Only Pieces

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Pub Date 01 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 31 May 2022

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Description

Hi/Lo title written in verse.

Edgar wants nothing more than to live his life out loud. But telling the truth about his sexuality isn't so easy in his traditional Mexican-American family, and his Amá has made it clear she won't accept who he is. Things get even harder when Edgar's macho father returns home after months away, and the house erupts into fighting and simmering tension. Edgar worries what would happen if he told his father the truth about who he is, and feels he'll never fit in anywhere. Then Edgar runs into Alex, a popular football player at school. With Alex, Edgar feels happy and free, believing he might finally pick up all the broken pieces of his heart. But falling in love is more complicated than Edgar can ever imagine—and coming out might destroy the only life he's ever known.

Hi/Lo title written in verse.

Edgar wants nothing more than to live his life out loud. But telling the truth about his sexuality isn't so easy in his traditional Mexican-American family, and his Amá...


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ISBN 9781978596023
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Average rating from 62 members


Featured Reviews

ONLY PIECES is a story of self-realization and longing, written in verse. Edgar's parents are undocumented immigrants fighting poverty. His father's unemployment becomes a source of simmering tension at home. On top of that, his mother has reacted to her son's coming-out with untempered disdain. But when Edgar runs into his schoolmate Alex outside his home one night, he finds something hopeful to cling to.

The story is intended for a younger audience, and as such thrives on that unique blend of purity and anticipation. Despite his innocence, though, Edgar comes across as a fully-fledged adolescent, revealing both a restless temperament and a muted longing for connection; both familial and romantic. Most notably, he cultivates his desires despite others' disregard; or worse, disinterest.

The writing feeds this impression, maintaining a steady rhythm that twists and unbends the narrative at will. It braces the words with a sense of determination, allowing this stability to contrast against the havoc in Edgar's life. There's also something decidedly reminiscent of Benjamin Alire Sáenz's 'Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe' about ONLY PIECES, be it the artful minimalism or the charming protagonist.

Tello creates a playful layout for his tale, allowing the verses to roll and slip in tandem with Edgar's emotions. The author also uses code-switching, in this case alternating between English and Spanish, to add a layer of musicality and authenticity to a world already on the edge of fiction and reality. This process is never alienating, though, as each new word is decoded in a seamless, natural fashion; usually through repetition.

The end result is exhilarating. Again, we see the splinter dividing Edgar's inner world from his home life, the somberness of which naturally demands a sort of duality of being. What's truly remarkable about ONLY PIECES is that every single character is fleshed-out and self-aware, and uses this corporeality to slip under the reader's skin. This proves no small feat when we take into consideration the length of the work.

Edgar's worries exceed those of a typical boy his age, as the thought of one day losing his parents to deportation becomes a nagging presence in his mind. His tenderness and romantic inclinations, which find refuge in his poetry, squirm under the weight of reality. Alex is similarly imbued with complexity. His father's exile from home, and the boy's resulting need to look after his younger siblings while his mother crumbles, is an emotional obligation that far outweighs his years.

If that weren't enough, Edgar faces two-fold homophobia, at school and at home, which evolves into the main villain in ONLY PIECES. And yet, the work is suffused with a ruminative, hopeful ambiance. It's decidedly more about Edgar finding his emotional footing and identifying his needs than his hunt for approval. His best friend is equally compelled to prioritize self-worth over short-term gratification. This prints a pleasantly mature message on the framework of the narrative.

Surprisingly, romance remains a smudge in the background throughout. That's because the ambiguity that defines Edgar and Alex's relationship cultivates an air of endless possibility. Alex is encouraged to keep stumbling down the untrodden cave of his being. In the end, his self-concept may or may not be linked to a sexual plane. That's not for us - or Edgar - to determine.

Here, Tello subverts every known trope. He allows the density of his world to reflect the emotional opaqueness of friendship. Nothing is firmly defined, thereby freeing sentiment from compression. The author's choice to go down the path of self-liberation, rather than heed the sharp itch of desire, is as tantalizing as it is wholly unexpected.

And so, when reduced to its bare bones, ONLY PIECES emerges as a token of compassion and self-respect; one forged in a world of few words, but countless sensations.

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I loved how this book was written in verse and showed/ explained the struggles Edgar felt trying to be himself Whilst dealing with his surroundings and trying to figure out how to navigate his life.

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Only Pieces is a beautiful and immersive book in verse that tells the story and internal battle of Edgar, a gay Mexican-American teenager who is trying to find himself and his place in life, while balancing his own internal anger, anxiety, and longing. Every word in this book is important and implants itself in the reader's heart. Only Pieces is an incredibly appropriate title for this book, as we see Edgar trying to fit different pieces of his life together- his writing, his Mexican heritage, his queerness, his poverty, and being a normal teenager.

