Book Review – The Final Piece by Maggi Myers

by Maryse on January 6, 2013 · 10 comments

in My Book Reviews

The Final Piece
This is one of the last books I read in 2012, and it quickly enthralled me, due to the author’s exquisite 5 star writing. However at times, it absolutely devastated me. I had to step away for awhile, before writing the review. It’s a “deeper” book, dealing with childhood trauma and abuse (absolutely horrid), with the main character’s growth and healing as she ages into adulthood, being the focus (and providing the relief).

I had learned the hard way that just closing the door doesn’t keep people out.

The author’s writing was so effective, so brilliantly descriptive…and to me, so perfect, that it didn’t take me long at all to become one with the book. I was excited about the dark journey I was about to embark upon, and right off the bat, simply because of the writing style, I knew this was going to be one of those angsty, yet intelligent, “darker” reads. It just had that feel.

There is no steel shutter or iron gate to hide behind. I am completely exposed.

How am I ever going to look anyone in the eye ever again?

I was just so positive about how amazing this book was going to be, that I immediately emailed and suggested it to a friend who liked these kinds of reads, too. I didn’t even know yet, what we were in for, but was convinced by the writing alone.

So why did I need to step away? There were a few integral scenes, that went too far for my reading comfort. Too descriptive. Too much detail. Too painful and much too shocking. I could have had the same impression, understanding and devastation over the situation without that.

I open my eyes and stare at the ceiling fan going around in rhythmic circles, like a helicopters blades. I pretend for a moment that the helicopter is here to sweep me away to a family where the mom and dad love and adore me and their friends don’t love me so much.

sidenote from Maryse: this was an easier, safer “quote” that gave me a good idea of… it. I wish it would have been more… like that.

Sure, I like to be shocked, to be appalled and for risks to be taken with certain subjects and books. I like when an author pushes boundaries, and really forces me out of my comfort zone. I find I connect and remember a book even more if I was it takes me by surprise and really shakes me up. I like that sort of thing (maybe even prefer it) for a lot of subjects.

Just not that one.

After a couple of those main scenes, I continued reading with trepidation. Worrying that there might be more scenes like it coming. And because of that, I held myself at arms length for the rest of the read. It took me awhile to “come back” from wherever my mind blanked out to, right after that. To be able to read without my mind wandering, yanking me right back to my shock again. Making me agonize. Sick to my stomach. Basically, I struggled to keep my focus until the effect wore off. And it never really did. Even now, when I think back to it, I just wish the author included the “flashbacks” perhaps in a less obvious way. In this case, for me, less would have certainly been more.

But the author brought me back. She did.

Gran reaches for Pops’ hand and rubs her thumb across his knuckles. Joy is radiating off her, filling up the space between each one of us. It pulses through our veins, connecting us to one another. This is family. This is my family, a menagerie of blood and friendship. Both equal, both vital.

*sigh* See what I mean? Seeeee? How AMAZING is that little quote from the book? I was so enraptured by it that I highlighted it and wrote TWO notes for it. “Most eloquent quote EVER!” and “So beautiful.” This is the kind of writing you are in for.

Her expressive, poignant and simply beautiful writing brought me back to the present, had me swooning and delighting in the heroine’s crush (and oh boy did I swooooon!!). Gentle. Funny. Sweet. Pretty.

But the heroine has a hard time with that.

… I can’t help but replay Ryan’s voice in my head over and over.


Pretty messed up.

Pretty stupid.

Pretty ridiculous.

Pretty pathetic I thought he meant me.

*sniff* I loved everything about this… them.

And therein lies my other issue. I was sooooo into that part of the book, so hopeful, so happy because it was just so normal. It helped me forget what I had just read. I could come back again. And while I feel the heroine’s healing is the most important part of this story…

The ease at which they show affection makes me fidgety but it is as natural to them as breathing. I don’t like shows of affection; it confuses me. It’s hard to get much out of such things when you are constantly wondering about ulterior motive. Somebody always wants something in return. Nothing comes free.

… I was happy that we were getting a potential love story. And it’s a part of it. But I just needed more. I wanted to indulge. There was angst and heartache (and I usually like that) but in this respect, it was… too much of too little, for too long.

So there you have it. I was finally able to come out of my shell with this book, while describing it (along with another one of my favorites, dealing with a similar subject matter) to my husband as we drove around today. He was certainly interested in both stories, and once I got this one off of my chest, told him my issues, I knew I was ready to let you know.

3.75 to 4 stars — and I’m leaning towards 4 stars, ’cause the writing to me, is easily 5 stars plus. Good story overall, but sometimes it was too much. And sometimes it was not enough.

Thanks to all of you who recommended it to me. I know why you did. She’s an amazing writer.

Thanks to the author for sending me a review copy. I can’t wait to see what you have in store next!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirsten January 6, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Loved this book. The writing is excellent, and dealt with such a sensitive subject wonderfully. Great review Maryse.

Lise January 6, 2013 at 8:21 PM

I really liked this book but I’am right with you on the detail the author wrote the sexual abuse scene….intense to the point where I felt sick. But I guess that is how you would feel in real life. Anyway, nice review as always!

Takisha January 6, 2013 at 8:41 PM

Nice review…agree with you on the detail..overall i really liked it..i would give it a 4

Kelly January 6, 2013 at 9:54 PM

A friend sent this to me, and I started it, but sadly, had to put it down about 15% or 20% in, since I could not handle the abuse I knew was to get worse. It was so heartbreaking and way too descriptive. I agree, the writing is magnificent, maybe too good, since I felt as if I was there with her in her room. I’d love to pick this up again if I were able to fast forward through the disturbing parts. I look forward to reading more from her, hopefully something with not so much description. : )

Jess January 7, 2013 at 6:53 AM

I just read this book in a few hours. While I can relate to the scenes being graphic, it definitely made me connect with how she was feeling. I loved it and cried several times.

Lisa76 January 7, 2013 at 8:34 AM

This was a wonderful book and it was beautifully written.

Kristin January 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM

LOVED this book. I was completely taken in and felt like part of the story. I was as well shocked by the details, but was amazed how the author was able to make you really feel what it would be like, to stand in those shoes for just a moment. And, it made the love story that much sweeter, I cried numerous times and always know then that I am reading an amazing story!!

Maryse January 7, 2013 at 1:30 PM

A moving book for sure!! I highlighted soooo much of it.

kelsey January 8, 2013 at 6:18 AM

Read this last night after seeing your review, I think the author was right to go into detail as it made us really understand and feel her emotions. Loved this book, was different to all the slushy mushy stuff going around.. Read so many great books over the last week including Vain which is also excellent.. I’m in book heaven!! :-)

Jeanie V February 8, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Finished this this morning and was blown away!!! Beautiful, beautiful writing even though some of the details were very disturbing! What a great story. I thought I knew what was going to happen but this book pleasantly surprised me. Tommy and Ryan… sigh… I was so devastated and a crying fool but Ryan was such a sweetheart and made everything better. :) Great book!!!

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