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The Million Pieces of Neena Gill PDF, ePub eBook

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The Million Pieces of Neena Gill

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The Million Pieces of Neena Gill PDF, ePub eBook How can I hold myself together, when everything around me is falling apart? Neena's always been a good girl - great grades, parent-approved friends and absolutely no boyfriends. But ever since her brother Akash left her, she's been slowly falling apart - and uncovering a new version of herself who is freer, but altogether more dangerous. As her wild behaviour spirals How can I hold myself together, when everything around me is falling apart? Neena's always been a good girl - great grades, parent-approved friends and absolutely no boyfriends. But ever since her brother Akash left her, she's been slowly falling apart - and uncovering a new version of herself who is freer, but altogether more dangerous. As her wild behaviour spirals more and more out of control, Neena's grip on her sanity begins to weaken too. And when her parents announce not one but two life-changing bombshells, she finally reaches breaking point. But as Neena is about to discover, when your life falls apart, only love can piece you back together.

30 review for The Million Pieces of Neena Gill

  1. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    This is such an aching story of loss and mental health spirals. Neena is a really unreliable narrator so as you get deeper into the story...you really second-guess everything. It's so intensely in her perspective that you can't help but ache with her. Her decisions are so problematic, but at the same time...you get it?! Neeeeena, don't DO IT. ➢ #OwnVoices Rep I really appreciate #ownvoices books because they bring a layer of power and intimacy; you can feel the heartache on the page. I have an ARC and th This is such an aching story of loss and mental health spirals. Neena is a really unreliable narrator so as you get deeper into the story...you really second-guess everything. It's so intensely in her perspective that you can't help but ache with her. Her decisions are so problematic, but at the same time...you get it?! Neeeeena, don't DO IT. ➢ #OwnVoices Rep I really appreciate #ownvoices books because they bring a layer of power and intimacy; you can feel the heartache on the page. I have an ARC and the author wrote this incredibly heartbreaking letter, talking about how she had severe anxiety and has been in dark places, as well as helped someone else through a mental breakdown. It's also #ownvoices for Pakistani-British rep! It really explored that too: Neena's own assumptions about her culture as well as how her parents viewed mental illness as weakness. It was hard to read their dismissal of her illness...but overall there were solidly good learning arcs. ➢ it had a messy disorientated style -- which suited Neena's mental state perfectly Her brother is missing and she loved him so much. Neena is just not...coping. She's a wreck; drinking and sneaking out to parties, having massive anxiety spirals and being erratic. It was so sad. ➢ healing as well as heartbreakingIt did focus on rebuilding too. It wasn't just a mental illness spiral -- which I think is important to show all sides. "Sometimes you need to remind yourself who you are, don't you?" The book also discussed problematic tropes (ie: Nina thinking romance would fix her, she viewing her parents' Pakistani strictness as her villain, all the drinking etc.) and unpacked them really well! It's about dismantling stigmas and being honest with yourself.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Adele Shea

    As someone who has suffered mental illness throughout my 38 years on this earth, I have found The Million Pieces of Neena Gill inspiring. Had I read this book 25 years ago, I think it would of helped me so much. I saw alot of me in Neena and I can't help but love the amazing character that she is. I think this book should be read by every teenager to highlight that things can be an uphill battle, the struggle is real but you are not alone. Mental illnesses are alot more common then most peo As someone who has suffered mental illness throughout my 38 years on this earth, I have found The Million Pieces of Neena Gill inspiring. Had I read this book 25 years ago, I think it would of helped me so much. I saw alot of me in Neena and I can't help but love the amazing character that she is. I think this book should be read by every teenager to highlight that things can be an uphill battle, the struggle is real but you are not alone. Mental illnesses are alot more common then most people realise and there is help out this. Thank you Emma for such a wonderful book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This is such a poignant book about grief, loss, depression, anxiety, romance and fundamentally psychosis. It's so nice to read a book that deals with a mental health subject that is not talked a lot about in literature or really at all, and when it is talked about it is often misunderstood and stigmatised. I loved the writing style, of this book. It was so easy to read, I flew through it in just a couple of days. This book manages to deal with such delicate subjects while still being This is such a poignant book about grief, loss, depression, anxiety, romance and fundamentally psychosis. It's so nice to read a book that deals with a mental health subject that is not talked a lot about in literature or really at all, and when it is talked about it is often misunderstood and stigmatised. I loved the writing style, of this book. It was so easy to read, I flew through it in just a couple of days. This book manages to deal with such delicate subjects while still being a heart warming read and having a cute romance. This book really got to me while reading and madd me tear up. There is not just rep for psychosis but depression, anxiety, taking antidepressants and therapy. It's also intersectional, as Nenna is Pakistani and the book talks about how culture can impact your mental health. I highly highly recommend this book, it's so sad but is such an important book, everyone should read