Only Pieces was an incredible book that will absolutely stay with me. We get a real feel for Edgar's thoughts and feelings through poems written by him along with the masterful verse. Not only that, but we meet his best friend Allison and his crush Alex, both of whom have a real presence through the story, along with Edgar's parents who we see dealing with the crushing weight of poverty and the very real fear of deportation.

Edgar's tone is both naive and mature, hurt and hopeful, at the same time. We see Edgar dealing with problems that are far above his age and getting excited about his very first possible date. In this way, Edgar feels so real as a high school student dealing with many intersecting identities. The story ends in a place of hope, where I can imagine a future for Edgar where he finds the joy and light he deserves.

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This is a lovely little novel with a verse writing style, that is completely engrossing and emotional. There are some serious Elizabeth Acevado vibes with the books format and collection of poems. I adore books that are written in verse, especially those tackling such difficult topics, this novel especially follows MC Edgar, as he is trying to find the right time to tell his father that he is gay, whilst also trying to write poems and navigate high school, as well as his first crush.

I really love the inclusion of Edgar’s own poems in the novel and my personal favourite is “The Moon and The Sun” I liked the way that this poem was a take on a legend story he was told growing up and loved the relation the poem had to his own life.

The authors ability to show Edgar’s emotions through the verses and poems are phenomenal, with particular lines that really give you an insight into his feelings, such as “the same way Ama pretends I’m not gay” they really pull at the readers heartstrings, and make you love the MC more. Plus, it also shows the stereotypes that the LGBTQ+ community still face, as his mother refuses to acknowledge his sexuality and even goes as far as demanding he does not tell his father.

My only negative with this book is the ending, for me personally it ended abruptly, and I would have liked to read more of Edgar and find out just exactly what happened with his family “Spoiler”

Trigger Warnings: Being ousted and homophobia

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Thank you to NetGalley, Edd Tello and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this book, in exchange for an honest review!

A beautifully written poetry book based on two immigrant parents and how they are not accepting their son's sexuality. I loved how it was written in a way as though I was reading diary extracts.

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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this arc.

I thought this was a wonderul novel written in verse about Edgar as he struggles wether or not to come out to his father as gay. We navigate his thoughts abou9t that, his family, his crush etc and I thought it was wonderful. The poems Edgar writes are also beautiful and really made the story that more powerful.

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5/5 stars.

I cried on the last page.

This was so amazing.

I’ve always loved poetry, but reading stories in verse is so different from poems that have no correlations to each other.

I loved the feelings this gave me, the writing, the plot, as well as the characters.

You don’t always get to read stories about gay teens that are just trying to get through life, but when you do, oh my they are amazing.

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Indivisible meets A Million Quiet Revolutions in this tender and heartfelt story about a vulnerable queer teen who’s part of an undocumented Mexican-American family.

I love books written in verse. I’ve said it before, a book in verse is like a stream; it bends and accelerates and then slows down again as you absorb the turn of the words and phrases. It never gets boring because after each turn you’ll find another beautiful view.

Only Pieces is a hi-lo book which means it’s written for struggling readers like dyslectic teens. So the words and sentences are simple. Therefore, I thought this would be a fast and easy read, but this story triggered something in my mind that left me staring after every few pages. I took a lot of notes, an enormous amount, for such a short story because even though Only Pieces is stripped of all frills, it still shows us the life of a vulnerable Mexican-American queer teen so vividly. So few words stirred up so many emotions in me, left my heart broken in pieces, and mended it back together in one piece in the end.

The title is just perfect, and those poems Edgar wrote are mesmerizing. Edd, you did an amazing job with this precious gem of a story!

Actual rating 4.5 stars.

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Thank you, West 44 Books, for allowing me to read Only Pieces early.

This story was a delight! I read this story in just one sitting, and it left me in awe. As an educator, I'm always so happy when I come across books like this. Fully fleshed-out characters, beautifully written and still so accessible. Such a great debut and I can't wait to read more of Edd Tello's work. Without a doubt, this book will find its place in our library.

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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me access to this book in exchange for a review.
This book was a mixture of all the emotions, anger, love, happiness, sadness, betrayal and more! It is a wonder to have so much packed in so few pages. I loved reading every bit of it!
The story is of Edgar, a gay teenage boy and his undocumented parents in America. I liked how the author managed to give so much depth to every character. The struggles of coming out to your parents and worrying about their response is something I've grappled with for a quite a while now. So it was really hearttouching to read Edgar's story and his relation to his parents in regards to his sexuality.
Highly recommend reading this book if you like novels written in verse with profound stories.

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A very sweet and emotional book (it's more like a novella, quite short) about coming-out in a financially struggling Mexican-American family.

