Fragments

( 6 )

Overview

Ever since the accident, Chase feels shattered. He can't remember that night, and everyone's treating him like a broken freak. He just wants things to go back to normal. So when he starts getting flashes of memory, he's relieved. He's sure once he remembers everything, he can put the crash behind him and start over.

But when the flashes reveal another memory, Chase starts to panic. He's desperate to leave his ugly past behind. But if he wants to put the pieces together once and ...

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Overview

Ever since the accident, Chase feels shattered. He can't remember that night, and everyone's treating him like a broken freak. He just wants things to go back to normal. So when he starts getting flashes of memory, he's relieved. He's sure once he remembers everything, he can put the crash behind him and start over.

But when the flashes reveal another memory, Chase starts to panic. He's desperate to leave his ugly past behind. But if he wants to put the pieces together once and for all, he must face the truth about who he is . . . and what he has done.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Rollie Welch
High school junior Chase Farrell has attempted suicide twice, holds regular counsel with a psychiatrist, and has only tattered memories of the horrible automobile accident from which he walked away but in which four friends died. He bears the yoke of survivor's guilt because Angie, his ex-girlfriend, was the driver. A gifted actor, Chase cannot bring himself to reconnect with the school's drama productions, and the troubled teen withdraws from his family. His minister father seems more concerned with his congregation than Chase's mental state. A cluttered story line clouds the intriguing premise, perhaps purposely to mirror Chase's anguish. Johnston sketches out a situation where the main character and readers both progressively connect the dots to figure out what happened just before the automobiles collided. Consider these many subplots: Chase is bullied by macho wrestlers demanding to know why his ex-girlfriend was enlisted to drive the drunken teens home even though Angie had begun dating one of their teammates. Chase wants desperately to reconnect with Ben, his older brother, who has been recently released from a detention center. Darla, a new girl with a nasty sexual past, befriends the emotionally crippled teen but passes on taking the relationship further. Additional distractions arise when the author enthusiastically but unnecessarily inserts details of character roles from well-known stage performances. Nevertheless Johnston hits his stride, and teens who stick with this title will be rewarded with a gripping finish when Chase discovers the awful truth behind his repressed memories.
KLIATT - Jay Wise
Chase Farrell's mind is in fragments and his world is falling apart. The only survivor of an accident that killed his best friend, ex-girlfriend, and a classmate, Chase tries to soothe his guilt through obsessive behaviors like counting in patterns and avoiding cracks in sidewalks. Unable to remember details of the accident, deal with flashbacks, or drown out the voices screaming inside his head, Chase attempts suicide and suffers an almost complete mental breakdown. Drama classes and an upcoming school play no longer shield Chase from the problems surrounding his parents and older brother, Ben. Therapy seems to hurt more than help, and sessions with the psychiatrist feel like "a forty-five minute game of chicken" as Chase refuses to reveal the terrible secrets he has hidden from everyone, including himself. Chase tells his story in short, staccato chapters that leave the reader begging to learn what really happened to him. He is the quintessential unreliable narrator. Though the book's ending is a bit too pat to be believable, the concerns it reveals (from dysfunctional families to grief to child sexual abuse) make Fragments powerful bibliotherapy for older teens comfortable with some harsh language and sexual innuendoes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416924869
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 1/9/2007
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 959,816
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffry W. Johnston has published approximately thirty-five short stories in the fields of horror, mystery, fantasy, religious/inspirational, children's, and young-adult fiction. He has also written articles and a monthly column for Rodale Inc. Before that, he worked for the Bethlehem Globe Times, writing feature articles on theater and reviews of local plays. He has also written film reviews.

Jeff lives in Broomall, Pennsylvania, with his minister wife, Janet Moore, and their eight-year-old son.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Dianna Geers for TeensReadToo.com

    FRAGMENTS begins with all of the things a good book should: tension, problems, and many questions. Chase is a junior at a new school, recently discharged from a long hospital stay after a car accident, and struggles with the loss of his memory. His older brother sneaks into the house to see him, but Chase is told to keep his visit a secret. And that's all in the first four pages! <BR/><BR/>Readers immediately care for Chase and want him to be able to find some peace. As he deals with all of the issues and struggles to grab hold of fragments of memories as they pop into his head, you, too, want to know what happened the night of the car accident. Especially when you find out that he is suffering from "survivor guilt." You hope that the accident wasn't Chase's fault--and feel the need to know the truth. <BR/><BR/>While Chase searches his memories for bits of information, he is continually taken back to another memory of his brother when they were younger. Chase can't remember the whole situation, but it seems to haunt him, too. It's almost as though the memory of his brother will help to lead him to remembering the events of the accident. However, Chase later realizes that he has kept his own secrets which are worse than the events of the night of the accident . Can Chase handle knowing all of the truths he has tucked away inside his mind? <BR/><BR/>FRAGMENTS is a fast-paced book with continual tension and unending surprises. This is the first novel of Jeffry W. Johnston, but he is bound to become a favorite young adult author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2008

    Awesome Book!

    I love this book! It took me a little less than a week to read it. I couldn't put it down, i had to know what happened next. I STRONGLY recommend this book!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted October 23, 2008

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    Posted June 17, 2009

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