Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan
Published March 8th 2017
Now is the time for fearlessness.
Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and get to New York City, the better. Art school has 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?
I loved the synopsis for Piper Perish. It sounded really fun and the cover is beautiful so I was pumped. I was super excited. I was ready to read a cute, fun YA contemporary. However, this book was a massive disappointment.
First off, I wasn’t super into the writing style. It was written in a diary-like format but it was so over detailed, it would have been better if it was just written normally.
Okay. So. I hated the main character. She was very whiny, ungrateful, pretentious, immature, and incredibly over dramatic. She complained so much. I’m not a fan of people who complain a lot, especially when they’re fortunate in many ways. Piper was very fortunate and blessed but she just complained about everything. Her immaturity was sky high. I felt like I was reading the diary of a bratty, privileged eight year old.
Piper also had a problematic and immature view on her (ex)boyfriend. Within the first few pages we find out that her (ex)boyfriend has an interest in boys. Piper goes on a weird rant about how she might have turned him gay because she has short hair. It was odd and surprising to find something like that in a YA book written within the last few years. Piper is an awful example for young readers. She single handedly ruined this book in the first 15 pages. I didn’t like any of the other characters either so this book was pretty much hopeless for me.
I also wasn’t a fan of the relationship between Piper and her sister, Marli. They hated each other for no reason and it was such a poorly written example of a relationship between sisters. I’m so sick of sibling relationships being so poorly written. I’m tired of girls being pitted against each other.
Piper and Marli didn’t have to be besties but there is no excuse for such a terrible representation of sisters.
Honestly, all the female characters in this book are poorly written. This isn’t a book I want young girls reading. There are so many more YA books out there that young girls can read that will empower them. Piper Perish just promotes the image that teenage girls are nasty and that it’s okay to consistently compete with each other.
Overall, I didn’t like this book at all. I found it to be very problematic and had a terrible representation of girls. This book was almost sexist against women. I don’t think the author intended that at all but it’s very unfortunate that this book has such a terrible cast of characters, especially the female characters. Maybe if you’re not a critical reader, you’ll enjoy this book but I definitely don’t recommend it. There are many more YA contemporaries out there that aren’t problematic and will empower the reader.