I was expecting a YA romance, but the romance is a subplot and doesn't even reach a conclusive ending, the book is instead centered on Edgar's inner world and his relationship with his family.

Edd's debut is a promising and artistic story, and I'll be waiting for his next books with anticipation!

Thank you NetGalley and West 44 Books for the ARC!

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Edgar Jimenez is many things: a gay teen, fast food enthusiast, a poet and aspiring writer, and the son of Mexican immigrants. Edd Tello’s debut Only Pieces follows Edgar’s challenging path of coming out, falling in love, and boldly navigating what it means to follow your dreams in spite of your parents’ expectations for you.

I have never read a YA novel written in verse, and I'm so grateful this was my first one. Edgar is such an easily likable character who is so unflinchingly himself in spite of the lack of acceptance from his family and peers. This is definitely a story of overcoming adversity and embracing one’s true identity.

Although Edgar’s journey is a challenging one, he stays true to his roots and proves that you can live authentically without sacrificing other pieces of your identity. This was an inspiring read that I immediately pre-ordered the second that I finished reading it, and I would suggest that you do the same!

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I really do hope
that Only Pieces is
the first book
of many
penned by Edd Tello. 

His voice
is worthy of 
being

heard. 


"Only Pieces" tells the story of Mexican-American teen Edgar Jiménez, whose heart is bigger than his body - and kinder than the world around him. Since his Apá returned home, Edgar's home has been on edge. He and Amá fight all the time over unpaid bills and empty fridges, while Edgar quietly holds his truths to his chest. Amá, Apá, I want to study Literature. Amá, Apá, I'm afraid that you'll get deported anytime if migra knocks on our door. Amá, Apá…, I'm gay. So he takes shelter in his poetry journal, where he's free to just be. When his neighbour and crush Alex sees him writing, though, he asks to read some of Edgar's verses, and the timid bond they slowly form turns Edgar's world upside down. 

As my first-ever experience with novels written in verse, "Only Pieces" was phenomenal enough that I can't wait to read more stories done this way. Tello's verses are easy enough for any reader to follow, yet also deep enough to pierce their heart. In fifteen verses, he conveys the crude reality faced by many migrants who find themselves trying to build a life from scratch in a foreign country, and in less than two, he portrays the anguish of being a closeted teen in a traditional family. Somehow the simplicity of Tello's quill helps him convey the most complex feelings and situations. In this sense, the book reads a little like Benjamín Alire Sáenz or Shaun David Hutchinson's works - with a lingering, vague sense of hopeful nostalgia. 

In Edgar Jiménez we find a young man who's facing many different struggles all on his own. Not only does he live in fear of his parents being deported; he also lives in confusion as to why his Apá doesn't talk. Not only does he live in hiding regarding his sexuality; he also lives in shyness about his dream of becoming a Literature graduate one day. His voice is authentic, timid yet also courageous. One thing I loved about Edgar was how quietly resilient he was - despite other people's disapproval of his dreams and his identity, he silently carries on. He knows it's useless to try to argue, but in his head that doesn't equal his dreams being unworthy. He knows it's going to be hard to get into uni, or to get his parents to approve of who he is, but he doesn't let it shackle him to living the lie his parents have built in their heads about their son's future. All in all, Edgar felt real and vulnerable, just like real teens do. 

Despite there not being a grandiose, pretentious plot trying to do something revolutionary, this book still feels like a breath of fresh air. Maybe it's because of Tello's voice; maybe it's because of Edgar; maybe it's because of the intersectionality of all the different issues we're so used to hearing about. Whatever it is, this book is quite close to magic, and it definitely should be really high on everybody's TBR lists for 2022.


***
Thank you, NetGalley and West 44 Books, for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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Verse stories are always intriguing. I've only read a few and I've like most of them. This one was no different.

To see him navigate his life as his dad comes home. And meeting Alex. And truly finding himself through his writing.

the style of writing can still tell you everything you need. Like the heartbreaking sadness of being bullied for who he was and the his father finding out. But Edgar stands up for himself and it's beautiful to watch him grew to be able to say no this is who I am.

I also enjoyed the mix of the different poems throughout the pages breaking it up but still fitting in the story. Because Edgar writes poetry in his journal.

This was just a lovely story.

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This reminded me a lot of The Poet X, though being a poet isn't as big of a focus. It's more about the struggles of coming out, the struggles of immigrant parents (and being the child of one), and just trying to be understood. I liked the characters, and I thought that they were very realistic. I felt that it ended a bit abruptly, but overall it was a good book. I enjoyed the verses, and the addition of Mexican legends was neat


Thanks to West 44 Books for sending me an e-arc to review!

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This was a cute story! Short, sweet, and great for fans of The Poet X. Encapsulates the teenage experience perfectly, and I love the representation of imperfection, friendship and love. I do wish, however, that it were I bit longer.

