Booklist Reviews 2013 March #1
When Lynch published Iceman in 1994, it was his second novel. Almost two decades and dozens of books later, Lynch returns to Eric and Duane, siblings and best friends—though things have changed. Pieces opens in a hospital as Eric struggles to accept Duane's death and to consent to organ donation. A year later Eric must decide if he wants to meet the recipients. He attends a high tea where he meets the beneficiaries: sweet, friendless Phil; obnoxious masher Barry; and fragile, beautiful single mother Melinda among them. Eric feels ready to move on, until Martha, Duane's ex-girlfriend and Eric's eternal crush, appears, determined to meet the recipients herself, and things become messily human. Lynch paints a cast of indelible characters, even secondary players, with a deft, sensitive hand. And despite the specificity of Eric's circumstances, his complicated, shifting emotions are immediately resonant. Though the complex family dynamic (and strange affinity for death) explored in Iceman adds nuance to the proceedings here, this novel stands on its own, rewarding new readers with a tender exploration of just what it means to be whole. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Lynch first explored the closeness of brothers Duane and Eric in Iceman. But now Duane is dead, and Eric struggles to cope. Since Duane was an organ donor, parts of him are technically alive in others, and Eric sets out to find them--and his beloved brother's essence. This intriguing premise gets sidetracked with a host of characters and Eric's own ill-defined quest.
PW Reviews 2013 March #4
"I am seventeen years old. Or I was, before my big shitslice of a brother went diving into the quarry and broke his neck and his skull and my grip on the world... Now I'm about seven," says Eric, who still feels unmoored and angry one year after his brother's death. Unable to connect to his parents and weighing whether to enter the Navy, Eric seeks out the recipients of Duane's organ donations in hopes of finding solace. Obnoxious Barry has (and intends to abuse) Duane's liver; a gentle teenager, Phil, is overcome with gratitude for Duane's inner-ear bones; and an attractive young mother, Melinda, has his kidney. Readers get to know Duane through the conversations Eric keeps up with him in his mind, and Duane's snarky philosophical phrases ("It's a long fall, off a high horse. Remember that, Brother") appear between chapters. When Duane's pushy ex, Martha, reenters Eric's life, she ignites familiar and confusing emotions. Using succinct prose, Lynch creates a smart, raw story about redefining oneself after loss. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC