Review: ‘Another Little Piece of My Heart’ by Tracey Martin

Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey MartinClaire used to date the now famous pop star Jared Steele a couple of years ago. But that was when her family still had money, her mother was still alive, Claire was still in high school and Jared was a nobody. Now her mother is gone, her father has lost his job and all of his investments and Claire is unable to attend Brown because of a lack of funds.

Now everyone knows who Jared is, and because of a certain pop hit, everyone also knows that he had a girlfriend who dumped him because of her snobby parents. What the song doesn’t say is that her mother was dying of cancer, and due to the fact that they didn’t think Jared was good enough for Claire, it caused her mom undue stress. The song also doesn’t say that Claire instantly regretted it and tried to undo what she’d done in haste.

Since the Winslow family has no funds, they are staying with their aunt, uncle and family for a month at the beach in New Hampshire. Even thought they’ve had to sell their house and downsize, Claire’s father is trying desperately to keep up appearances so he can snag another high-paying job. And Claire’s tired of it, so she decides that she’s going to listen to her gut instead of her parents this time.

How can she move on from someone who is standing right in front of her?

I first read this book last October, and because I had yet to write my review, I needed to re-read it. Unfortunately, it did not improve upon a second reading. Claire, despite all of her regret, comes across as cold and detached. She is accountable only to herself and is in such a funk about her life that she’s downright drab. Though she tells the reader all about her band, guitar prowess, best friend, snobby father, annoying sister (etc. etc. etc.), in reality, all we “see” her do is sit around and mope at home or stand around and mope at the grocery store where she is working while at the beach. While it’s good to flesh out a character with a backstory, it was so different from the one in the present-day part of the tale that it was like I was reading about two different people. It seemed calculated, like it was an effort to make her seem deep.

Claire makes everyone else work really hard to like her, much less get to know her on a more intimate level. I didn’t read one thing that would draw me to her. Instead of creating the action, she’s one of those characters that things happen to, like a plastic grocery bag being blown around.  Claire is the personification of a “poor me” sigh that has its fists up and ready to punch the next person who speaks to her.

You know how this story is going to end, and perhaps it is supposed to feel more real because it takes a long time to get there. Honestly, I found her sister to be a much more compelling figure, though none of the secondary characters (or the lead male, for that matter) are more than two dimensional. Maybe I would have cared more about what happened to Claire if the people surrounding her were more fleshed out.

And don’t get me started on the classic rock that is peppered throughout the book. It feels like product placement; something else that is meant to make Claire seem deep? It would have made sense if her parents listened to it or someone she loved/cared about (a former musician boyfriend, perhaps?), but it just seems tacked on. Like this paragraph.

Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin was be published December 1, 2013 by Harlequin Teen. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to NetGalley, the Publisher and the Author.

Rating: 2.5

Genre: Young Adult/New Adult Fiction Contemporary Romance
Ages: 13 and up

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