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This collection of poetry focuses on coming out as gay in a Mexican household. The cultural nuances and social issues are depicted with grace and realism. It was very well written and the author has relatable voice. I loved the story it told and it was a very enjoyable, quick read. Thanks NetGalley!

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Firstly, I want to thank Net Galley and West 44 Books for letting me have an ARC to review! This book is being published on June 1, 2022

It's hard to put a review into words when you have a piece like this. This book feels like I'm reading someone's diary. Someone who is bearing their soul to the reader and allowing us to view a peek at their inner world.

I want to say first off, that I have absolutely no cons about this book (for me personally). Normally, when I want to review a book I have at least one thing that was overall not for me, but this is not one of those times.

Only Pieces is a Middle Grade/YA book that is written in verse. Not only does this make it a quick read, but one that feels extremely intimate. There are even examples of the protagonist's own poetry in the pages, which I thought was a beautiful touch.

This book covers a multitude of topics, but I'm going to list a few:
Growing up in an undocumented family
Family Struggles/divorce
Self-exploration and understanding
Friendship
Poverty

Our main character, Edgar, is growing up in a home with two undocumented parents. He is struggling to come to terms with the fact that he is gay, and has a crush on another boy at school. On top of that, he is worried about his parents accepting him for who he is while living in unstable and undesirable conditions.

I read this story in just a few hours, but after reading its pages I felt emotionally depleted-- in a good way. If that's even possible. I felt like a close friend opened up to me all the things they had been holding inside them for too long. I felt like Edgar's struggles became my own in their own way. I didn't want to put it down!

I can't say enough good things about this book. Please, consider reading it when it is published. I hope those in similar situations as Edgar's can find strength and comradery within these pages. You are not alone.

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For something written by a up and coming author, I placed little to no expectation for this work. And that decision definitely threw me off the roof.

'Only Pieces' is such a simple yet vulnerable story of a Mexican-American queer as his life and story unfolds in front of our eyes with such bare but still beautifully placed nuances and pain.

Bravo Edd!

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Got an eArc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Second read (April 11, 2022):

Rating: Upgraded to 5 stars

A poem written in verse. This second read made me more sympathetic toward Edgar and understanding toward her mother. This has been on my mind these past few weeks. I want a book 2 😭

First read (March 30, 2022):

Rating: 4.5

I enjoyed reading this. Though, to those who are used to poems that are not in a way of telling a story, a literal story, this is not for you. This is in a form of a poem, but a story is told page by page with dialogues. I don't like poems like those, but this is an exception because I really enjoyed reading this: it's about someone who knows he's gay but had trouble coming out even though his parents know; they just don't want to talk about it.

This was a breath of fresh air because it made me like a new form of poem unlike the others I've read. an eArc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed reading this. Though, to those who are used to poems that are not in a way of telling a story, a literal story, this is not for you. This is in a form of a poem, but a story is told page by page with dialogues. I don't like poems like those, but this is an exception because I really enjoyed reading this: it's about someone who knows he's gay but had trouble coming out even though his parents know; they just don't want to talk about it.

This was a breath of fresh air because it made me like a new form of poem unlike the others I've read.

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I absolutely loved this coming of age story such wonderful characters and the right feel as someone who is gay and was scared to come out this was such a perfect representation of how it feels

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Thank you to Netgalley for providing m with an arc in exchange for an honest review.

Only Pieces is a novel written in verse, and it tells the story of Edgar, a Mexican-American teenager who is trying to bridge the gap between who he is and who his family wants him to be. He is trying to tell his parents things about himself - that he is gay, that he wants to study literature, all while knowing they won't approve in the slightest. His Apá is a "macho man" and when he comes home after being away because of work, Edgar has to hide even more, he has to at least pretend he wants to be what his dad expects his son to be. All while, he worries about unpaid bills, the immigration deporting his parents, and is dealing with his crush on a popular boy, Alex.

I don't read many books written in verse, and this is perhaps my sign to do so more, but there is a way these stories pack a punch in not so many words that just leaves me astounded. This novel feels like it's much longer, and that's not saying it drags, not at all - but the way it conveys emotion, and these characters' lives and thoughts offers so much to the reader. The format worked perfectly for the main character Edgar, the way he tells his story feels raw and there is something urgent about him. You can feel how much he needs his parents to know him, how much he needs to be free to create and be seen. I loved the complicated and real portrayal of family, how Edgar's parents react to him coming out, and in general how their relationships are presented. I enjoyed the side characters, and I especially liked Alex, who Edgar has a crush on. I think their friendship was really sweet and I enjoyed reading about it. All of this is intertwined with the reality of Edgar's parents being immigrants without papers and how scary that can be, and how that makes the tension in their household even worse.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was short and to the point, but the format and the writing really made the story feel tangible and the characters seem real. If you're interested in the book, and/or enjoy books written in verse, I would highly recommend this one!

