Kat Kennedy's Reviews > I'll Tell You Mine

I'll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry
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's review
May 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: australian-writer, kat-s-book-reviews, i-learned-something-new, to-ya-or-not-to-ya, contemporary-fiction
Read from May 01 to 14, 2012

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.

southpark Goths
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.

This review also appears on my blog, Cuddlebuggery Book Blog where there's a signed copy for Giveaway.
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Reading Progress

05/11/2012 page 68
26.0% "...me gusta."

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by Kate (new)

Kate Copeseeley Same cover here. This is becoming more and more common, I think.

message 2: by Siddhee (new)

Siddhee goth?how is it turning out so far? anything interesting?

message 3: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Caro Kate and I share a brain. I came to say the same thing. Hopefully this book is better, though.

Shirley Marr I can't wait to read your review!

message 5: by Bookphilia (new) - added it

Bookphilia I learn most things from South Park too.

message 6: by Galla (new) - added it

Galla Great review! I noticed that Marchetta had blurbed this one and have been curious ever since. Good to hear it lived up to the promise of its description!

message 7: by Lyndi (new)

Lyndi I've never understood why goths are referred to as "angst ridden"... every teenager is angst ridden.

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey, don't forget D.M. Cornish. Pretty sure he's Australian too.

message 9: by Erin (new)

Erin Reading this review really showed me one of my reading prejudices... I don't care how good you say it is, the second I heard "Goth" I was out. Not sure why.

Spider the Doof Warrior I dabble in goth aesthetics. The music is lovely, and I do dig the clothes. You can't go wrong with Dead Can Dance, Depeche Mode, Souxie and the Banshees, ect.

I just hate if you have a goth character it automatically is used to denote a troubled teen on drugs who cuts herself just because she wears black and listen to dark music.

No, that's an annoying stereotype. Stereotypes do not make for good stories. I do wish I had more gothy clothes.

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