Review: I’ll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry and Giveaway

16 May, 2012 Giveaways, Reviews 33 comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: I’ll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry and GiveawayI'll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry
Series: Standalone
Published by U.Q.P. on March 28th 2012
Pages: 264
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

Kate Elliot isn't trying to fit in – that's the whole point of being a goth, isn't it?

Everything about her – from her hair to her clothes – screams different and the girls at her school give her a wide berth. How can Kate be herself, really herself, when she's hiding her big secret? The one that landed her in boarding school in the first place. She's buried it down deep but it always seems to surface.

But then sometimes your soul mates sneak up on you in the most unlikely of places. Like Norris Grammar Boarding School for Girls, where's she's serving a life sentence, no parole, because her parents kicked her out.

So, how do you take that first step and reveal your secrets when you're not sure that people want to see the real you?

There was a reason that Melina Marchetta launched this book.  I think I can safely put up a big sign over Pip Harry’s name that says, “Watch This Space.”

And because Pip Harry is Australian – instead of being lauded as brilliant and fantasmazeballs, she just gets put in that neat little category of Great Australian Writers like Melina Marchetta, Kirsty Eagar, Markus Zusak, Garth Nix, Shirley Marr, Lucy Christopher and Laura Buzo.  I’m sure at least a couple of them aren’t really Australian but we have a tendency of just claiming people as our own – so just go with it.

This was the story of socially awkward Goth girl, Kate, dealing with being kicked out of home, relating to a bunch of boarders and rectifying her home situation whilst dealing with her own crushing insecurities.

It’s about being fifteen and stupid, and lucky, and angry, and confused and frustrated.

What really spoke to me was the brash reality of Kate’s life.  Things aren’t just glossed over or purified through a decency filter for the reader.  This isn’t about teens hanging out in designer clothes and playing baseball with their parents on a Sunday afternoon.  This is about a girl who drinks, who wants to have sex, who has an uncontrollable temper and a difficult personality.  And since Harry embraces that truth and rawness of narration, she’s able to induce strong emotional moments between the characters of the novel.

My biggest concern was on the Goth thing.  I was concerned that the book would be full of bad poetry and musings about the futileness of happiness.  And in the interest of full disclosure, everything I learned about Goths came from Southpark.

It’s where I learn most things, to be honest.

But it turns out, like with most things, the label is just a window dressing for an otherwise normal girl dealing with otherwise normal teenage things.  She just happens to be Goth while she’s doing it.  And even though I still don’t know what that means, I learned a very valuable lesson… don’t piss off Goth people or your intestines will become their floss!  Okay, maybe not the lesson you’re supposed to learn, but, whatever.

I enjoyed Pip Harry’s style of narration and the book flows well for the first three quarters.  Right up until the last quarter I would have said it was a five star novel.  In the last quarter, the narration really slips into denouement mode and becomes very telling and to be honest, both myself and the story weren’t quite ready for that.  It’s like when you’re still colouring and your parent/teacher comes along and starts asking you to pack up and you’re like, “Hold it!  I’m still going here!  THE FOOT ISN’T FINISHED!”

There was still some story left to go but the edge had gone from the novel because we were in the nice, comforting wrap-up phase of storytelling.

If you’re a fan of Aussie novels, Melina Marchetta, heart-warming tales or good times, then I highly suggest you give this one a go.



We are giving away one signed copy of I’ll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry!


Contest Rules:

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Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

33 Responses to “Review: I’ll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry and Giveaway”

  1. Carl

    What a special little book. I’m stoked for the chance to win a copy. BTW, I read your post yesterday about people coming to the blog just to tell you how crappy it is. *Sigh* Why do people even bother? Hope they took the hint. TTFN

  2. Desiree

    I had no intention or desire to read I’ll Tell You Mine but you’re review has changed my mind. Now I’m excited to read it! Thanks for the review Kat.

  3. Lexie B.

    I think that’s something you see with a lot of Australian authors: harsh reality. It’s not glossed over, prettied up, toned down for the masses–it’s life. It’s real, no matter how painful. That’s a big part of what gives them such a fantastic, well-deserved reputation. Between that, the Melina Marchetta blurb, and your review, I am DETERMINED to get my hands on this book. Some way or another.
    Lexie B. recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (18)My Profile

  4. Heather@ The Flyleaf Review

    This book sounds amazing, and your review is great, but honestly I would read ANYTHING Melina Marchetta endorses. I’d read her grocery list. I’d read her tax statements (okay, maybe not those, that sounds a bit stalkerish) But you get the idea. ANYTHING.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity:)
    Heather@ The Flyleaf Review recently posted…Weigh In Wednesday (3)My Profile

  5. Vivien

    This is a new author for me. Thanks for the spotlight. The premise sounds really intriguing!

  6. anasthasha h.

    This’ll be a new author for me, && the book sounds interesting. Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Sarah (saz101)

    This sounds amazing! Also: South Park. Goths. Bad poetry *dies laughing*
    I’m seriously intrigued about why these Aussie YA authors seem to just nail it. Is it because they’re just… aussies? No BS, straight down the line? But I don’t think it’s fair to say US authors aren’t… maybe the teen experience here is different? Or… ANYWAY! Hurray for another aussie author, and hurray for claiming folks (especially kiwis) as our own! ^__^
    Sarah (saz101) recently posted…Spirit Bound (Vampire Acaemy #5), Richelle MeadMy Profile

  8. Karen

    Always on the lookout for excellent Aussie authors. Thanks for the recommendation!

  9. hrose2931

    I have not become a Melina Marchetta fan yet. It’s on my to do list. I swear. I just haven’t gotten to the part in Jellicoe Road where it all comes together. But I love Kirsty Eager and am so jealous that it doesn’t cost you $50 for one of her books. I want all of them! I’d love to try this one, I’m a big fan of the contemporary YA book. Thanks for the international giveaway!


  10. Justine

    Hmm, if this Aussie novel is ever released in the US, maybe the author will re-write the last quar­ter of the book.

    As an aside, I wonder how well South Park’s humor and socio-political commentary translates in other countries!

  11. Sonia

    I’ve heard great things about this book. Longing to read it! Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  12. Cammie

    I’m a huge fan of Melina Marchetta, so I’m looking forward to reading this book c: I hope it’s released in the US sometime though…

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. Keertana A.

    First of all, thank you so much for the giveaway! I am so excited to read this, especially since Melina Marchetta launched this book. I absolutely love her and quite literally worship the very ground she walks on, so if she is recommending this one, it has to be some sort of brilliant!(:

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