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An extremely quick but no less incredible read! At first, I was a little unsure of the way the book was written. I always prefer prose to poetry when it comes to novels, but by the time I had finished this, there is no other way I would have wanted to read Edgar's story. I can't wait to read more from this author!

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'Only Pieces' by Edd Tello is a story of a young gay boy hiding his sexuality from most of the world, except his mom and his best friend. There is no real happy ending to this book, other than Edgar coming to terms that even if his parents don't understand it or accept it right now, different people have different ways of showing their love for you. This story was very personal to me, as my own sexual orientation was up for debate by my own mother. Edgar hides his sexuality from his father and when his father does find out he's "confused" which is not far off from where I was at several years ago with my own mom. Even though it doesn't really have a happy ending, I loved this so much, because as I said, it was very personal for me.

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Ah I have a weakness for books written in verses. Every single one I read hit me deeply in the heart

This is a story about growing up, about having a hard time convincing the world that our orientation is okay

I recommend it for fans of The Poet X and The Black Flamingo

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, for this free review copy.

Only Pieces is written in verse, and a quick read. It is about a Mexican-American queer teen, his family, and his worries about coming out to his father. He already faces homophobic people at school, and is so worried about what his father is going to say. Edgar remains strong thru it all, and I was sad when I was done, and would have loved to read more! It was a easy read, but very provoking and one that everyone should add to their TBR.


Only Pieces is on sale June 1st, 2022.

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A story told in verse about Edgar a Mexican-American gay teenager. Edgar is out to his mother but not his father whose come back home with no job. He writes poetry and tries managing his crush on a classmate. You see him dealing with family problems, friend problems and with being gay. It’s a quick read and I loved it

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I’ll be honest I was a bit unsure about the cover and how it fitted the book until I had finished reading it and thought about it a little more. I think the pieces are the way that Edgar’s family have been split apart, or perhaps what he fears may happen if his parent’s divorce.
The genres listed for the book are LGBTQIA, Poetry, Teens & YA, though I would also add “coming of age” to that list.

The main character in the book is called Edgar and he is struggling with a few things in his life. Edgar knows he is in his words gay, he likes males and he has broached the subject with his mother or Ama on more than one occasion, though she always seems to swiftly change the subject. Edgar’s Ama, Lidia is constantly worried about money and is living in a different place to Edgar’s Apa, Pedro as there is no work for her there. Lidia’s sister, Rosario has helped her get a job and is helping to look out for jobs for Pedro. Pedro is currently working on a construction site until the end of his contract. It is extra difficult for Pedro and Lidia to find jobs as they are both undocumented. They also have to be extra careful not to get into any trouble to attract the attention of the authorities.

When Edgar hears his Ama crying after speaking to someone on the phone, he presumes she has been on the phone with his Abuela as they have not seen her for a long time. However, Edgar is surprised when his Ama tells him that his Apa is finally coming to live with them. Pedro’s construction site contract has ended and there is no more work available for him there. Pedro will soon be home and living with the rest of his family, looking for work locally.
Naturally Edgar is nervous to tell his father about his sexuality but wants to do it, but his mother keeps dissuading him from doing so. There are arguments going on regularly between his parents so much so Edgar begins to wonder if they will geta divorce. He sneaks out of their apartment and spots Alex Cisneros, a guy he recognises from school, whom he has a bit of a secret crush on. Edgar begins to hang out with Alex when he comes over to visit his dad. Edgar finally has another friend to talk to and hang out with. Edgar thinks that life may be turning for the better despite the arguments at home. When Edgar is talked into attending a party held at Tylers house he hesitates but then agrees only to find out that somehow Tyler knows all of his secrets.

My immediate thoughts when I finished reading the book were that I really liked the characters, and the plot being centred around Edgar, both his coming of age and the fact he is determined to come out to his family and friends. I enjoyed the fact the book was told in verse, it made it a really fast read.

Summing up, I enjoyed reading the book and it certainly fits within the parameters of a Hi Lo book. It deals with some pretty tough subjects, sexuality, coming of age, and undocumented people being amongst them.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC of this book.

Written in verse, this coming of age, coming out story, is full of emotion and depth. The author communicates the struggles that Edgar deals with when trying to be true to himself and not disappoint his parents in the process. This YA story rings true and is a great addition to the canon of queer literature.

