I think I’ve been pretty clear about my undying love and affection for Suzanne Young. She’s one of my favorite people and I just lose my mind every time I see she’s got a new pretty to obsess over. When I read the synopsis for All in Pieces, I was instantly captivated, even though contemp is not my bag, baby.
When I got approved for it on EW, I was so so so excited, but I didn’t read it right away because then it would be over. I know that sounds crazy, but the anticipation was awesome. And of course when I finally read it, I devoured it in one sitting, loved it like whoa, and immediately emailed Suzanne about an interview.
Thankfully, she’s always open to my brand of insanity, and said yes! Before we get to her answers, let’s check out the book.
Title: All in Pieces
Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub Date: 11/8/16
From New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young comes a heartrending new novel about a girl struggling to deal with anger issues while taking care of her younger brother with special needs.
That’s how they classified Savannah Sutton after she stuck a pencil in her ex-boyfriend’s hand because he mocked her little brother, Evan, for being disabled. That’s why they sent her to Brooks Academy—an alternative high school that’s used as a temporary detention center.
The days at Brooks are miserable, but at home, life is far more bleak. Savvy’s struggling to take care of her brother since her mom left years ago, and her alcoholic dad can’t be bothered. Life with Evan is a constant challenge, but he’s also the most important person in the world to Savvy.
Then there’s Cameron, a new student at Brooks with issues of his own; a guy from a perfect family that Savvy thought only existed on TV. Cameron seems determined to break through every one of the walls Savvy’s built around herself, except if she lets herself trust him, it could make everything she’s worked so hard for fall apart in an instant.
And with her aunt seeking custody of her brother and her ex-boyfriend seeking revenge, Savvy’s fighting to hold all the pieces together. But she’s not sure how much tighter she can be pulled before she breaks completely.
Sounds good, right?
1. Please give the elevator pitch for All in Pieces.
A hard-ass girl shows her soft edges when caring for her little brother, but faced with losing custody of him and the escalating violence from her ex-boyfriend, she’ll have to fight harder than ever to keep all of the pieces of her life together.
Eh, that doesn’t do it justice. Sorry.
2. Where did the idea come from?
This is a deeply personal book. I wrote the original draft of this book in 2007, shortly after my grandmother died. I was raw, heartbroken. The story of a girl living below the poverty line mimicked my own life. The “type” of friends the character had—the ones society looked past—were like mine. Their friendships were based on fierce loyalty.
But it’s difficult to write a book like this because there’s a fine line between how the world is and how we want it to be. When hurt, the characters don’t go to the usual sources for help—they distrust them. They turn to each other. They protect each other. And although that is not everyone’s story—nor should it be—it is this story. My story.
At the same time, it’s not only mine so I hesitate to talk too much about the people who lived this story with me. I’m a private person, and so I have to respect their privacy as well.
3. Why do you love Savannah and why should we root for her?
Savannah is tough—she’s had to be—and she is combative, angry, and distrustful. But she loves her little brother more than anything in the world. In fact, she would burn the world down if it meant saving him. Savannah is loyal. And when it comes to her brother, she is fierce and protective. And I love that about her.
4. You have an excellent cast of characters. Excluding Savannah, who was the easiest and hardest to work with?
I love everything about Retha. Everything about her is so real to me, and she was easy to write in the fact that she had such an amazing attitude that her one-liners were always at the ready. And I got to swear a lot.
It was very difficult to write Patrick. I know some villains should have depth/redeemable qualities, but… I don’t know. Some people are just terrible. I’m not even saying that jokingly. There truly are awful people in this world—and he is one of them. So I hate-wrote him.
5. What was your favorite scene to write?
I loved so many scenes in the book. I really enjoyed writing the “blow pop” scene, and also the scene when Savannah and Cameron FINALLY get on the same page
Speed [ish] round:
1. What book do you wish you could read again for the first time?
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
2. What book character would you want to date and who would you want to be your BFF?
If I were much younger, I would say Dexter from This Lullaby was totally my type. And I’d be BFFs with Remy, as well.
3. Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Both. Pants the heck out of first books, and plot out the sequels.
4. What was the last book you rated 5 stars?
GLITTER by Aprillynne Pike
5. You have 30 minutes inside Disneyland without crowds or lines. What’s your game plan?
AH!!! Churro and then immediately to Indiana Jones. Then to Thunder Mountain Railroad, cotton candy, and finish off at Star Tours.
Suzanne Young is the New York Times bestselling author of The Program series. Originally from Utica, New York, Suzanne moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She is a novelist and an English teacher, but not always in that order.
Suzanne is the author of THE PROGRAM, THE TREATMENT, THE REMEDY, and HOTEL RUBY. She was also on an episode of House Hunters where she talked about her love of grass and trees (while living in the desert).
Squishy hugs to Suzanne for taking the time. Make sure you’re checking out her website, following her on Twitter and Instagram, liking her Facebook page, and adding all of her books to your Goodreads TBR shelf.
Now. Haven’t gotten a chance to read All in Pieces yet? I love this book so much, I’m going to offer one up. Giveaway is international, book will be coming from TBD, and additional rules are here.