Piper Perish - Kayla Cagan | ARC Review & Q&A | Blog Tour

Pages: 416
Format: ARC Paperback
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Chronicle Books

How I got the copy: Raincoast Books
Rating: 2/5 


Now is the time for fearlessness.

Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and get to New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper’s dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she’s never felt more ready. But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper’s sister’s tyrannical mental state seems to thwart every attempt at happiness for the close-knit Perish family. Piper’s art just might be enough to get her out. But is she brave enough to seize that power, even if it means giving up what she’s always known?


Piper Perish is for a younger audience. 

I'd recommend Piper Perish to young teens. Teens that have yet to graduate high school or have recently graduated from high school. This book can be very relatable to those going through what Piper is going though, the final stretch of high school and graduation. To me, the story felt very juvenile and I obviously have more insight and understanding of what Piper didn't understand, which I, sadly, read in boredom (but I'd like to say, I love reading YA contemporary and not enjoying this completely isn't because I can't relate or see through the eyes of a YA character).

I wasn't hooked until the last 25% of the book, which is when Piper's plan went to complete shit. The story became more interesting when Piper came across difficulties and finally faced reality. I understand Piper is a teenager and everything seems like the end of the world around that age but what I don't understand and cannot remember is having zero sympathy towards siblings.

Also, I don't understand why Piper's sister, Marli, had to be as horrible as she's written. I don't see how having such a difficult sister helped the story in any way. Piper and Marli had zero sympathy for each other and have no relationship. From what I could piece together, they've never had a good relationship, except for when Piper remembered holding Marli's hand as a child. For example, when Piper could hear Marli crying in the bathroom she'd be annoyed that the crying had woke her up instead of concerned to why Marli was crying. 

The book is told through Piper's journal entries and I didn't really enjoy that. It felt more juvenile written as journal entries and readers aren't able to "see" exactly what or how situations unravelled, we only read from the perspective of Piper, which is obviously skewed.

Also, I don't understand why "Now is the time for fearlessness" is the catch phrase for Piper Perish. I didn't see a lot of fearlessness throughout the book. If anything, just at the end. If the book was more like the last bit I could understand and I think I would have enjoyed it more. 

This book is beautifully produced, from the advanced reader copies to the final copies! It's very beautiful.


Q: What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or on your writing?

A: I will always read the books of Ann Patchett, Emma Straub, Meg Wolitzer, Lisa See, Curtis Sittenfeld, Leila Howland, Brandy Colbert, Amy Spalding, Nina LaCour, Manuel Gonzales, Andrew Smith and Meg Medina. These are just a few of my favorites. There are so many more. This list could go on forever.

Books that have had a strong influence on me and my writing: Blubber by Judy Blume, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, Winger by Andrew Smith, Kindred by Octavia Butler, The Good Earth by Pearl Buck (my mom introduced me to this one when I was in high school) and all Pearl Buck books, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, and recently Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina. That one tore me up. Also, I’m a big fan of plays and poetry, but that’s a whole other list!

Books that have helped my writing: On Writing by Stephen King, Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction by Patricia Highsmith.

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