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This was a great, short and impactful read! This book would be great for readers who enjoyed Elizabeth Acevedo's The Poet X or Erika Sánchez's Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. The central conflict in Only Pieces revolves around Edgar and his parents, who are mexican-american undocumented immigrants who have worked hard to make a better life for him, but struggle to accept his sexuality or aspirations to be a writer. These different values cause a lot of tension in their relationship that I think a lot of teen readers will be able to relate to. Meanwhile, Edgar feels like an outcast at school until he befriends a popular boy named Alex. Things spiral out from there, and the book's short length means it very quickly gets to the meat of the plot without any extra flourishes. I did find myself wishing the narrative utilized the poem format more because I loved reading the poems Edgar was writing and the way he incorporated his culture into what he writes! Edgar is a very introspective and reflective kid, and he writes about special moments like working on puzzles with his dad, observing his parents' relationship, and the legend of rabbit in the moon. The ending with his parents and the final poem he writes was very sweet and definitely could be a tearjerker for some readers! Overall this was such a heartfelt, moving book, and I'd love to read more from Tello in the future.

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This was such a cute quick read! It is written in verse which sometimes made it difficult to follow along personally.

I feel this is the perfect book for any queer Latinx/Hispanic looking for a coming out story they can relate with! Edd Tello encapsulates what it is like for us sometimes when faced with coming out.

Thank you NetGalley and West 44 Books for this eARC!

Only Pieces releases June 1, 2022! Just in time for Pride 🥳

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This was such a fantastic book. I love books that are written in verse. This one is about Edgar, a gay teenager that is struggling with coming out and crushing on his classmate Alex. Over the course of the book, he deals with friendship woes, betrayal, coming out, and regular high school stuff. It really shows what kind of person he is as he deals with all of these issues.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to read more by this author!

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• WHAT I USED TO LOVE IS HOW APÁ WATCHED ME GROW THROUGH THOSE THOUSAND PIECES
• I really felt Edgar's disdain towards his father's macho attitude
• It was painful when Edgar's mother told him that he's just confused, and not to tell his father that he's gay. 😭
• I COULDN'T IGNORE HIS BROWN HAZEL EYES AND THE DIMPLES THAT CAME OUT EVERYTIME HE SMILED
• Edgar's The Moon and the Sun
• I WONDER IF I'M GOOD ENOUGH
• Edgar telling himself to act normal around Alex was so cute. My man nearly had a breakdown 🤣
• "MEET BACK HERE TOMORROW?" - omg Alexxxxxx
• Edgar's frustration when buying clothes was so relatable as a skinny person.
• Edgar and Alex's first date was cute. But, is it really a date tho or was it just Edgar's assumption??
• not Edgar using Ali as a beard 🤣
• omg poor Edgar. That was tough being humiliated and outed like that. 😭
• What Ali did was wrong, and being drunk do not excuse it. Kudos to Edgar for forgiving her just like that.
• Daniela was the sweetest. Loved that
• BUT YOU ALWAYS NEED TO REMIND YOURSELF HOW SPECIAL YOU ARE. NEVER BE ASHAMED OF THAT.
• Dude always lock your phone 😁
• Alex and Edgar's conversation was rough esp when Edgar realized that Alex didn't feel the same way.
• THE PROBLEM IS YOU THINK BEING GAY IS A PROBLEM
• The moment when Edgar's mother consoled him after he came out to his father got me so emotional. She may not fully understand Edgar yet, but she still loved him and wanted the best for him.
• Alex calling Edgar "Moon" ughhhh
• Edgar calling Alex "Rabbit" ughh
• FROM THIS PLACE WHERE I CAN FEEL A THOUSAND LUCIÉRNAGAS FLYING INSIDE MY HEART, FREE FROM HURT.

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I really enjoyed this quick read! Told entirely in verse, it’s the story of a teenage boy struggling to balance his life as a gay person (who has a crush on another (popular) boy in school) with his desire to be a good son for his immigrant parents who don’t accept that part of him fully. Despite being fast-paced, I really felt that I got to know Edgar and how his inner turmoil plays out in his every day life. HIs efforts with his family while also being annoyed at their lack of understanding is so relatable to anyone who has been a teen (aka everyone).

Thank you to West 44 Books and NetGalley for the ARC for review.

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This novel-in-verse perfectly captures adolescence and the stressors that comes with it, such as juggling parental expectations, trying to fit in, acceptance and identity. It also sheds light on important topics such as the immigrant experience and coming out.

Edgar is a protagonist that many will be able to resonate with. Having grown up in a strict household myself, I could relate to many instances in the book but I also liked the perspective it provides about how Edgar's parents simply want the best for him.

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This short book written in verse is a fantastic debut! It encapsulates how it feels to be gay in a household that doesn't understand while also highlighting what it means to be a child of immigrants. I recommend this to anyone looking for a short but compelling read.

