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I'll Tell You Mine

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  379 ratings  ·  58 reviews
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 bu
Paperback, 264 pages
Published March 28th 2012 by University of Queensland Press
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Kat Kennedy
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 Au
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I’ll Tell You Mine is a fabulous debut novel by Pip Harry that is authentically Aussie. Truly enjoyed this story from beginning to end!

I feel like I’m being repetitive, but there’s no other way to put it… If I had to choose one genre to take me through the rest of my reading career, I’d have to say it would definitely be Australian YA Contemporary. There’s a realism and charm that seems to constantly resonate through these books, where I find myself immersed in the story and reluctant to let go
May 20, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

As per its glowing blurb, I ll Tell You Mine contains three of Melina Marchetta’s favourite ingredients: ”boarding school, great characters and a lot of heart.” If that hasn’t sold you on it, Pip Harry’s debut also contains: family secrets, goth rock and sweaty farm boys from Wagga.

No, seriously. Enough with the chiselled jaws and broody eyes. What YA needs is more guys in KingGees.

As the synopsis states, Kate Elliot is harbouring a secret, one that has resulted in her being packed of
Kate Elliott is fifteen and has just been told that she's no longer welcome to live at home with her parents and seven year old sister, Olivia. She's being sent to boarding school, only thirty minutes away from their family home in Glen Iris, Victoria. She already attends Norris Grammar but she'll be living there as a boarder indefinitely until her mother decides she's forgiven her for her last act of defiance.

Kate is not pleased with the situation and she's even more unhappy once she finds out
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Kate Elliot has done something so bad; her parents are kicking her out of home and into boarding school. What’s worse is that everyone at school knows there’s something odd about Kate switching from day-girl to prison boarder. She lives in Melbourne, for crying out loud! There’s no reason for her to commute to the boarding house, unless everyone’s suspicions about her freakdom are true . . .

This is just another in a long line of incidences that make Kate stand out like a sore thumb. She also dr
Australian contemporary YA is a big part of the reason why I thank God that eBooks have more than substantially widened my reading horizons. I've been to Australia twice in the past four years, and while finding Aussie books there is, of course, much easier, there are titles I can't seem to find anywhere in physical form or aren't terribly expensive. I'll Tell You Mine is one of them.

I started off not liking Kate much. She's a typical rebellious teenager - she dresses Goth, does nothing but argu
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-ya, 2013, i-own
I love the way Harry writes: fresh, with a lot of energy and soul. Her teen voice (and teen characters) felt so authentic and the story rang true. It also features boarding schools and mother/daughter relationships -- which are definite draw cards for me.

I found myself liking Kate a lot more as the book went on (at the beginning she was a lot for me to take in. I am not normally drawn to darker/more edgy work, or girls acting out. But this book was so much more than that -- and I really felt Ha
I loved Kate's voice. Period. I even dreamed of her tonight. And I do understand why Melina Marchetta chose to blurb this story about growing up, growing apart from and close again to your family, and about finding friendship growing in unexpected corners. There was a certain rawness to the feelings conveyed, a lot of truth and also a measurable quantity of warmth. Ah... And certainly there were seedlings of romance. Painful and exhilarating as it can be when you are fifteen and unsure of yourse ...more
Paula Weston
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was such a great read.

I loved that Kate was so real and vulnerable, a believable mix of rebellion, uncertainty and guilt.

I loved the family dysfunction, particularly the simmering anger between Kate and her mother - and the underlying sense that there's enough love in this family to get beyond the hurt and tension.

I wanted to find out what it was that was so bad Kate was sent to boarding school, and I wanted her to face up to the consequences. I also wanted to see which new friendships stu
Mar 28, 2012 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Maggie by: Melina Marchetta
So I have this awesomeness because Mandee is awesome:

but this is another Aussie title that you can get from the Kobo store for less than $10. With a coupon (code: win_g7om1n1), it's less than $7. Go!
Laura Morrigan
It's nice to read a book about a Goth character where she can come to terms with the problems in her life and not have to suddenly become 'normal'. She is allowed to have her own identity, and be true to herself.

