Thursday, March 2, 2017

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

Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 416
Format: ARC paperback
Source: Raincoast Books

Summary from Goodreads: 
Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and into art school in New York City, the better. It's 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? Debut author Kayla Cagan breathes new life into fiction in this ridiculously compelling, utterly authentic work featuring interior art from Rookie magazine illustrator Maria Ines Gul. Piper will have readers asking big questions along with her. What is love? What is friendship? What is family? What is home? And who is a person when she's missing any one of these things?

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The story revolves around Piper Perish, a girl in her senior year of high school. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her parents and older sister, Marli. Focusing on her dream of going to art school in New York with her best friends, she deals with the drama that begins to unfold in her life knowing one day she will get out of Houston and away from her sister. However, the dreams she and her friends once had begin to change. With her sister moving back home from college, Piper has to face reality and accept the idea that even if she is good enough to get into her dream school, her family may not be able to afford to send her there. 

The entire book is told through Piper's journal entries, pieces of art and snippets of emails were also thrown into some of the entries. I don't know if it was because the novel was told in journal entries but it was a hard to get into the story. I think it would be a great book for those who enjoy being told what is happening versus seeing what is happening. 

Out of all of the characters, Marli was my least favourite. One thing I could not understand was why Marli had to be so horrible. It's understandable that siblings can get on each others nerves but Marli was being cruel for no reason at all. Marli and Piper had no sympathy for one another, clearly hated each other's guts, and barely had a relationship at all. I think the only time Marli was nice to Piper was at the very end. I exhausted from just reading about their arguments and banter. I serious contemplated not reading anymore but persevered until the end. 

Once you get over how annoying the characters can be, you can really get into the story. I did want to put this book down and never pick it up again but in the end I'm glad I didn't. 

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Q: If you could tell aspiring authors one things, what would it be?

A: Ask yourself why.
What do you want to write this book?
Why are you the one to do it?
Why are you going to write it now? (Or whenever you plan to write it.)

There are no wrong answers, only clarifying answers. Don't judge yourself! If you ask yourself why you want to write, the how will follow and you will do it. Keep asking the whys until you run out of questions. Then pick up a pen, open your laptop, or start telling your story into the voice memo on your phone. It's your time to begin. 

Also, I live by this quote from the poet Robert Hass. It helped me with my own writing practice, especially on days when writing feels like a struggle: "Take the time to write. You can do your life's work in half an hour a day."

I hope it will help you too!