  4. 4 out of 5

    Museofnyxmares

    Blog Post: https://museofnyxmares.wordpress.com/... Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/museofnyxma... *I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion. I think that there is a great need for more discussion around mental health in young people. And for those who don’t have the means, or simply don’t feel capable of reaching out, books serve as a great comfort and education when they tackle mental health issues. The synopsis for Neena Gill made it clear that it would be tackling mental illness and so th Blog Post: https://museofnyxmares.wordpress.com/... Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/museofnyxma... *I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion. I think that there is a great need for more discussion around mental health in young people. And for those who don’t have the means, or simply don’t feel capable of reaching out, books serve as a great comfort and education when they tackle mental health issues. The synopsis for Neena Gill made it clear that it would be tackling mental illness and so this is what grabbed my attention, however, I wasn’t prepared for how honest, realistic and ultimately clever an account of a young British-Pakistani girl experiencing psychosis it would be. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story focused on mental health that had a British-Pakistani protagonist, so that in itself is one of the reasons why this book is so important, as sometimes the voices of poc seem to be lost in discussions about mental health. Representation means everything. I also like how the author also touched on cultural identity and how that could be affecting one’s mental health. Neena lives with her ‘old fashioned’ Pakistani parents in a modern thinking Western society. Her parents have always been traditional and strict, but this seemed to double when her brother went missing. Neena has adopted modern ideas, instead of her parents old fashioned ones and this is putting great strain on their relationship. Neena’s not coping with her brothers disappearance well, she’s acting out, sneaking out, drinking, talking to a boy and she knows all of these things go against her parents beliefs, but it is her only method of coping. Her parents only response to this is to become stricter and make her go to church. At the end of the day, parents are parents and teenagers are teenagers and so it’s not surprising that there is a lack of communication between them, with her parents not even considering that there could be something very serious driving her actions. I think the biggest factor that blinds her parents is that their dealing/not dealing with their own grief. It was interesting to see how what happened with Akash was affecting each of them so differently. It was even more interesting to see how Neena could see what was going on with her parents, but not with herself. This was a truly unique reading experience, as it’s told from Neena’s perspective through a first person narrative, the unique part, is that as the novel progressed, we learnt that Neena is an unreliable narrator. As the book progresses, Neena experiences huge cases of memory loss, where she’s loosing hours at a time, waking up to empty whisky bottles and completed paintings that she doesn’t remember finishing. She then comes to the conclusion that the whisky and the finished paintings are Akash’s doing. Then there is the complete opposite, where she is remembering things differently from others and seeing Akash everywhere. I don’t have any personal experience with this myself, but it seemed very realistic and was crafted with great care in order to show how her mental illness developed over time. I could truly feel the confusion and devastation that Neena felt when she couldn’t make sense of her days anymore. It was heartbreaking to see her going through this, as I can’t imagine how scary that must be. As much as this book would be great for those experiencing similar things to Neena, this would also be incredibly beneficial for anyone to read, as it definitely puts emphasis on mental health issues and how people don’t spot the signs in someone. For example, there is a great focus on how those around Neena react to her. Like I said before, her parents just think that she needs prayer and are angry and disappointed in her. All her dad really cares about is making sure her grades don’t suffer and pushing her to work harder. And then on the other hand, her mum has immersed herself in cooking to help her cope and she’s hellbent on getting Neena to eat. They were both so used to Neena being the good one, before Akash’s disappearance, that they are frightened that she’ll go down the same path as him, feeling betrayed in a way, that she can’t just go back to how she was. I truly felt for all of them, they love her, there’s no question about that, but through their grief , they’re not really seeing her or what she’s going through. She’s also lost her childhood friend, clinging to her brother’s ex girlfriend Fi instead, who’s also coping by drinking and partying, encouraging Neena to live her life to the fullest, as that’s what Akash would’ve wanted, even if that means disobeying her parents. It’s sad, because both her parents and Fi, in their own way, think that they are helping her. Even Josh who sees her going through a particularly bad episode of irrational paranoia, doesn’t even think that she may need serious help, until something physical happens. I think it’s particularly noteworthy that her dad immediately calls in professional help in the form of her teacher’s for her work, but doesn’t think to do the same for her general behaviour. I think that this is an important reminder that not even school should come before mental health, as Neena even goes to an extreme, studying at ridiculous hours, managing to pull her grades up, but she’s still suffering mentally. This was a very moving story about one family’s journey in dealing with the fallout of one of the worst situations anyone could experience. I particularly like that this was set 10 months after Akash’s disappearance I believe, with mentions of how they all were shortly after it occurred. This showed how grief can affect people for a substantial amount of time and how it changes them over time. I am so pleased that the author showed just how mental illness can affect your relationship with those around you and with yourself. It was also particularly poignant and important that the love interest didn’t ‘cure’ the illness and there was recognition that the reliance on them was becoming unhealthy, I also really respect how things ended up between them. This was my first book by this author and I’m so excited to read more of their work in the future and would definitely recommend that everyone pick this one up, it was extremely informative, honest and ultimately hopeful.

  5. 4 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Neena’s life hasn’t been the same since her older brother left. Her Pakistani parents are more strict than ever. Neena drinks, sneaks out and dates a forbidden boy. But she’s losing her grip on reality, thinks her brother is sneaking into her room, doing her homework. Her life spins out of control and only her brother can help. Emma Smith-Barton gives Neena such an authentic voice, her anxiety and distress is palpable. The writing in THE MILLION PIECES OF NEENA GILL is simple gorgeous Neena’s life hasn’t been the same since her older brother left. Her Pakistani parents are more strict than ever. Neena drinks, sneaks out and dates a forbidden boy. But she’s losing her grip on reality, thinks her brother is sneaking into her room, doing her homework. Her life spins out of control and only her brother can help. Emma Smith-Barton gives Neena such an authentic voice, her anxiety and distress is palpable. The writing in THE MILLION PIECES OF NEENA GILL is simple gorgeous. Lyrical and filled with passion, I felt like I was inside Neena’s skin. Smith-Barton does a good job describing the disorganized thinking that accompanies psychosis. I knew from early on Akash had died, assuming suicide was the cause. I wish Smith-Barton had explored Akash’s mental illness and the self medicating behavior associated with substance abuse. I think she missed a golden opportunity to bring his story full circle. He apparently fell and didn’t commit suicide but his behavior seemed suicidal which is why the missed connection felt so glaring to me. I love the Pakistani representation and the cultural inferences surrounding mental illness and medication. THE MILLION PIECES OF NEENA GILL is a story that needed to be told and I hope it gets the exposure needed.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    No rating. DNF @ 34%/pg 117. This isn’t the book’s problem. I just couldn’t get into it and I didn’t like reading about a 15 year old girl and her day drinking escapades. I understand the essence of the story and how it’s trying to portray mental health issues in young people. Unfortunately, I found the writing juvenile and could not relate to the story at all. I can, however, see why people enjoy this. It just wasn’t for me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    4.5 stars. What a beautiful yet heart-wrenching story. I think this book is very important but it did sometimes hit a bit too close to home and I shed a few tears whilst reading this. Overall, I'm very glad I received an ARC of this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    I really enjoyed this! I was lucky enough to get a physical ARC of this, and may I just say, the cover is absolutely stunning! I'll start out with trigger warnings: suicide, mental illness, psychosis, depression, and drug use. The story arc begins pretty much as your typical younger YA novel, with a girl who loves to sneak out to parties and get drunk. But with pretty religious parents who are still suffering from past griefs, Neena's life is full of secrets and lies. This book focuses a lot I really enjoyed this! I was lucky enough to get a physical ARC of this, and may I just say, the cover is absolutely stunning! I'll start out with trigger warnings: suicide, mental illness, psychosis, depression, and drug use. The story arc begins pretty much as your typical younger YA novel, with a girl who loves to sneak out to parties and get drunk. But with pretty religious parents who are still suffering from past griefs, Neena's life is full of secrets and lies. This book focuses a lot on Neena's individual relationships, with her friends, her boyfriend, and her parents. There's also a lot of attention paid to her relationship with her brother, Akash. At times, Neena's character read as quite childish, but I think that's because her character was 15. The themes in the novel make the characters seem a lot older and more mature, but I suppose it's an unfriendly reminder that mental illness affects people of all ages. The exploration of mental illness was, to my knowledge at least, one of the most real I've seen in a YA novel for a while. There was clearly a lot of thought put into its representation throughout this novel. The way depression manifests itself into a person's mind was explored quite well, not just through constant crying and seeing therapists, but by little tells and small changes in behaviour in certain characters. It was a genuine depiction, which I'm grateful for as a lot of people seem to think mental illness has to be very obviously shown in someone's face for it to be real. It's a reminder that there's a lot of stigmatisation around mental health, so a lot of people try to hide their illness to make it seem like they're just like the rest of us. I did really enjoy this book, and would recommend it to anyone who wants a more accurate depiction of mental health discussions in a younger YA setting.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    DNF- 60% I was provided an e-arc by the publishers from Netgalley. Generic storyline and characters. Strict parents, teenager who just wants 'freedom', missing sibling, etc. The writing wasn't bad, just the storyline was something that has been seen multiple times before; if you like mental health books, then this is the book for you.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Farhina ↯↯ The Wanderer Of Inked Adventures