I really liked the book from the get-go. In some ways, Kate reminded me of my teenage self, in others, she was totally different, but she was a character I could identify with. This line really struck me as describing my sense of difference. 'I was lonely and homesick- the new girl who d
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Magan by: Amanda
Shelves: 2012-reads
[Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading]

Kate Elliot is a girl who found her identity when she allowed her friend Annie to give her a makeover. Despite her mother’s blatant disapproval over her new gothic look, Kate won’t falter from dressing this way. While nothing ever seems to please her career-driven politician mother, Kate’s behavior and an unknown mishap (the mystery is unraveled throughout the book) eventually lead her to boarding school. She is no longer welcome in her own home and
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I started reading I'll Tell You Mine, I was under the impression it was for a younger YA audience, and I am not exactly sure why - I think it may have been the vagueness of the blurb, and the fact that the protagonist is 15. It turns out I was wrong. I think this is more of a 14+ YA (though really, nothing so bad a mature but younger reader couldn't pick it up). It's nowhere near as generic as the blurb may suggest - there was a realness to the book, and to Kate, that made the traditional-Y ...more
Bree T
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Kate Elliot has a terrible secret. Something so horrible that she can’t even bear to speak it out loud. And now Kate’s mother, who can barely look at her has decided that they need some space. Kate isn’t happy at home, has been acting out and the best thing might be for Kate to become a boarder at the school where she is usually a day girl.

Even though she’s attended the school since year 7, Kate hasn’t made many friends and she doesn’t know much about the boarding aspect. She’s horrified when th
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
(This review originally posted here.)

Boarding schools. They have captured my imagination ever since, aged seven, I was heartbroken to be told by my mum that I couldn't go to St Clare's because it didn't exist.

Part of me likes to think that somewhere in the Bernese Oberland the Chalet School is going strong, still churning out trilingual girls who become teachers and then marry doctors. And that on the Cornish coast, Rebecca Mason is still practising her tennis while the other girls learn to surf
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Carrie by:
This is a great new YA book from an up and coming Aussie author.
Pip's writing style is reminiscent in many ways of John Marsden, mostly in the realism of her characters, the settings and the plot. This is one of those Aussie YA books that doesn't hide the fact that it's Australian, and I love that.
The main character, Kate, has a well defined voice which makes her instantly relatable. My only issue with Kate, and the book as a whole, is that I cannot understand the reasoning behind making her a "
This is yet another book I should have read sooner. After loving Harry’s latest novel, Head of the River, I knew I had to go back and read her debut. And, unsurprisingly, I wasn’t disappointed. I’ll Tell You Mine was an enjoyable and touching look at the struggle to fit in, best friends and the relationship between mother and daughter.

I love Harry’s effortlessly enjoyable writing style. That, combined with relatable characters means I was hooked from the first page. Just like with Head of the Ri
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of I'll Tell You Mine in a Goodreads giveaway. Thanks to Pip Harry, the author, for generously sending a copy all the way from Australia!

I really liked I'll Tell You Mine a lot. Set in a boarding school in Australia, this book follows the story of Kate Elliot. She's a teenage girl who gets kicked out of her parents house and sent to live at the school during the middle of the year. She faces the challenges you would imagine this situation creates. She befriends one of her roommates,
May 12, 2012 rated it liked it
I had to read and review this for my work experience at a magazine. My review is quite favourable as I treated the book only as a light read YA novel, but honestly this is never the type of book I read and I was not impressed by my usual standards. Regardless it is a decent read and my review was as follows:

In Pip Harry’s first novel ‘I’ll Tell You Mine”, the troubled Kate Elliot finds herself forced into boarding school after an untold disastrous event seems to ruin her already fragile relation
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Finally, I'll Tell You Mine is on shelves and I couldn’t be prouder for my fellow reality chick, Pip Harry. Streamers have been hung and champagne has been quaffed, because, you know, it’s not every day that one of your best buddies becomes a published author.
The story revolves around Kate, a teenage goth who’s a little, shall we say, authority-challenged. It doesn’t help that her mum is a super-busy, often-absent politician without much time for her family – including Kate’s laidback dad and he
Feb 02, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was pretty dark, however, I really adored this book, I found it quite different and one I didn't think I would like. Not my typical book, by judging from the front cover I wouldn't pick it up and be excited by it. But it really surprised me!