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Only Pieces is a gift of vulnerable moments strung perfectly together. There is something about poetry that is so beautiful and intimate and when written well like this is, the words flow and stagger exactly when and how they should. It feels like a secret meant only to be shared with you.
I recommend this YA verse to anyone who has been forced to keep a secret they so badly want to let out and to anyone who is lucky enough to be told that secret.
Many thanks to West 44 Books for the ARC sent to me via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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Thanks NetGalley and West 44 Books for the eARC of Only Pieces, these opinions are my own. This was such a quick read and I really enjoyed it! I’m finding I really like books written in verse! Edgar is out to his mom but she often ignores this and when his dad comes home from his job in another place Edgar worries more about how he’ll react to the information! Things get more complicated when his crush’s Dad moves into their building and they begin to develop a relationship. Edgar’s story is very relatable! I think he was shy, charming, confident, forgiving, and patient! I feel like the story carried with it the idea of hope, which I think we all could use, especially now! If you like stories written in verse I highly recommend this one, Edd Tello does a fantastic job! I’m excited to add this one to my book collection!

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Thank you NetGalley for this ARC! This was a really quick and fun read! Edgar was a very relatable character which made me enjoy the book more than I thought I was going to. The decision to write in verse also went great with the this kind of story and helped progress the plot along nicely!

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I absolutely love a verse novel and Only Pieces did not disappoint. This story about love, family and identity is one for any secondary school classroom.

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OMG. Me encantó. I LOVED IT.

This book really resonó conmigo. I loved the whole story and the characters. This is really hermoso..

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I love poems and this one is no different!

I love how this one continuously tells a story. It also documents the struggle of families who are undocumented and just trying to survive in the world.
But not only that, the struggle for one to come out and announce that they’re gay. Especially to families who do not accept it.

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This is the most beautiful book to read about coming out of the closet to admit your gay. This book is basically a story written in poetry form. With little breaks in between to have the main character write a poem that is not really part of the story. It's a fast read and I am sure the YA audience will love this book and help them somehow. I cannot wait to read more books from this author.

I received a free copy of the book and is voluntarily writing a review

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this book explores longing, the struggles queer people have to go through, and has bipoc representation as well. the only reason i didn’t give it 5 stars is because i think there could have been a bit more to the story - there seems like a few things were left unsaid. that being said though, it’s a great quick read that will definitely help you get out of a reading slump, so i do recommend it! this is another book that’s written in verse, and the author did a good job of giving the characters depth and element in the amount of pages that were written. thank you to netgalley and west 44 books for the arc!

playlist for this book ;
• prom dress - mxmtoon
• lemon boy - cavetown
• born this way - lady gaga
• this is home - cavetown
• peace - taylor swift
• frost - txt
• the story of us - taylor swift
• boyfriend - issues
• dying on the inside - nessa barrett
• the idea of you - mxmtoon
• i knew you were trouble - taylor swift
• super trouper - abba
• lose yourself - eminem
• gay for a day - flavia
• heather - conan gray
• for your entertainment - adam lambert
• take me to church - hozier
• bon iver - mxmtoon
• stutter - marianas trench
• ride - rocket punch

triggers ;
homophobia
bullying
racism (briefly seen through stereotypes the white characters went off)
alcohol

representation in this book ;
mexican american mc
mexican american side character
mexican american female side character
gay mc
questioning / possibly bi side character

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Super heartbreaking and yet still super cute. An extremely quick read, but I feel an important read - especially for young people.

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Thank you to NetGalley, West 44 Books, and Edd Tello for the opportunity to read Only Pieces in exchange for an honest review.

Only Pieces is a Hi/Lo (high interest, low readability) novel written in verse and follows Edgar, a gay Mexican-American high school boy. Being Mexican-American, his family is very tied to their culture, and part of that culture is heterosexual marriage. While Edgar's mom knows he likes boys, she always pushes him to keep his secret hidden, because they both know dad won't receive that information well.

Edgar has one friend and one friend only he can trust with his secret. Or so he thinks, but when he gets picked on by one of the most popular guys in school, he has his doubts. He happens to have a crush on one of his (part-time) neighbors, though he isn't quite sure how to go about hanging out with him.

This novel is about self-identity as well as learning how to navigate the social aspects that come with being gay. Edgar has to learn how to talk to his family and friends about who he is, and he has to learn how to find the courage to share who he is with other people, such as possible love interests.

This is an extremely fast and engaging read. I love books in verse, and this is one of the more intriguing ones out there. It has so much culture and diversity in such few words, a craft worthy of praise. An excellent book for any teen reader, lover of poetry, LGBTQ or Mexican-American experience interest, or someone who just wants to read a quick, but meaningful, story.

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This was an interesting read because it's written in verse. And even though it tells a story very quickly, it does so in a really wonderful way.

Do I love text heavy, angst-filled stories? Yup! And even though I can absolutely picture this story written in short verse as a very angsty YA novel, I adored it as it is.