    As the title suggests, Nina Gill is in fact in a million pieces. She struggles with holding herself together when everything around her has been falling apart. Every since her bother has left she keeps loosing her grip on sanity!   This book reminded me a lot of one memory of flora blanks ( i liked this one better) , as flora out protagonist is also very erratic, struggling and all over the place. You cannot always tell what is happening in the story because the protagonist is so As the title suggests, Nina Gill is in fact in a million pieces. She struggles with holding herself together when everything around her has been falling apart. Every since her bother has left she keeps loosing her grip on sanity!   This book reminded me a lot of one memory of flora blanks ( i liked this one better) , as flora out protagonist is also very erratic, struggling and all over the place. You cannot always tell what is happening in the story because the protagonist is so unreliable. What was most intriguing for me was how everyone around her dealt with her condition.  Like it was so frustrating because I could see wasn't okay but her parent and everyone around her was so clueless and ignorant. Her parent being typical Pakistani *desi* parent just wanted her to keep up her grade and her mother wanted to eat. And they so tactfully ignored what was in front of them as is in most south Asian families. Her brothers ex, who is her new best friend and she hung around with was also toxic. Encouraging to constantly  to drink and party , because apparently that was living to the fullest. Although this book bring nothing new to the table but it has amazing Pakistani British rep and deals with the mental health issue in depth. Its very realistic and explore how blind people are to mental health and ignore the signs. How its not taken very seriously. So yes very much worth the read. My Blog | Instagram | Twitter |

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julie Parks

    I got a copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley. Thank you. The storyline didn't feel very fresh - the same old problems and misunderstandings with parents, age gap, sibling relationships, a kid who just wants "out" etc. We all have been there and maybe we all have felt like we have mental problems. Books like this is a good mirror to see what it's like for someone who actually does have mental problems. It's a good book for kids with such concerns, a I got a copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley. Thank you. The storyline didn't feel very fresh - the same old problems and misunderstandings with parents, age gap, sibling relationships, a kid who just wants "out" etc. We all have been there and maybe we all have felt like we have mental problems. Books like this is a good mirror to see what it's like for someone who actually does have mental problems. It's a good book for kids with such concerns, and parents who go through doubts about their kids.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nadia

    A full review can be found on my blog, Headscarves and Hardbacks! Trigger warning for sexual assault and suicide. This is a powerful story about grief and loss that follows a British-Pakistani teenager whose mental health rapidly declines throughout the course of the novel and the months following her brother’s disappearance. Although I enjoyed the book overall, I had a lot of issues with the writing at the very beginning of the story. It felt incredibly disjointed and repetitive but, ultimately/>Trigger A full review can be found on my blog, Headscarves and Hardbacks! Trigger warning for sexual assault and suicide. This is a powerful story about grief and loss that follows a British-Pakistani teenager whose mental health rapidly declines throughout the course of the novel and the months following her brother’s disappearance. Although I enjoyed the book overall, I had a lot of issues with the writing at the very beginning of the story. It felt incredibly disjointed and repetitive but, ultimately, as the novel progresses, the writing ends up reflecting Neena’s muddled thoughts and unreliability as a narrator. In particular, in the lead up to her psychotic episode in the climax of the novel, the author’s narrative style really works to convey what’s going on inside Neena’s head. This being said, I didn’t particularly like Neena as a character or her obsession with her boyfriend, Josh. The romantic storyline felt incredibly immature and cheesy but I also have to keep reminding myself that these characters are only fifteen years old so they’re going to make mistakes and questionable decisions. The book also deals with a lot of mature themes like substance misuse and alcohol, and it has representation for a range of mental health issues including psychosis, depression, anxiety and agoraphobia. Neena’s mother, for example, struggles to leave the house following her son’s disappearance and, on the rare occasion that she leaves in order to attend a meeting at Neena’s school, she experiences a panic attack. Although Neena’s dad was an unlikeable character, playing into the stereotype of a strict Asian parent, her mother’s understanding of mental illnesses was so heart-warming to read about because these illnesses are so rarely understood within South-Asian communities. Overall, this is a beautiful story about one sister searching for her missing brother and holding on to his memory so that he’s never really gone. There were certain aspects I didn’t particularly enjoy and some loose threads that weren’t tied up in the conclusion, but the mental illness representation is commendable, right down to the way it’s written onto the page.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    A beautifully written insight into dealing with loss, trauma and mental illness. Emma Smith-Barton shows readers not just what it’s like to experience a psychotic breakdown but also what it’s like to piece yourself back together when you feel like you’re falling apart. Neena’s always been a good girl - great grades, parent-approved friends and absolutely no boyfriends. But ever since her brother Akash left her, she’s been slowly falling apart - and uncovering a new version of herself A beautifully written insight into dealing with loss, trauma and mental illness. Emma Smith-Barton shows readers not just what it’s like to experience a psychotic breakdown but also what it’s like to piece yourself back together when you feel like you’re falling apart. Neena’s always been a good girl - great grades, parent-approved friends and absolutely no boyfriends. But ever since her brother Akash left her, she’s been slowly falling apart - and uncovering a new version of herself who is freer, but altogether more dangerous. As her wild behaviour spirals more and more out of control, Neena’s grip on her sanity begins to weaken too. And when her parents announce not one but two life-changing bombshells, she finally reaches breaking point. Neena Gill’s story is powerful because for all the sorrow Neena goes through, there’s also a lot of joy and positivity. Neena fights to get better, recognises that she has to make healthier choices and learns how to open up about the tough topic of mental health with her family and friends. Throughout the novel it’s clear that Smith-Barton cares deeply about the issue of teenage mental health. I can’t attest to how authentic Neena’s experiences with anxiety and psychosis are, but it was evident that Smith-Barton had done her research. Not only that, I felt that this book was written specifically for teenagers struggling with mental health problems - to let them feel seen and heard and to give them hope. It was also great to read Welsh-Pakistani representation from an own voices author. Neena’s complex relationship with her family and her culture plays an important part in the novel and Smith-Barton explores Neena’s complicated relationship with her Pakistani culture and how it affects her attitudes - and her parents’ attitudes - towards mental illness deftly and sensitively. It was especially wonderful to see the standard representation of Pakistani parents as restrictive and closed off challenged by the end of the novel. Many thanks to Penguin Books for providing a copy of The Million Pieces of Neena Gill. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. Publisher: Penguin Books Rating: 4 stars | ★★★★✰ Review originally posted at Paperback'd Reviews

  14. 5 out of 5

    V Nerd ✨Audio Killed the Bookmark

    What a hauntingly beautiful book. A wonderful change to see a British Pakistani represented character in a book, we follow Neena coping with the disappearance of her brother, coping the only way she knows, much to the disappointment and beliefs of her strict parents. A moving story that shows the spiral of mental illness through the eyes of the person themselves, which makes it difficult to read as it can sometimes show that the narrator is unreliable, but oh my goodness I What a hauntingly beautiful book. A wonderful change to see a British Pakistani represented character in a book, we follow Neena coping with the disappearance of her brother, coping the only way she knows, much to the disappointment and beliefs of her strict parents. A moving story that shows the spiral of mental illness through the eyes of the person themselves, which makes it difficult to read as it can sometimes show that the narrator is unreliable, but oh my goodness I loved her. Grab this one, I think it is going to sky rocket!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Yasmin

    I was lucky enough to read this book early and I can tell you it was PHENOMENAL. Not going to go into detail for fear of spoilers, but Emma has dealt with so many issues in such a sensitive manner. The depiction of mental health is SO SPOT ON, it gave me tinglies. I have been searching for YEARS for a book that deals with mental health with a BAME protagonist, and THANK GOODNESS for this book - it is a sorely needed one. Neena is a wonderful, engaging character, with (as th I was lucky enough to read this book early and I can tell you it was PHENOMENAL. Not going to go into detail for fear of spoilers, but Emma has dealt with so many issues in such a sensitive manner. The depiction of mental health is SO SPOT ON, it gave me tinglies. I have been searching for YEARS for a book that deals with mental health with a BAME protagonist, and THANK GOODNESS for this book - it is a sorely needed one. Neena is a wonderful, engaging character, with (as the title suggests) so many different sides to her. I was so completely invested in her and her story and her journey. The end of the book had me completely on the edge of my seat, and up WAY past my bedtime. I cannot WAIT for this book to release into the wild, for everyone to read it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Breakaway Reviewers

    A brilliant book about growing pains and grief. I have to be honest, I don't read YA books unless you count the countless Judy Blume books I read during my own coming-of-age a thousand incarnations ago. But this book was a brilliant baptism into a genre that I could truly grow to love. Neena Gill lives with her strict, religious, conservative Pakistani parents and one night, her older, beloved brother, Akasha simply vanishes without a trace after a party. The book deals wit A brilliant book about growing pains and grief. I have to be honest, I don't read YA books unless you count the countless Judy Blume books I read during my own coming-of-age a thousand incarnations ago. But this book was a brilliant baptism into a genre that I could truly grow to love. Neena Gill lives with her strict, religious, conservative Pakistani parents and one night, her older, beloved brother, Akasha simply vanishes without a trace after a party. The book deals with the different ways in which people experience and cope with (or don’t cope with) extraordinary losses. Neena’s character is full and rich, sometimes child-like even for a 15-year-old, and we traverse her journey through her loss, her confusion and her guilt as she tries to make sense of someone she loves dearly simply not being there anymore. This book gives depth to issues such as depression in all its forms as well as other mental health issues such as anxiety, suicidality and psychosis. The de-stigmatisation of mental health issues is a topic I am very passionate about – especially in adolescents – so I was moved by how the author navigated these issues; all very subtly and delicately written. The effect of mental illness was, perhaps, better addressed in this book than in some books I have read aimed at an adult audience. The writing is accessible and flows beautifully. I read this book in a few days. There are moments of desperation and gut-wrenching sadness. I admit to shedding a few tears and having a lump in my throat at times. But it is also a story of how young people are forced to grapple with two disparate worlds: the one they grew up in where their parents dictate the status quo and the one they are striving to make their own reality, their independence. This conflict fuels much of the story. There is even a softer, sweeter love story that took me back to my days as a teen, crushing hard and awkwardly on a boy. It is very bitter-sweet and poignant and also displays Neena’s growing defiance as she makes choices in her romantic relationship that could jeopardise her future plans. This book provides accurate, I believe, insight into the multi-faceted, fragile mind of a teen who is slowly losing hers. I highly recommend this book and I do believe I am unashamedly a YA convert now. Desiree-Anne Martin Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    L.H. Johnson

    Neena Gill's brother has disappeared without a trace and it's taken a toll on her family. They're all just trying to get through another day without him, and nobody can quite do it without falling apart a little bit more. Neena's schoolwork, her friends, and her relationships are all struggling, and her mental health is taking the toll. And, as is so often the way, she must reach the bottom before we can set out again for the top... The Million Pieces of Neena Gill is an immensely con Neena Gill's brother has disappeared without a trace and it's taken a toll on her family. They're all just trying to get through another day without him, and nobody can quite do it without falling apart a little bit more. Neena's schoolwork, her friends, and her relationships are all struggling, and her mental health is taking the toll. And, as is so often the way, she must reach the bottom before we can set out again for the top... The Million Pieces of Neena Gill is an immensely confident YA debut and one which touches on some very powerful issues without ever being 'I am touching on some important issues, ask me how I do that' in the process. There's a lot here to love, really, and much of it centres on the inherent power of the novel. Smith-Barton writes with power and heart and feeling, and sometimes she is very, very devastating. Though there were a flew slight, sticky elements in the area of characterization and a few plot moments that didn't quite work for me, Smith-Barton's writing allows her to get away with it. This is a strong, heartfelt, and occasionally rather brilliant book. I think it's important to note that The Million Pieces of Neena Gill has a very valuable afterword which includes a personal note from Smith-Barton on the creative background of the text, alongside a list of resources for people to use if they recognise any of the symptoms or experiences in the story. I believe a lot in books that use the roundness of themselves for good; we presume so much in story to help us that sometimes we forget that story is precisely that. Fictional. Otherworldly. Imagined. But a book has space for material of this nature, material to bookend and buttress and bolster the story, and it should be used. Particularly in books like this. And when it's well done - as it is here - it's important to recognise and applaud that. Finally, I think it's worthwhile noting that this isn't an easy book. I am increasingly drawn to books about humans. People that make mistakes. People that are messy and not particularly perfect and not paragons. Neena makes bad choices. She makes poor choices. But I rooted for her. So much. And when she faced her crisis point; a moment written with some high, exquisite clarity, I felt it. Every inch of it. And that is enough to make me ignore the occasional stickiness because moments like that tell me this is an author to watch. My thanks to the publisher for a review copy.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amy Rush Da Silva

    Trigger Warnings: Death, drug abuse, binge drinking, psychotic episodes. As someone who suffers from mental problems myself I am always on the look out for books, especially in YA, that tackle this topic head on. So, when I heard about The Million Pieces of Neena Gill I was eager to know more. Firstly WOW! This book blew me away, so much that I finished it in a few hours as I was that engrossed in it. It was beautifully written and it was so captivating that you can't help Trigger Warnings: Death, drug abuse, binge drinking, psychotic episodes. As someone who suffers from mental problems myself I am always on the look out for books, especially in YA, that tackle this topic head on. So, when I heard about The Million Pieces of Neena Gill I was eager to know more. Firstly WOW! This book blew me away, so much that I finished it in a few hours as I was that engrossed in it. It was beautifully written and it was so captivating that you can't help but read on and on. I was honestly in awe of the writing style and how it really took you into each moment throughout the story. I was very surprised that this was a debut, as I wouldn't have guessed that by the elegance of the story and it's style. We follow Neena as she starts to discover a hidden side of herself which involves partying, drinking and finding her first love. At first you think that she's just rebelling against her parents but you soon do find out that she's basically finding it hard to deal with the loss of her older brother, Akash. Neena's downward spiral with her psychosis felt so raw and gritty, and for me I found little clues that all pointed to Neena's upcoming breaking point throughout the story, which for me made it all the more realistic. Psychosis is an area of mental health that really isn't touched on enough within YA and this was one of the main reasons why I loved The Million Pieces of Neena Gill so much. I, knew somewhat about the symptoms and what happens to someone suffering with Psychosis but after reading this I feel that my knowledge on this area of mental health has expanded. Neena, I feel, will help a lot of teens who are suffering with this mental health concern and the more they are given support the better. Anxiety is also touched upon within the story, and as someone who suffers from anxiety myself I could really relate to Neena's battle with it. It really did resonate with me that's for sure. The Million Pieces of Neena Gill was a gorgeously written book about an area of mental health that isn't mentioned nearly enough and one that, I think should be read by any teen who is going through a mental health concern to show that they aren't alone and that there is support out there.

  19. 5 out of 5

    L.

    I really, really loved this. Especially the representation in this. The main character, Neena Gill, is Pakistani and suffers from psychosis which includes hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, anxiety and depression. She experiances panic attacks within the book, as well as calming methods on how to pull herself out of the panic attack and how people around her have pulled her out of the panic attack. Some of the people around her suffer from mental illnesses, as well. Her mother is an example. T I really, really loved this. Especially the representation in this. The main character, Neena Gill, is Pakistani and suffers from psychosis which includes hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, anxiety and depression. She experiances panic attacks within the book, as well as calming methods on how to pull herself out of the panic attack and how people around her have pulled her out of the panic attack. Some of the people around her suffer from mental illnesses, as well. Her mother is an example. They are all grieving over the dissaperance of Neena's brother, so as a result her mother develops some sort of PTSD and has extreme anxiety on leaving the house. The mental health representation, I feel as a mentally ill person myself, was handled really well and respectfully. I especially love how Neena takes medication for it and, within the book, she states how much the medication has helped her. When she stops taking the medication, Neena claims she is feeling ok but we as readers know that she isn't ok which I think is a really positive message to tell others who are thinking of quittting their medication without a doctor's supervision - it's dangerous, and even if you feel ok you can't be a good judge of character sometimes. This would be a five star review, but there were problems in this book that I'm going to talk about more in depth on my blog in the upcoming few weeks, and those were fatphobia (several times, all against her mother), how I had problems with Neena has a character in the early stages of the book and also I thought Fi was a really bad friends at times and how a lot of what she did wasn't actually called out, and she never had to say sorry for those incidents specifically so we never knew if she was sorry only for the things that she mentioned or if she included those as well and I think making that more clear would have been more beneficial for the reader. Otherwise, I absolutely adored this book and I can see it becoming a 2019 favourite. I will 100% pick up more books from this author.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Neena Gill is a bit of a mess. Ten months ago her brother, Akash, disappeared. And since then, her parents have become so much stricter, she's become more distant with her best friend Raheela, her new bestie Fiona knows something about the night Akash disappeared - she knows it - and the boy she likes might finally like her back. But things are so confusing when Akash is helping her finish her paintings, and her parents keep making life changing announcements. Neena isn't sure she can keep up. A Neena Gill is a bit of a mess. Ten months ago her brother, Akash, disappeared. And since then, her parents have become so much stricter, she's become more distant with her best friend Raheela, her new bestie Fiona knows something about the night Akash disappeared - she knows it - and the boy she likes might finally like her back. But things are so confusing when Akash is helping her finish her paintings, and her parents keep making life changing announcements. Neena isn't sure she can keep up. And it's taking a toll on her. I wanted to like this book so much. The way that it deals with mental health - but the kind of mental health you don't read about so much in YA - was so good. It tries to normalise the taking of antidepressants, it deals with memory blackouts, hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks, psychosis. It's never judgy about any mental health issues, it compares a 'broken mind' to a broken leg in that every part of us can need help. I just couldn't connect with it. I didn't find Neena relateable at all, and not all characters have to be of course, but there was nothing drawing me to her. There were a lot of parts of the storyline that felt very generic - strict Pakistani parents, old best friends jealous of new best friends, a boy who can save everything. And while I do think the mental health aspect of this book is great, it wasn't enough to make me like this book. It was all just very... meh to me. I don't feel anything great towards it or against it. There were large parts where Neena's mental health was particularly bad that I had real trouble actually following the book. And while I can appreciate that was done deliberately to show how chaotic it was inside her mind, and how confused she was, it was very disjointed and didn't flow as a novel. So, while I can understand the hype around it, I didn't connect with this book and it just wasn't for me. 

  21. 4 out of 5

    Charlie' (MyBooksAreCorrupted)

    Disclaimer: Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I am so grateful to NetGalley and the Publishers, Penguin Random House UK Children's, for providing me with a copy of The Million Pieces of Neena Gill by Emma Smith-Barton "Our worst misfortunes never happen, and most miseries lie in anticipation." This book was a roller coaster of emotions because oh my, I didn't see that twist coming! Neena has always been the good girl: good grades, parent-approved friends/> Disclaimer: Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I am so grateful to NetGalley and the Publishers, Penguin Random House UK Children's, for providing me with a copy of The Million Pieces of Neena Gill by Emma Smith-Barton "Our worst misfortunes never happen, and most miseries lie in anticipation." This book was a roller coaster of emotions because oh my, I didn't see that twist coming! Neena has always been the good girl: good grades, parent-approved friends, no drinking, and absolutely no boyfriends. Her brother Akash is the opposite, he drives their parents mad with worry going out late to parties, drinking and doing drugs. But he is Neena's rock during the bad times, so when he disappears it sends Neena into a tailspin. However this allows her to discover a new version of herself, but this new version is the opposite of what her parents want and her behavior starts to spiral more and more out of control. With two life-changing bombshells over the course of the book, Neena reaches breaking point. But oh my, this book really did take me through the ringer and I was completely taken in by some of the plot lines, they were told impeccably. At times I did forget that Neena is only fifteen during the time of this book and some of the plot lines are...concerning in what the Neena has to go through and she does get taken advantage at one point in the book. The author has experience with Mental Health issues after someone close to her suffered with the same illness that Neena goes through, you can feel this throughout the book because that part of the plot is told with sympathy and with knowledge. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I definitely recommended it to YA's as long as you know you are going into a book that will possibly change your view on life.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

    The Million Pieces of Neena Gill is a heart wrenching and poignant story that brings together anxiety, romance, cultural struggles and loss in the modern day. I've never read a book with a main character that struggles with psychosis, and so this book is a much-needed addition to mental health YA, but it's so much more than that. What can I say, Emma Smith Barton's debut novel absolutely blew me away. I read the whole thing in two days, and my brain was wracked full of concern, confusion and lov The Million Pieces of Neena Gill is a heart wrenching and poignant story that brings together anxiety, romance, cultural struggles and loss in the modern day. I've never read a book with a main character that struggles with psychosis, and so this book is a much-needed addition to mental health YA, but it's so much more than that. What can I say, Emma Smith Barton's debut novel absolutely blew me away. I read the whole thing in two days, and my brain was wracked full of concern, confusion and love for this stunningly painful book. The book is told in first person from Neena's point of view, and so we are inside her head as she has a psychotic episode. This is an absolutely harrowing experience that is impossible to explain. We quickly release that Neena is an unreliable narrator - forgetting things and making up new memories in their place, hallucinating and believing the world is out to get her - but there is nothing we can do. The writer does this perfectly, portraying confusion and surety in the same sentence. The writing style was breathtaking and beautiful. Neena is an engaging and relatable protagonist who I rooted for throughout all her struggles. The Million Pieces addresses many important issues, one being the way cultural pressure can impact mental health. Neena is British-Pakistani and lives in a modern Western society with her traditional and strict parents. These issues are all depicted in a sensitive and yet eye-opening way. The plot was well paced and perfectly structured. The storyline had me gasping and crying, and I could barely put the book down. This story was raw and real and I am so happy I read it. This book was a roller coaster of emotions that I really would recommend to all lovers of deeper contemporary YA. It's beautiful, poignant and important, and I really hope that Neena's is a voice that is heard.

  23. 5 out of 5

    legenbooksdary

    I was fairly excited and anxious to start reading this book when I received it and finally decided to pick it up. The proof copy is gorgeous but perhaps I judged the cover too quickly. The first hundred pages were exciting but after reading halfway through, my interest quickly dissipated. There were so many things that I wish were different instead of the way it actually is. I wish that Neena would want to rely on her parents more than her love interest, Josh. But it seems that family would alwa I was fairly excited and anxious to start reading this book when I received it and finally decided to pick it up. The proof copy is gorgeous but perhaps I judged the cover too quickly. The first hundred pages were exciting but after reading halfway through, my interest quickly dissipated. There were so many things that I wish were different instead of the way it actually is. I wish that Neena would want to rely on her parents more than her love interest, Josh. But it seems that family would always fail to see what their child is going through and what they're facing. It always seems to be that they never want to accept of how they may be facing problems but when a third party actually states it aloud, do they begin to realise that they need to step up and take action. I'm starting to get frustrated by parents who are acting this way instead of actually wanting to help their child who is in desperate need of help. But it seems that I've been reading two books in a row with parents who are quite similar that could be the result of me feeling this way. Mental health is important and just as it is to seek for help. Sometimes the characters don't realise that they need it when sometimes they could also ignore it and let it get too overwhelming. It is up to those around them to be more cautious, aware and act for them. This story was a bit too slow paced for my liking. I wish that I could have it in me to like this book better but I just couldn't. Though I may feel towards it the way that I do, it doesn't mean that this book couldn't be important, interesting and likeable to others. This book has a lot of potential and tackles on grief, mental illness and to grab on something concrete like love.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    Disclaimer: I received this book from the publishers through Netgalley. However, all opinions expressed in this review are my own. I chose to read ‘The Million Pieces of Neena Gill’ mainly because I am all about representation, especially when it comes to the content I’m reading. So having an Asian protagonist was right up my street. Also this coupled with mental health, which has a strong stigma attached to it in Asian communities, was a breakthrough that I wanted to get behind. Disclaimer: I received this book from the publishers through Netgalley. However, all opinions expressed in this review are my own. I chose to read ‘The Million Pieces of Neena Gill’ mainly because I am all about representation, especially when it comes to the content I’m reading. So having an Asian protagonist was right up my street. Also this coupled with mental health, which has a strong stigma attached to it in Asian communities, was a breakthrough that I wanted to get behind. Before I start, it’s worth noting the trigger warnings in this book because it does delve deep into issues relating to mental health. This book was a ride of emotions and I have to admit more than a few times I was very confuse as to what was going on. As a reader, witnessing Neena go through all these waves of emotions was hauntingly sad because I could see her hopelessly spiraling out of control without seeking help. In some ways it did remind me of ‘The One Memory of Flora Banks’ in that it really gets you into the mind set of the protagonist. It didn’t work for me the first time nor this time but I see what the intention is and I get it. It’s a very real and raw book that reflects grief, the issues with cultural expectations and how these can have a huge impact on mental health. For that I applaud it. Overall, I wasn’t overly amazed by this book. I think the meaning and awareness behind it is what prevails the most. It’s not an easy book to read and the issues it touches upon are moving. But having said that, I support what this book represents and stands for. Read my full review here!

  25. 4 out of 5

    c,

    On my blog. Actual rating 3.5 Rep: British-Pakistani mc with anxiety disorder (possibly also bipolar disorder with psychosis but never labelled) CWs: psychotic episode, panic attacks, mentions of death Galley provided by publisher The Million Pieces of Neena Gill is one of those books that’ll make you realise the power of having an unreliable narrator (and then make you cry when you find out the truth). The plot follows Neena, ten months on from her brother’s disappearance, as she starts tak/>The/>Galley/>/> On my blog. Actual rating 3.5 Rep: British-Pakistani mc with anxiety disorder (possibly also bipolar disorder with psychosis but never labelled) CWs: psychotic episode, panic attacks, mentions of death Galley provided by publisher The Million Pieces of Neena Gill is one of those books that’ll make you realise the power of having an unreliable narrator (and then make you cry when you find out the truth). The plot follows Neena, ten months on from her brother’s disappearance, as she starts taking more risks, going to more parties, and becoming a freer version of herself. But the more she does, the more she starts to spiral out of control. One thing I loved about this book is how it builds up Neena’s spiralling, how it foreshadows it until you reach that breaking point and you realise that this is what has been coming all along. It doesn’t come out of the blue, because everything leading to it is meshed into the plot and writing so subtly and seamlessly. You can see it happening, but you can’t stop it. And it’s nothing sensationalised at all. You know like how, particularly in films, psychosis gets magnified to an extreme and exaggerated? Here there’s none of that. I also loved the family relationships in this book. The best stories are ones that tug at your heartstrings when it comes to family, and this one did just that, especially at the end (I did almost cry, I’ll tell you that). Honestly, I think if you like Melina Marchetta’s way of writing family relationships, this one will be right up your alley. If there’s one thing I wasn’t too keen on in this book, it’s the whole storyline with Jay (and Fi and Chris by extension). Akash (Neena’s brother) is 3 years older than her (so would be 18 at the time the story is taking place). Jay, his friend, is 20. Jay comes onto Neena and starts kissing her. He’s 20, she’s 15, you can see why I’m pretty leery about that. I guess it’s framed as part of her psychotic episode by the end, but it also does get brushed aside a little bit, so I’m not sure what the point was. Keeping with age and relationships, we’re never actually told how old Fi, who was Akash’s girlfriend, is. She’s at school with Neena, though not in her classes, but she starts dating a 19 year old over the course of the book. So yeah, basically some of the relationships made me a little kind of uncomfortable (especially because Neena is under the age of consent). Thankfully, Neena and Josh (the main relationship) are both 15 (though maybe felt a little underdeveloped? But that wasn’t the main story so I didn’t mind). In summary: I hope my rambles have somehow convinced you to read this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    The Million Pieces of Neena Gill was a really interesting read. Neena's family are strict, even more so after her brother's disappearance. She tries to be good and do as she's told but it's hard being a teenager with someone breathing down your neck especially when they regularly threaten to take the one thing you really want away from you. In this case a shot at Art School which Neena wants more than anything else. The story initially looks at how Neena deals with this pressure. As t The Million Pieces of Neena Gill was a really interesting read. Neena's family are strict, even more so after her brother's disappearance. She tries to be good and do as she's told but it's hard being a teenager with someone breathing down your neck especially when they regularly threaten to take the one thing you really want away from you. In this case a shot at Art School which Neena wants more than anything else. The story initially looks at how Neena deals with this pressure. As the story continues it starts to become apparent that whilst Neena puts up a good front that actually not all is well and it becomes clear as her behaviour becomes more erratic that she isn't handling everything as she should. For me where this book is really insightful in how it shows that mental illness is something that can creep up on you and it only takes a bad situation or a stressful period in your life to tip someone over into not being OK and actually that's OK and normal. What I liked about it is how this book normalises the issues that Neena faces because things go really go very wrong for her but the reactions of those around her clearly show how vital support can be to help someone with a mental illness as well as being clearly that the person who is ill isn't at fault for their situation. All in all a very thoughtful book which had a lot to say and covers the issues it wants to raise in a sensitive manner.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mrs

    Another great book through Netgalley - thank you. In this day and age when we are hearing more and more about mental health issues in the press, this story is put together so well and a great read even though it is often sad and very poignant to everyday life in, I am sure, a lot of households. Neena is a young Pakistani girl being brought up in a strict household with a slightly, it appears, wayward brother who goes missing and all the parents anxiety and strictness is put on her in a way that Another great book through Netgalley - thank you. In this day and age when we are hearing more and more about mental health issues in the press, this story is put together so well and a great read even though it is often sad and very poignant to everyday life in, I am sure, a lot of households. Neena is a young Pakistani girl being brought up in a strict household with a slightly, it appears, wayward brother who goes missing and all the parents anxiety and strictness is put on her in a way that causes her such anxiety and stress that she suffers greatly within her world. Eventually she breaks and the author of this story has dealt with the fallout in such a sensitive way that a lot of parents with “broken” children could learn many lessons. I did feel early on in the book that perhaps the author had more than a passing knowledge of this world which proves to be the case. I would like to think that the help Neena gets from the services out there for young adults who have such trauma is available to all but I know from a friend’s experience this is not the case and I wonder if books like this should be read by the teams out there. Contentious subject I am sure. This book is written so sensitively and I hope it does well

  28. 5 out of 5

    Blue

    Penguin has delivered another powerful story and Smith-Batron wrote it compellingly. The Million Pieces of Neena Gill is a story about grief, loss and hits home with a strong and important argument of mental health. We meet Neena, a young girl who is heartbroken and mentally destroyed over the disappearance of her brother. The start of the story is a bit repetitive and muddled in a way, but as you continue to read the story you find that this is reflecting of Neena’s mind, and is a wel Penguin has delivered another powerful story and Smith-Batron wrote it compellingly. The Million Pieces of Neena Gill is a story about grief, loss and hits home with a strong and important argument of mental health. We meet Neena, a young girl who is heartbroken and mentally destroyed over the disappearance of her brother. The start of the story is a bit repetitive and muddled in a way, but as you continue to read the story you find that this is reflecting of Neena’s mind, and is a well written example of mental health and the battle going on inside her mind. This book covers a lot of mature themes such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse and it isn’t fluffed up for the audience, it is written brutally leaving the reader with an eye open experience and insight to what others can be facing. The only thing that I didn’t enjoy about this book was the try-hard romance that was happening. I found Neena’s deep yet childish love for Josh, her boyfriend, actually took away from the importance of the book. Their love was childish, cheesy and disappointing. Overall this was a great read and was wonderfully written. If you are after a heard hitting book about mental health than this is the kind of book you should be picking up and reading.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rhiannon

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Firstly Iokento thank Netgally and the Publisher for sending me a copy of this to review This book does contain triggers for mental health. We meet Neena at the start and we find out that her brother is missing and we follow Neena and her family as they process what has happened to her brother. I enjoyed the book a lot the mental health rep is alot on and its unique perspective also we get to see a different culture and person of clour deal with mental health issues through out and the stigma th Firstly Iokento thank Netgally and the Publisher for sending me a copy of this to review This book does contain triggers for mental health. We meet Neena at the start and we find out that her brother is missing and we follow Neena and her family as they process what has happened to her brother. I enjoyed the book a lot the mental health rep is alot on and its unique perspective also we get to see a different culture and person of clour deal with mental health issues through out and the stigma that it has on Neenas life. The plot was good it kept me hooked the plot twists in this book I didnt expect. The chapters were short and I loved the illustrations on the chapter headings. I thought the chractures were really well thought out and they had good development. Personally i felt the drinking and the drug taking was a bit too much and at times didnt really give the plot oomph it also felt that people with mental health problems always turn to drink or take drugs wich as a reader felt harmful. I loked that they dealt with grief well and followed Neenas recovery well All in all I enjoyed the book and really 4 out of 5 stars for me

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lily

    A great new novel to add to the ranks of excellent depictions of mental health in YA. This story explores grief and how much it can affect your mind. It shows Neena's spiral into complete breakdown in a slow gradual way, building up symptoms and issues, going unnoticed by those around her until it's too late. I love how deeply it delves into how the mind can trick you. How it can tell you things that you know can't be true, but still you believe them. The way Neena got so utterly convinced that A great new novel to add to the ranks of excellent depictions of mental health in YA. This story explores grief and how much it can affect your mind. It shows Neena's spiral into complete breakdown in a slow gradual way, building up symptoms and issues, going unnoticed by those around her until it's too late. I love how deeply it delves into how the mind can trick you. How it can tell you things that you know can't be true, but still you believe them. The way Neena got so utterly convinced that her brother was helping her finish her paintings, the way that they were better when she woke up to them finished. It was good to see a mental health book that really highlights the taboos surrounding mental health and discussion of it. The way Neena's mother doesn't leave the house but won't talk about it, pretending that everything is normal. The way she treats Neena's medication, hiding them away and treating them like a dirty little secret that she shouldn't tell people around. I also loved the cultural aspects. The descriptions of food made my mouth water!

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