One of the main aspects which kept me reading this book was wanting to know Kate's secret and what she did. As I was nearing the end, I was beginning to think that I was never going to find out what she did. I loved how Maddy and Kate sort of just c
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Kate Elliot has done something bad. Something so bad that her parents have kicked her out of home - sent her off to boarding school. Pip Harry builds the suspense around Kate’s terrible action beautifully and dramatically, with tiny hints sprinkled through the narrative, keeping the reader guessing right through to the end.

Kate is full of anger and attitude. But her sassy manner, direct language and brash exterior hide a fifteen year old girl desperately trying to work out how to navigate life a
Kristen My Bookish Fairy Tale
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'll Tell You Mine is a great coming of age story.Kate Elliot doesn't feel like she belongs anywhere. She wants to be anything but normal. So she has radically changed her behaviour and her appearance. But hiding behind a new appearance doesn't change the hurt inside.

This is a great story of teenage angst. Kate has been so caught up in being anything other than normal that she has lost herself in the process. Kate's biggest problem is trying to relate to her mother. She never seems to have time
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
From the very first paragraph 'I'll Tell You Mine' shocked me! I won't explain exactly what it was that shocked me because I think it best for people to read it themselves, but it definitely ensured that I liked the book immediately and didn't want to stop reading.
'I'll Tell You Mine' was very well written and I found it refreshing to read a story that was realistic and really told a story that accurately reflected the lives of teenage girls. There were so many things that I could absolutely re
Whitney McCarthy-Cole
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
If Melina Marchetta recommends it, that's good enough for me. There is a lot to like about this coming-of-age novel, and readers (particularly those who are Australian, attended boarding school, grew up in the shadow of a success parent, ambitious or rebellious) will identify with Kate and her friends. I certainly pictured the whole story against the backdrop of my own school.

Something to complement 'Looking for Aibrandi', and 'The story of Tom Brennan' in school libraries and reading lists.
Boarding School + Aussie YA = Must Give This A Go

Pip Harry is a new-to-me author and I didn't regret reading her debut. Like most other Aussie YAs I've read, this book had a really strong sense of place, and I found her take on modern boarding schools and female friendships refreshing. I was less won over by Kate's Big Secret (I'LL TELL YOU MINE is what I term as an "issue" YA book) and the obligatory romance, but overall a good and absorbing read
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was so good, I could barely put it down. It was nice to read this book because I had gone through a stage where I didn't feel like reading any of the books I had started reading but luckily with this book I was able to make it through to the end.
This book had great characters and a excellent plot. I guess I found myself liking it alot because I could relate to some of it. Also the mystery, it made me want to know what had happened.
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Being a guy, I was reluctant to pick up my first book aimed at teenage girls but on a recommendation I purchased a copy. It was a superb account of life in Australian boarding schools and Goth culture. I'd highly recommend it for the seasoned Young Adult reader and someone starting out in YA such as myself.
Pam Saunders
Jun 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Kate has found a new identity and her mother does not like it, it is an embarrassment to her political career and they fight constantly. So much that even the mediator father can't stop Kate being sent to board at her private school. Kate, the goth finds it hard but her friendship with Maddy helps as does learning what her true identity is.

Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Brilliant, real characters who tug at your heart strings. A page-turning plot. Pitch-perfect dialogue. Has Pip Harry been recording teen conversations? Took me right back to high school. Highly recommended.
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Pip Harry is the author of YA novels I'll Tell You Mine, Head of the River and Because of You, which was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards; the Children's Book Council of Australia - Book of the Year; and the Queensland Literary Awards. Her latest novel, The Little Wave, is for middle grade readers. She currently lives and writes in Singapore.

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“As we walk across the oval afterwards - the Goth, the beauty queen and the fat country girl - I can feel the whole school turning our way and raising a collective eyebrow. If we were a band we would be called The Outcasts.” 5 likes
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