I realised as a book reviewer, I’m filled with nothing but regrets. Today, we review a book I regret not reading earlier.
This was a book I downloaded from NetGalley back in 2019, when I first started reviewing. Suddenly I was overwhelmed, fell into a slump, multiple slumps, and now in 2021, I am kicking myself for not reading this earlier.
It was great. My heart is warm, so are my tears. I had a great time going through rollercoasters of emotions with this one.
The Humiliations of Pipi McGee
by Beth Vrabel
get it here
Award-winning author Beth Vrabel writes with humor and empathy about a girl who wants to shed her embarrassing moments before she leaves middle school behind her. The first eight years of Penelope McGee’s education have been a curriculum in humiliation. Now she is on a quest for redemption, and a little bit of revenge.
From her kindergarten self-portrait as a bacon with boobs, to fourth grade when she peed her pants in the library thanks to a stuck zipper to seventh grade where…well, she doesn’t talk about seventh grade. Ever.
After hearing the guidance counselor lecturing them on how high school will be a clean slate for everyone, Pipi–fearing that her eight humiliations will follow her into the halls of Northbrook High School–decides to use her last year in middle school to right the wrongs of her early education and save other innocents from the same picked-on, laughed-at fate. Pipi McGee is seeking redemption, but she’ll take revenge, too.
Hurt people hurt people
Beth Vrabel, The Humiliations of Pipi McGee
A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
With a combination of lovable characters, fast-paced storyline and enjoyable writing, I couldn’t put this down.
8th Grade: a new school year, a chance for new beginnings. For Pipi McGee, it’s a chance for new beginnings but first, she needs to check things off her list, ‘The List’, that is, of her 8 biggest humiliations and taking revenge on everyone who has humiliated her. From Regina George in middle-school form vile Kara Samson, her long-term unreciprocated crush who had rejected her in a horrific way Jackson Thorpe, and the ever-unbearable Frau Jacobs… and almost everyone who has ran away, shunned and snickered from the Pipi Touch.
Despite all that she has been through, she had her best friend Tasha by her side. Bold, fearless, captain of the track team and a book nerd with dyslexia, who no matter how busy her schedule was, had always made time and stood up for her best friend Pipi. She also had Ricky, who had always been there for her from the beginning, but she was too blind to realise and only believed they were friends because of his crush on Tasha.
I loved all the characters. From Pipi, her family, her schoolmates, the popular group in school, but maybe not the boring as stale bread Jackson Thorpe. He is still young, sure, figuring himself out, sure, but man I wished there was more to him. That aside, I loved the relationships and complex personalities of the characters in this book. Especially Pipi, who at times made me want to yell and hide in fear of consequences for her actions, yet hug and comfort her at the same time.
Aside from school, it focuses on Pipi’s family life, with her bad relationship with her sister Eliza, her adorable but insanely intelligent and wise for a 4-year-old niece, Annie, and her divorced parents and her mother’s new boyfriend Alec. It was refreshing and a lovely balance to the chaos in school, and it gave more depth into Pipi’s life outside of working on The List.
I especially liked how this book deals with issues like bullying, and generations of hurt and power complexes. The storyline is rather predictable, but I believe it falls under the good side of predictable, where it is set-up well and made sense. It was a very enjoyable read.