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Pieces of Me by Jay McLean ~ Review


I’m not sure where to begin because no words can adequately describe the experience I just had while entirely immersed in this world. You don’t just read this story; you live it, breathe it, hurt with them, feel their passionate love for one another in your bones, and you’ll ultimately reach the conclusion with pieces of Jamie and Holden’s journey embedded in your soul.

Pieces of Me isn’t an average story. McLean made Jamie and Holden’s story extraordinary.

“You’re not here to be average, Jamie. You’re here to be extraordinary.”

For the first time in five years, Jamie and Holden come face to face; too much has happened for them to revert to the easy relationship they once had. While their bond is as strong as ever, there is now hostility between them that did not exist before.

Jamie has worked on herself for years in order to be the best version of herself. I had to stop reading at times, not because I wanted to, but because I needed to wipe tears from my eyes in order to see the words on the page. My heart, mind, and soul all felt as if they were in the hands of the words in front of me. From the most euphoric levels of ecstasy to the agony and heartbreak I’ve only experienced in real life, every feeling poured from the pages and directly into my heart, as if each tear was brought out by the lesions each awful moment was causing on your heart.

So many times I wished I could reach my hand inside this fictional world to cover Holden’s mouth in an effort to get him to stop talking. Powered by the pain of their past, he used his words as a weapon, choosing the ones that would cause the most damage, searing Jamie with each one.

It was as though Jamie and Holden needed to shatter in order to begin anew, putting the pieces back one by one as they began to heal, building on a foundation that would make them indestructible.

Of course, it wasn’t all heavy emotions; there was witty banter and moments that made me laugh out loud at the character’s antics. There were some moments that were so amazingly heartfelt that they too brought tears to my eyes. If there was an encyclopedia on emotions, you would know the sheer magnitude of emotions I felt while reading Pieces of Me.

With the conclusion of Jamie and Holden’s story, McLean has truly broken the glass ceiling. I’m in awe of her skill as a writer to bring such a richly detailed novel to life, with each moment and emotion felt by the characters becoming firmly ingrained in your soul.

Jamie and Holden’s novel comes to a stunning end in Pieces of Me. A fascinating blend of a swoony hero (with bellend(ish) tendencies), a damaged girl attempting to save herself, laced with passion, not just “all the feelings,” but every single feeling, witty banter, and steam.This is a story that will take pieces of you, and you will reach the end with pieces of it embedded in you.

A top read for 2022 and a new all-time fave. McLean not only gives us first loves and forevers, but she also gives us a sense of the unconditional love we all seek and the family some long for.


“I loved you then,
I love you now,
and I’ve loved you every single day in between.”

Jameson Taylor is a nomad. A drifter. A memory collector.
Or, at least, that’s what’s become of her life ever since she was forced to leave pieces of her fractured heart behind.

“This is the fault in our fate, our one undoing:
All he’s ever wanted is my happiness,
even when it costs him his own.”

Holden Eastwood is resentful. Angry. But most of all, hurt.
Torn to pieces by the girl who left him, he struggles to find forgiveness in the organ she once broke.

When a tragedy forces them to face the aftermath, Jamie seeks acceptance, while Holden searches for answers.
What they find, instead, are remnants of their love.
Fragments of forever.
And parts of a puzzle that will lead them to the truth…
A truth that might shatter them to pieces.

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