Book Review: Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan

27150849.jpgTitle: Piper Perish
Author: Kayla Cagan
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Pub Date: (Expected Release) March 7, 2017
Format: Kindle eBook
Pages: 480
Source: NetGalley
Genre(s): LGBTQIA, Young Adult, Women’s Fiction
Rating: ★★★
Goodreads || Pre-order on Amazon

Synopsis from NetGalley:

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?

My review:

I received this eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion of the work.

“He loved me the way he could. I loved him the way I could. That meant our love had limits.”

Piper Perish is an artist. Her name sparks an image in my mind of a scene girl from 2008. My friends like to joke about the “Scene” scene sometimes. They’d be Alisha Obscure and Danny Demolition. I’d be Layla Infinity. Cue all the cringes in the world. Piper seems like someone who would have had a MySpace username like xXxPiperPerishxXx, but I’ll forgive her for that because she’s a real artist. It comes to her naturally. She has her sights set on the Big Apple. She has a plan. But things don’t always work out the way we want them to.

This is a story (more like the diary) of a young artist who has never felt at home. She’s larger than life in a way that threatens to spill out over her small Southern town. Colour that smudged its way outside the lines. Paint that dripped past its tape barriers. And she plans to get away, but it seems like the whole world is trying to keep her where she is. Stuck.

I like that the novel largely focused on friendship and didn’t treat it like some thrown in afterthought to an all-consuming romance (or three). I think the family dynamics were quite realistic as well. Piper’s sister was such a frustrating character to read about. I couldn’t understand why she was so awful (without diagnosing her with a personality disorder) and what it would possibly take for her to be reasonable.

The writing was a little messy but easy to read. And although I was thrown off by the writing style at first, I realize now that the diary format works quite well for this story. This is Piper’s life, her art, her story, so it’s only right that she tells it the way that it is.

The last quarter of this book was the best, in my opinion. I feel like the story ended right when things were going in the direction I hoped they would. Hopefully Piper will keep writing in her diary and we’ll get to hear all about this next big phase in her life. Also, SILAS. More Silas. There was definitely not enough Silas.

3.5 stars for the possibility of something more. If you ever feel stuck, leave. Don’t stop trying.

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