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spare-and-found-partsWhat: Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin

Who: Greenwillow Books

When: October 4th 2016

How: A copy of this novel was provided by HarperCollins for review via Edelweiss.

Nell Crane has always been an outsider. In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts—an arm, a leg, an eye—her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs everyone now uses. But Nell is the only one whose mechanical piece is on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb. As her community rebuilds, everyone is expected to contribute to the society’s good . . . but how can Nell live up to her father’s revolutionary idea when she has none of her own?

Then she finds a mannequin hand while salvaging on the beach—the first boy’s hand she’s ever held—and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology? The deeper she sinks into this plan, the more she learns about her city—and her father, who is hiding secret experiments of his own.

4cats2There were four pleasantly surprising things about Spare and Found Parts:

1) The main character, Nell, is bi.

The word isn’t used on the page, but Nell talks about guys and girls in terms of romance (and her best friend does, too, when asking Nell about it), and she also has a super crush on a girl that runs a bar. It was SUCH AN AWESOME SURPRISE to find this out because lo and behold, the blurb and the book community in general has failed – yet again – to mention queer content. Guys. When a girl says, and I am quoting here: “any time Nell thought about boys, or girls for that matter, she immediately sabotaged her fantasy self out of any romance” that girl is not straight. That girl is hella bi, hella queer.

2) The prose is freaking gorgeous.

There’s second person, and third person, and first person, and all of it is beautiful. It was incredibly lyrical, and it just gave me a really beautiful feeling when I was reading it. There were so many gorgeously written lines, and the whole book was so packed full of words that were beautifully strung together. I definitely want to re-read this book, just so I can bask in the glory again one day.

3) I really liked it.

Now, I guess that is somewhat weird to say, because we all want to like the books we decide to read, but I don’t actually have a lot of luck when it comes to books. Which is really quite shitty. For all the books I read I should love a lot of them, but I don’t. But I suppose it makes the ones that I do really like (and love) more special, so there’s that.

Anyway. I really liked Spare and Found Parts. There were so many things I liked about it. I liked Nell, I liked the prose, I liked the storyline, I liked the flow. I pretty much liked everything. And it was just so lovely to realise that I was going to like this book from the first chapter, because it’s such a wonderful feeling to just know that a book is going to click with you.

4) Nell.

Nell, a queer girl of colour, who wants to be as amazing as her mum and dad, who has no interest in the boy chasing after her, who doesn’t fit in, who wants someone to just get her. Oh, Nell. I loved her quite infinitely. She was in no way perfect, but imperfections can sometimes make a character all the more real and all the more loveable for it, and Nell is definitely one of those characters. Her sheer determination in the face of ridicule and betrayal and impossibility is just gorgeous, and I adored her for this. I think Nell is one of the best characters I have met recently.


Overall, Spare and Found Parts is an utterly beautiful novel, on so many levels. With an engaging storyline, beautiful prose, and a gorgeous and diverse main character … what are you waiting for? Go, now. Go, now, and read Spare and Found Parts.

© 2016, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

trigger warning: death of a parent, forced marriage (not fulfilled), and heart complications/surgery in this novel

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Posted on: October 7, 2016 • By: Chiara

16 Responses to Four Pleasantly Surprising Things About Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin

  1. Kayla says:

    “That girl is hella bi.” This made me laugh, but it’s so TRUE. This is so exciting because I already wanted to read this, and know that I know she’s bi–gosh, there just isn’t enough of that. And not enough bi awareness. Completely unrelated, but I was watching some reality show last week and this woman was going on about how she has her “first girlfriend” and how she doesn’t understand how she could be attracted to a woman AND all of these men and I just wanted to sit her down for a little chat.

    And good prose is always a draw for me. I’m super interested to see how all of the different POVs you mentioned will fit together!

    • Chiara says:

      Right? I’m not seeing how people think this book is not LGBTQIA+ because having feelings for a girl, and talking about girls and guys in terms of romance are like great, ringing bells for Nell being bi. *sigh* Oh, gosh. Bi erasure is so harmful on so many levels :/

      I really hope you read this one, Kayla! If you like good prose, then this is something you could fall in love with, for sure.

  2. Oooh, I want to try this! I mean it’s added on goodreads, but I generally wait until people start yelling about a book’s gloriousness before I really notice it. (I have too many books to read omg.😂) But I’m loving the sound of this. :D (And also yayyyy for finding a book that you like! That’s always a marvellous feeling. :’)

  3. Rachana says:

    Ooh this is the first review I’ve read of this book! So it’s kind of cool to hear that you really enjoyed it haha. Tbh, this book just sounds like something I’d really love! I’m a sucker for beautiful prose and yay for a great protag (Nell sounds awesome!!). I’ll definitely be adding this book to my tbr.

