I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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 when it means giving up so much?
This is going to be kind of a ranty review because spoiler alert: I hated it. Maybe part of it is an age thing. Some parts of it may appeal to younger audiences because while I could relate to some things, most of the book just annoyed me. This book is told through Piper's journal entries. Interesting choice for a narrative style, but it ensured that we only got things from Piper's POV. The problem with Piper was that she annoyed me for most of the book. She was a typical teenager who couldn't wait to leave her hometown for an art school in New York and she wouldn't shut up about it. I do understand that part because I was the same way. But she was so whiny about everything and she was unrealistic about her options. She wanted to go to an expensive art school, but did she do ANYTHING about trying to figure out options so her parents could afford it? No. She didn't look for scholarships or loans or grants or anything. She even took her sweet time about getting a job. She got in and then just expected her parents to be able to pay for it all and then she blamed other people for the fact that they couldn't. And she didn't have ANY other backups.
Let's talk about her family. Her parents were supportive and I felt sorry for them because they had to deal with two very bratty teenagers. Okay, now I get that sisters can have a whole rivalry thing going on and they can hate each other for no reason and one always thinks the other is being spoiled by their parents. That's how it was for me and my sister growing up. But here's the thing: Piper's sister, Marli, was an absolute horrible person and there was no reason for it. And there was never any supportive or loving moments between the sisters. I don't even get the point of the Marli point of the storyline. I felt like the author was trying to insinuate that Marli had mental problems. Piper and her friend read a chapter in a psychology textbook and decided that Marli was a sociopath. Really?? I agree that Marli was mean, but I never saw any indication of that. Not a diagnosis you want to throw around lightly. And Piper kept calling Marli crazy. So annoying. And here's a radical thought: a person can be awful and mean WITHOUT suffering from a mental illness. But since nothing was ever resolved with that, I don't know if Marli actually had issues or if it was just an insult thrown around by an envious sister. But Piper could be mean to Marli too. And she thought her parents were spoiling Marli just because her parents actually did things for her. And not to give away any spoilers, but Marli's problem couldn't just be swept under the rug.
Then let's talk about Piper's friends. They were both artists too and they were also as moody as Piper because of the whole "teenage angst" thing. Kit was jealous of Piper a lot instead of being supportive. And Piper just apologized to Kit for things that weren't even her fault and she was so needy in her desire to make Kit okay. That was annoying. Enzo was Piper's artist boyfriend, who breaks up with her in front of everyone at the whole school because he's gay. I never got over the way he ended things with Piper and then I hated him because he kept jerking Piper around, despite the fact that he said he didn't want to be with her. And another reviewer pointed out that the author should have made Enzo bisexual or something and I have to agree with that. Basically, the ONLY options that were presented for Enzo were gay or straight. Yet, he still kind of wanted to be with Piper at times even after he came out. So was he just struggling with being gay? Or was he bisexual? If he were bisexual, then maybe some of this actions would have made sense and I would have liked him a bit more.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one. Please.