Powerful, relatable and uplifting' - Emily Barr, author of The One Memory of Flora Banks

How can I hold myself together, when everything around me is falling apart?

Neena's always been a good girl - great grades, parent-approved friends and absolutely no boyfriends.

But ever since her brother Akash left her, she's been slowly falling apart - and uncovering a new version of herself who is freer, but altogether more dangerous.

As her wild behaviour spirals more and more out of control, Neena's grip on her sanity begins to weaken too.

And when her parents announce not one but two life-changing bombshells, she finally reaches breaking point.

But as Neena is about to discover, when your life falls apart, only love can piece you back together.

Children'sFiction & true storiesFamily & home storiesChildren'sFiction & true storiesRomance & relationships storiesChildren'sFiction & true storiesSchool stories Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd Publication Date: 11/07/2019 ISBN-13: 9780241363317  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Emma Smith-Barton was born in South Wales to Pakistani parents. Growing up between cultures has heavily influenced her writing and she is especially interested in exploring themes of identity and belonging. Before writing, she taught in secondary schools for six years and is passionate about increasing awareness of mental health in young people. Her short stories have appeared in various publications such as Mslexia and The Bristol Short Story Prize 2016 anthology (under her pseudonym for adult fiction, Amna Khokher). The Million Pieces of Neena Gill is Emma's first novel for young adults.

More books by Emma Smith-Barton

Customer Reviews

A brilliant book about growing pains and grief. I have to be honest, I don't read YA books unless you count the countless Judy Blume books I read during my own coming-of-age a thousand incarnations ago. But this book was a brilliant baptism into a genre that I could truly grow to love. Neena Gill lives with her strict, religious, conservative Pakistani parents and one night, her older, beloved brother, Akasha simply vanishes without a trace after a party. The book deals with the different ways in which people experience and cope with (or don’t cope with) extraordinary losses. Neena’s character is full and rich, sometimes child-like even for a 15-year-old, and we traverse her journey through her loss, her confusion and her guilt as she tries to make sense of someone she loves dearly simply not being there anymore. This book gives depth to issues such as depression in all its forms as well as other mental health issues such as anxiety, suicidality and psychosis. The de-stigmatisation of mental health issues is a topic I am very passionate about – especially in adolescents – so I was moved by how the author navigated these issues; all very subtly and delicately written. The effect of mental illness was, perhaps, better addressed in this book than in some books I have read aimed at an adult audience. The writing is accessible and flows beautifully. I read this book in a few days. There are moments of desperation and gut-wrenching sadness. I admit to shedding a few tears and having a lump in my throat at times. But it is also a story of how young people are forced to grapple with two disparate worlds: the one they grew up in where their parents dictate the status quo and the one they are striving to make their own reality, their independence. This conflict fuels much of the story. There is even a softer, sweeter love story that took me back to my days as a teen, crushing hard and awkwardly on a boy. It is very bitter-sweet and poignant and also displays Neena’s growing defiance as she makes choices in her romantic relationship that could jeopardise her future plans. This book provides accurate, I believe, insight into the multi-faceted, fragile mind of a teen who is slowly losing hers. I highly recommend this book and I do believe I am unashamedly a YA convert now. Desiree-Anne Martin Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.

- 15/07/2019
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