    (Also why is arranged marriage included as a tw? I was just wondering because I haven’t seen it included as a tw before.)

    • Chiara says:

      Oh, awesome! I haven’t seen much about this book at all, so I’m glad to have given you some thoughts on it. If you end up reading it, I hope you enjoy it, Rachana!

      (I added it because it can take away a person’s independence, choice, and freedom, all of which I think are incredibly important to a person’s sense of being and safety.)

  4. Oh goodness, the premise of this book is so very lovely (and, for some reasons, reminds me a bit of The Invention of Hugo Cabret? What with the mechanic father & trying to live up to an impossible legacy, I suppose). And, as you know, I am such a sucker for all things lyrical – it is rather ridiculous, I must admit, but it will not change nonetheless! This is one I must read ASAP. Thank you infinitely for sharing your thoughts with us, dear friend. <3

    • Chiara says:

      it is so lovely, Topaz. And INCREDIBLY lyrical. I think you must read it ASAP, because I think it could be something you call in love with. Thank you for reading, and leaving me your thoughts <3

  5. Great review. Nell all sorts of fantastic and yay for all the diversity. Thanks for letting me know she’s bi. That’s kind of rare in books and so awesome!


  6. Jackie B. says:

    Wonderful review. I love how succinct you are, and yet you express your feelings so clearly, Chiara! I haven’t heard of this book before, but Spare and Found Parts has certainly made it’s way onto my TBR. Where did you hear about this book originally, do you remember?

    • Chiara says:

      Thank you so much! I’m so very glad you enjoy my reviews :D I hope you like it when you end up reading it, Jackie! The cover and title just jumped out at me when I was scrolling through Edelweiss one time. I then looked at the blurb, was super keen to read it, and requested it!

  7. Romi says:

    Marked it as to-read when I saw your updates on it *looks around (AKA at Kasta and Momo) smugly* And I’m so, so glad I did, because not only does it sound like a truly beautiful book, but your reviews generally convince me one way or another and this one certainly did the convincing very well indeed.

    This sounds like such a… well an interesting and a sweet and a throughly enjoyable novel, and I’m so very happy that it was one of the ones that you liked a lot, even if it didn’t quite get to the love stage. When you know, right from the off, that a book is special or that you’re going to enjoy it all the way through? It’s quite magical, and I love it so much. I do wish you enjoyed more of the books you read, but I’m glad, at the very least, that this is the first in a while that you’ve enjoyed a lot. Nell sounds fabulous, also, and I’m specifically loving her already because she doesn’t care for the guy who is chasing her, and I’m so excited to read that. *sighs happily* I am keen for this one, and that makes me happy. I can’t wait to share my thoughts on it.

    Also, I’m cheering you rn, and not just because I am so in love with your reviews; it’s so frustrating and shitty that there are so many books that are queer and it either isn’t mentioned, or it is “exclusively” talked about- like Ari and Dante are supposedly gay. Like this character is bi, but she’s probably being called a lesbian. It annoys me SO MUCH and I’m so glad that you called it out. *hugs and cheers simultaneously*

    • Chiara says:

      I’m glad to have convinced you to read this one! I really hope that you get around to it one day, and share your thoughts on it so we can talk about it. I think it is something that you might end up really liking so *crosses fingers*

      I really wish i did love more of the books I read. You would think that reading 150+ books a year would make it easier to find amazing, standout books. But it;’s not. I swear to god it’s making it harder :/ But I suppose it makes special books like this one that little bit more special.

      I will, of course, always shout about queer content because it’s important. This character isn’t being called anything, which is really quite terrible. The last time I checked I was the only one who had shelved this book as LGBTQIA+. Which makes me wonder if people active erase sexuality and gender identity as they’re reading.

  8. Pingback: this book is lgbtqia+ (#6) | Chiara Sullivan

  9. Emma says:

    Chiara, I’ve instantly added this lovely read to my TBR because of you! I hope that I love this book as much as you do :)

    A note about the whole bi sexuality in summary – or lack thereof. I think that publishers do it for a reason, maybe? Like for those who are unsure about reading a book that tackles sexuality that is not heterosexual. In this way, the character doesn’t have to be defined by her sexual preference. I don’t know if any of this makes sense and I am sooo sorry!

    I do love the summary in I’ll Give You the Sun because it mentions Noah’s sexuality in a way that is done well, capturing a part of Noah’s characterization.

    I love that kind of diversity because it is part of our lives. I am so looking forward to reading this. Nell sounds like a character I would love and be friends with <3

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