book cover I'll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry

Magan: I’ll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry

book cover I'll Tell You Mine by Pip HarryI’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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shelve it - books received from publishers, the library, or borrowed from other readers

Magan: Shelve It — August 12, 2012

weekly feature focusing on the books we bought, borrowed, and received from publishers

Hello, friends! I’m tuning in for another Shelve It today. I apologize that I’m not doing a vlog for this one, but it’s a crazy, crazy weekend of work for me. I made another trip to the library and received a surprise book in the mail from Simon & Schuster this week…

shelve it - books received from publishers, the library, or borrowed from other readers

From Simon & Schuster:

Embers & Echoes (Wildefire #2) by Karsten Knight (Goodreads | Amazon) — I haven’t read the first book in the series, Wildefire, but it is on my TBR list. Embers & Echoes is released on August 28th, so I’d love to read both of these soon so I can share my thoughts with you guys.

From the library, I checked out:

Miracle by Elizabeth Scott (Goodreads | Amazon) — I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book. I put myself on the waiting list at the library and am pretty shocked I got it so quickly. I was expecting to wait a while because it was only on order when I requested it. Estelle also has this checked out, I believe, so you’ll probably be seeing a review from her.

Ditched by Robin Mellom (Goodreads | Amazon) — This involves two best friends who decide to go to prom together, but he ditches her. It sounds like the story is more complicated than the light-hearted cover alludes to. Nonetheless, I always love a good story about two best friends who (may) fall in love.

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin (Goodreads | Amazon) — I saw a ton of buzz surrounding this book around it’s release date (March 2012). It’s another new addition to my library so I quickly picked it up. I’ve heard it’s hilarious and I think it’ll be fun to be whipped back to Freshman year of high school.

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork (Goodreads | Amazon) — This one’s been on my trusty TBR list for a long time. I used the Goodreads app to go through my list while I was at the library and was excited to see this one available. It’s about a boy with autism who begins working at a “real” job as a mailman at his father’s company.

In between me typing the upper portion of this post and publishing, I checked the mail. I received a package from Mandee at VeganYANerds! She and I did a book swap for a few books that wouldn’t be published for a while in either Australia or the U.S. I cannot wait to read these books! Mandee — thank you so much for these wonderful books and gifts! You are such a sweet, sweet friend!

From Mandee at VeganYANerds:

An adorable souvenir keychain of a little kangaroo!

A gorgeous card with a lovely note — the butterfly wings pop out from the card. So pretty!

I’ll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry (Goodreads) — This is about a girl named Kate who is kicked out of her parent’s house. She harbors a big secret and is taking up residence at a boarding school where she is an outcast.

Holier Than Thou by Laura Buzo (Goodreads) — This is declared to be a tale of grief, and although sad, also funny. I’m drawn to the witty and confident character blurbed about!

 Travel Tales Re-Cap:

+ Alexa is doing a birthday giveaway!
+ Alexa wrote a review of A Mutiny in Time.
+ Alexa wrote about different types of transportation in books in From Here to There.
+ Elena wrote about places she’d like to visit in Harry Potter.
+ Estelle & I discussed books that really set the scene for us and made us want to go there.

Weekly Wrap-Up on RBR:

+ A review of The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando
+ Travel Tales: Setting the Scene
+ The Big Kids’ Table, featuring adult and non-fiction upcoming releases
+ A review of The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
+ We’re celebrating Marisa Calin’s Release day with a giveaway
+ A review of Call the Shots by Don Calame