I just want to hug Edgar and every single child that is in similar shoes.

This book was provided by Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

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Thank you to NetGalley and West 44 Books for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Only Pieces by Edd Tello is a novel in verse that follows Edgar, who wishes for his Mexican-American family to accept his sexuality so he can start living his life aloud. There's hardly anything more that I could say about the plot without spoiling the whole book since not much happens in it.

I do wonder if this story would have benefited from being told in a different format, at times it felt as though the writing was unpolished and flimsy so the messaging and themes got lost in the lack of flow of the book. I am sure that the author had so many themes to explore but the novel was so short and told in a voice that felt so immature and not self-aware at all, that it was almost cartoonish.

While I am well aware that this is a novel intended for younger audiences, perhaps a more in depth exploration of toxic masculinity and latinidad that didn't fall into such stereotypes would have been well received. However, I can appreciate the potential in the clear style of Tello's poetry and will definitely be on the lookout for future—hopefully more thoroughly edited—works of them.

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This was lovely! I don't normally read things written in verse, but the story stilled flowed nicely. The story centers on Edgar, and mainly focuses on his relationship with his parents. Edgar is gay and wants to tell his father, but his parents have traditional views on the LGBTQ+ community which causes a barrier between them. On top of this, his parents are undocumented immigrants, which means they have trouble getting by as it is extremely difficult for them to find jobs. Edgar also has a supportive best friend named Alison and a crush on a popular boy at school named Alex. While nothing in Only Pieces was something I've never seen before, the story still moved me and it was a quick read for me as I wanted to see what happened next with Edgar. I think many people could relate to Edgar's story. I reccommend!

Thank you to NetGalley and West 44 Books for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I thought this book was super interesting! I found it super easy to connect with the characters! I thought the whole book was very inspirational. I had never read a book written in verse before and I really enjoyed it!

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"Only Pieces" is such a well written story made into poetry. It was a beautiful story and I loved it.

The book is written in poetry form and follows Edgar who is secretly gay. The only people who know is his amà and his best friend. He also has a huge crush on his classmate Alex. After an unexpected meeting with Alex after he left his dad's apartment, Alex and Edgar starts to hang out more and slowly become friends. I really liked the characters, and the story was really nice even though it was very short.

I would definately recommend this book! It was so well written and brings up the struggle lgbtqia+ people sometimes have to face. I loved this book and highly recommend it!

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Rounding up to five stars. Wow. This was a delightful surprise - I didn't really know what I was getting into. So much is packed into so few words. It was an immersive read that really effectively depicted the tension that comes with living in poverty (with the added challenge of being undocumented) and the angst of being a teenager (with the added challenge of being queer.) The impact the author created with small and simple formatting changes was remarkable. I look forward to reading more from this author.

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This was a very well-written, engaging work. It's extremely accessible but hits some deep themes such as identity, sexual orientation, immigration and culture. There are people that need this book now!

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Thank you to Netgalley and West 44 Books for providing me with an ARC of this book. And of course thank you to the author for writing such a beautiful piece of work.

It’s my first time reading this type of work, as it is a novel written in verse, and is visually very appealing and engaging.

I thought that maybe telling a whole story in verse wouldn’t be the best way, as there could be feelings lost in the lack of narration of the events, but oh boy I was so wrong. Feelings are there, and the poems written by the author can transmit so many things at once. I ended up loving it.

Our main character throughout this journey is Edgar, a Mexican-American gay boy who is living with his parents. The story includes triggering topics such as homophobia, mention of racism and bullying. Struggles are present in Edgar’s life and the way he expresses how he feels is very relatable. While I was reading this story, I only wanted Edgar to feel happy and relieved, it seemed like he was in constant tension every page you read. However, the ending has a very positive view of his life and the decisions he has to take.

A very tough but real story which many young people still have to go through every day. I want to thank the author again for portraying a reality in such a beautiful but raw way. It is so very needed, I hope many people (both young people who are experiencing it and parents/adults who can help them) end up reading this work and loving it as much as I did. <3

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An honest, poignant YA story about finding love and exception. Authentic as it is powerful and moving.

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Edgar is a young man from a traditional Mexican-American family. His Amá tells him not to share the truth about his sexuality with his father, who has only recently returned home. "Only Pieces" is told beautifully in verse through Edgar's perspective, interspersed with poems the character has written. Edgar's experiences and internal struggles will resonate with many teens. "Only Pieces" is a quick read that also manages to tug on your heart strings.

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I love queer-latinx representation! It makes me feel so seen and heard.

I also love how this more focuses on the family aspect and how being queer affects the family dynamic.

The way this book is written is so personal and heartfelt. It feels as if I am reading a diary that I shouldn't be reading because it is so emotional and real.

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