Some of the Parts
Booklist Reviews 2015 November #2
One of the few things Tallie McGovern has to remember her brother, Nate, is his MP3 player—a musical time capsule from before his death. It was her fault he died, and the tragedy surrounds her like a fog. When a thank-you note arrives with a letter from an organ transplant organization, Life Choice, Tallie is gripped by the need to make contact with the recipients of Nate's organs, growing increasingly desperate to keep her brother alive. Morris Award finalist Barnaby's sophomore effort treads more serious ground than Wonder Show (2012). Tallie's struggle with her grief and role in her brother's death is gently explored and comes to a head in a dramatic (though not wholly convincing) way. Music courses through the story, as song titles head each chapter, and playlists become a sort of therapy for Tallie, while new friendships help keep her afloat. Teens who like realistic fiction with an internal focus won't be disappointed in this incisive and staid novel about coping with death. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2016 Fall
Tallie McGovern lost her brother in a car accident; she's since been wracked with guilt for having insisted that she drive. When Tallie discovers that Nate was an organ donor, she attempts to make contact with potential recipients. The book's emotional quality and lyrical writing will resonate with teens looking for that delectable--and popular--combination of romance and tearjerker.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2016 #2
Tallie McGovern lost her brother, Nate, in a horrible car accident; since then she has been wracked with guilt for having insisted that she drive. She works through her grief with the help of a quirky best friend, Mel, and a romantic interest, Chase, who strongly resembles her dead brother. When Tallie discovers that Nate was an organ donor, she attempts to make contact with potential recipients. Tallie's first-person narrative gives us insight into her internal state (sadness, anger, confusion, attempts at healing), and the secondary characters are also well drawn. If some of the plot points strain credulity, there is an emotional quality to the book that rings true, not to mention some lyrical writing, and those features will certainly resonate with teen readers looking for that delectable—and popular—combination of romance and tearjerker. jonathan hunt
PW Reviews 2015 November #5
Barnaby's elegant, well-paced novel stands out from others examining the death of a loved one both for its understated writing and for its penetrating exploration of the outer limits of grief and guilt. Sixteen-year-old Tallie is drowning in both emotions after her older brother, Nate, dies in a car accident that took place four months before the book opens. Tallie is both mourning his loss and trying to come to terms with being both "the one who survived" and the car's driver, as readers soon learn. When she discovers that Nate was an organ donor, she becomes obsessed with tracking down the recipients of his organs, and the novel takes on the feel of a detective story. Her unwilling accomplice is a new boy in town, Chase, who bears a heartbreaking resemblance to Nate and has his own fixation on other people's deaths. Barnaby (Wonder Show) beautifully brings Nate to life and movingly portrays the relationship between the siblings through Tallie's fragmented memories. A deeply affecting depiction of moving on after a great loss. Ages 12–up. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt Agency. (Feb.)[Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC