Your family is the most important part of your life. Your families are the people you love, and love is what separates us from scoundrels and criminals. It maintains order. Your parents, your sibling, and your Partner, are the ones you love. There should never, ever, be anyone else who comes close to that bond. You have only one best friend, and that is the person you’ll be marrying someday. We must learn to differentiate the relationships in our lives: the people we love, and the ones we don’t. It’s inappropriate, it’s foolish, and it’s forbidden to think otherwise.
Trace Bailey’s mouth is her worst enemy – somehow it always gets her in trouble. Luckily, she has a partner in crime – her best friend and neighbor since age seven, Piren Allston. He can’t get enough of her crazy sense of humor, and she loves that he’s always up for another adventure.
They can’t be friends, though, not in their world. Trace and Piren were Assigned to other people at the age of six, and they’re supposed to marry their Partners when they turn twenty-four. Failure to comply leads to Banishment, a fate worse than death.
Worse still is the growing realization that their bond is stronger than just friendship.
In a world without freedom, there are still choices to be made. Following their hearts means losing their family, but following the law means losing each other.
Tracy Bailey has never been shy about speaking her mind and in the world that she lives in that can be dangerous. Everyone is paired off at the tender age of six. Partners are chosen by an all-knowing computer for the betterment of society – no disease, no divorce and no way out. For Trace, it’s all just a cruel joke because her heart has always belonged to her best friend, Piren.
Piren has always been her shelter in the storm. Their childhood adventures have now taken an unexpected turn and she can’t imagine living a day without him. Even if it means "Banishment" from everything and everyone that they have ever known.
“Piren isn’t like other people. He’s kind. He’s the best person I know. Maybe our scars aren’t the kinds that run down your face; maybe our scars are the kinds that form on the inside. But it’s an unruly, tortured bond we share. It’s un-severable. It runs thick and deep as the roots of this very tree. Piren’s my stability. He’s my constant, my confidant. He’s the source of that deep, satisfying laugh that only comes from your best friend. The type of laugh that warms your whole body and makes you forget everything else.”
Piren Allston was the boy that the bullies picked on until Trace walked up and sat next to him that day in the school cafeteria. He tried to be what society expected and “love” his Assigned Partner as he should but the only girl that he could ever really give his heart to is Trace. Can he ever be brave enough to admit what he really feels or are they both condemned to live in a world with hope and without love?
“When you really love someone, nothing else matters. I love him. I love him with every fiber of my heart. I love him absolutely and completely. I love him. And so I’ll let him go.”
Missing Pieces absolutely shocked me with its genius! I am traditionally not a Young Adult reader, but Meredith made me believe in the genre again. She has painted a unique universe with colors that are poignant and rebellious, full of despair and brightened by hope.
Her characters are wise beyond their years and the story held me spellbound from the very beginning. I laughed until my sides hurt and then I wept hot tears until I could no longer see the page – and I fell in love with every word…
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