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Magan: I’ll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry

book cover II’ll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry
Publication Date: March 28, 2012
Publisher: U.Q.P.
Pages: 264
Target audience: Young Adult
Keywords: goth, boarding school, friendship, parental problems
Format read: Paperback from Mandee at VeganYANerds

Summary: Kate is sent to boarding school after an unknown event occurs between her and her mother; she begrudgingly goes but has problems connecting with her roommates and conforming to all the rules she must follow.

 

Kate Elliot is a girl who found her identity when she allowed her friend Annie to give her a makeover. Despite her mother’s blatant disapproval over her new gothic look, Kate won’t falter from dressing this way. While nothing ever seems to please her career-driven politician mother, Kate’s behavior and an unknown mishap (the mystery is unraveled throughout the book) eventually lead her to boarding school. She is no longer welcome in her own home and her parents decide she needs more structure; the time away from her family (they hope) will improve Kate’s attitude and allow their broken relationships to mend.

Kate is forced to room with three very different girls — two popular girls and one rule-breaker with a reputation, Mandy. Kate goes through periods of absolute resentment and distances herself completely from the three girls. Mandy eventually breaks the barrier and forces her way into Kate’s life. They’re an odd pair — Kate stands out because she’s got multiple piercings, dies her hair black, and intentionally wears makeup a few shades paler than her skin tone; Mandy wears skimpy clothes and has a reputation for being a bit slutty. Their friendship was one of the most beautiful aspects (other than Harry’s lovely writing) of I’ll Tell You Mine. Their conversations are full of snark and laugh-out-loud funny moments. Their antics (or rather Mandy’s plans) often lead to trouble.

Mandy is honest and upfront about how she’s feeling; she isn’t afraid of the front Kate puts up to dissuade people from befriending her. Mandy seems utterly naive to Kate’s insecurities and solitary ways. As Mandy begins to strip away the walls Kate has built around herself, we get to know Kate in a whole new way. She’s distraught over the events that occurred with her mother. Why does it seem like she’s always messing things up and doing something to irritate her mom? She misses her dad (who understands self-exploration and calls her mother out on her hypocrisy). Her little sister is one of her favorite people in the world; she wants to set a good example for her.

Kate feels stuck between making new friends and maintaining the old friendships; her two best friends (pre-boarding school) Annie and Noah seem to be moving on just fine without her. She’s heartbroken when she learns that Noah is dating someone new. Will he never see that she’s in love with him? Kate goes through many a transformation and the separation from her life outside of school allows everything to shift into focus. She sees what she was doing wrong, how she could be better, and what she could change.

The question is: Will she ever be given the opportunity to prove she’s a different person or will she just continue to mess things up?

I’ll Tell You Mine is a story I didn’t want to end. Pip’s writing is concise and packed with punch, every word very intentional. I connected to Kate on so many levels — struggling to become your own person but feeling like you’re always coloring outside the lines, being a bit insecure about how you look and what you weigh, and wanting that boy you’ve loved for oh-so-long to finally take notice. The friendship and family aspects were so thoroughly explored and impeccably written; I projected more drama into the book by not always trusting Mandy’s intentions or assuming the worst. Time and time again, Pip proved me wrong and restored my faith in her characters.

Pip’s writing is authentic and realistic. She flawlessly developed a story that everyone should devour. There are a few wonderful surprise gems hidden within the pages of I’ll Tell You Mine (possibly including a love story that made my heart go pitter patter). If you’re interested in a story that’s very true-to-life and will sweep you away, definitely take a chance on Pip Harry’s debut novel.

(Thank you very much to Mandee at VeganYANerds for gifting this incredible book to me!)

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July 8, 2014 - 12:00 am

Young Adult Book Review: Head of the River by Pip Harry - […] of the River by Pip Harry (twitter | website)Previously Reviewed: I’ll Tell You MinePublication Date: June 25, 2014Publisher: University of Queensland Press Pages: 304Target […]

December 18, 2012 - 7:01 am

Magan: 2012 End of Year Book Survey - […] I’ll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry Cinder by Marissa Meyer Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor Burning Blue by Paul Griffin Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas How to Save a Life by Sarah Zarr Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi Insurgent by Veronica Roth […]

October 31, 2012 - 3:35 pm

alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - This story sounds truly incredible! I definitely want to read about Kate and her struggles; there definitely sounds like there’s more to her than meets the eye.

October 31, 2012 - 2:19 am

Kristen Evey - And by “every” of course I mean review. *facepalm* Time for bed?

October 31, 2012 - 2:18 am

Kristen Evey - I am so glad to have found a few trusted blogger friends to recommend contemporary gems like this one. Contemmp is rarely something I would pick up off the shelf to read unless I knew something about it already. This sounds like such a good read! And ohmygosh, I am in love with this author’s name! Pip Harry. It’s got a nice ring to it. Great every Magan!

October 30, 2012 - 4:33 am

mobb - i would love to read this book

October 29, 2012 - 8:02 pm

VeganYANerds - I am so thrilled that you enjoyed ITYM, Magan! I felt the same way about Mandy, I kept waiting for her to let Kate down and do something horrible and I was so happy when they never happened! I’m so glad you could relate to this as well, it felt so real to me as well 🙂

Mandee xox

October 29, 2012 - 9:42 am

Lisa - When you can resonate with a main character who is going through some challenges – THAT is my kind of read. Sounds like this one nails it!

And naturally I’m all about the pitter pat of a little romance story thrown in there.

Thanks for the heads up on this one!

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