Emily May's Reviews > The Piper's Son

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
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May 17, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: young-adult, 2011, contemporary
Read from July 12 to 31, 2011



Edit 31/08/11: After re-reading some of my favourite parts of this book, I decided to overlook what made me decide to give it 4 instead of 5 stars before. It's just too good for anything less than 5.

Original Review
First I have to explain why I'm not giving this book the full five stars it seems everyone else is giving it. Likely it is just me being stupid and inappreciative of subtle beauties but I thought towards the beginning there were too many parts of the book that lost me. I understood that the writing was great but I couldn't grasp where the story was going or the point behind it and I spent about half of the first 80 pages getting distracted.

And then... I got it. No, I really did. It was the kind of story that is meant to be subtle but turns out all the more meaningful for it. Melina Marchetta is undoubtedly a fantastic writer who creates very believable and imperfect characters. Tom, let's be honest, is a little shit, he deliberately says things he knows will hurt people and he's just generally not a very nice guy. But you feel his pain too. This book is an example of the good kind of angst, the kind that leaves the reader feeling just as wounded as the characters in question.

The vast array of troubled characters who have experienced all kinds of heartbreak and hurt could have turned this novel into something cliched, melodramatic and soap opera-ish. On the contrary, the author conveys nothing but raw, gut-twisting emotion; it's difficult not to at least get teary-eyed at some point.

Also, I had to compare Tom's one and a half night stand turned I-won't-admit-it-but-I-desperately-need-you with Tara Finke to the love angst of Adam in Where She Went. Not because the relationships themselves are particularly similar, but because I experienced a similar depth of emotion told in very different ways. It has to be said, even though it has already been said by many others before, the scene where Tom goes down on Tara and thinks about the bell line from the poem. Oral sex goes poetic? It's oddly beautiful.

I don't suppose I wrote this review for any other reason than I couldn't help myself. I mean, it's not as if the book needed some more raving about, the many reviews already shout it out pretty loudly. So, you know, if you haven't read this book... you know what to do.
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Reading Progress

07/15/2011 page 53
16.0% "I really really want to read more of this but I've had a mind-numbing headache all week :("

Comments (showing 1-9)




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Alyssa How have I not seen this until now?! It's a fantastic review!


Emily May Thank you so much! *glows happily*


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) I'm around page 60 and I know exactly what you mean about getting distracted a lot! I'm sticking with it because Jellicoe Road was so good and this one is getting so much praise.


Ronyell Awesome review Emily!! This book was awesome!!


Agostina Hi, Emily! Amazing review, as always. I have to admit I've become addicted to your reviews, to the point that even if the book sounds promising, I don't quite know what to do if you haven't read it!
Enough with the fangirling, back to this book. I really want to read it, but I haven't read the prequel and I'm not sure if I want to. I know you loved it. Should I read Saving Francesca first, or could I give it a try after this one if I feel like it? Sorry for the long message, have a nice day!


Emily May Agostina wrote: "Hi, Emily! Amazing review, as always. I have to admit I've become addicted to your reviews, to the point that even if the book sounds promising, I don't quite know what to do if you haven't read it..."

Wow, thank you! I'm flattered :) I would say you should read Saving Francesca first. It's not as good as this one but I feel like it's important to get to know the characters in that book before moving onto The Piper's Son.


Agostina Thank you for your reply! For some reason I've only just seen this, Goodreads needs to improve notifications. I read Saving Francesca first, and I can't believe I wanted to skip it. I finished The Piper's Son yesterday. Incredible books. Melina Marchetta, thank you for appearing in my life! And thank you for your glowing reviews, Emily. I read tons of books this year that I wouldn't have read if it weren't for them :)


Emily May Agostina wrote: "Thank you for your reply! For some reason I've only just seen this, Goodreads needs to improve notifications. I read Saving Francesca first, and I can't believe I wanted to skip it. I finished The ..."

Thank you! So glad you enjoyed them :) By the way, I completely agree about GR notifications. So many times I check out old reviews and find I have new comments that I never got notifications for.


Michael Justine Which did you like more emily? This one or saving francesca?


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