Sunday, November 03, 2019

The Humiliations of Pipi McGee

Vrabel, Beth. The Humiliations of Pipi McGee
September 16th 2019 by Running Press Kids

E ARC Provided by Netgalley

Penelope got her name of Pipi after an unfortunate accident involving a stuck zipper. Something horrible seems to happen every year, and Pipi knows all of the incidents by heart. Her friend Tasha puts up with her recounting, but doesn't quite understand, because her life seems to go swimmingly. When 8th grade starts off with an assembly where kindergarten pictures of the 8th graders are shown, Pipi feels like she has already had her humiliation for the year-- her picture was one of her as a piece of bacon. Bound and determined to avenge all of her past, she volunteers with the kindergarten class and mentors Piper, who thinks that she is going to be a unicorn when she grows up and wants to include a horn growing out of her stomach in her class portrait. That's one horror down, but Pipi goes through her past, focusing on Sarah, the golden girl everyone loves, and her evil cousin Kara, who were both behind some of the upsets. There's also Jackson, on whom Pipi has a long time crush, and with whom Pipi thinks she still has a chance, especially since she manufactures chances to be near him, especially since he has started to write poetry and Pipi offers up a room at her mother's gym as a place for a poetry group to meet. At home, Pipi has to deal with her sister Eliza, who had a baby at age 16, Annie, and is struggling to raise her daughter and to make her career as a make up consultant work. After part of her revenge scheme goes really well (or really awfully), she teams up with her target, Kara, to get revenge on Frau Jacobs, who is concentrating on dress coding all the girls in the school because they are "distracting" the boys, who are only expected to be "neat and clean" in their appearance. When Piper finds out some information about Frau Jacobs' own past, she feels bad about exacting her revenge, but is it too late to stop?
Strengths: This had a lot of good friend drama in it, and lots of interesting characters. Tasha's obsession with a book series (Crow Reaper) is fun, and the relationships with Ricky and Jackson are all too true-to-life. Her supportive family adds an extra layer of interest without slowly down the plot. The scenes with Piper are amusing. Doesn't every middle school student think about plans for a new school year and worry about the things that went wrong in the past?
Weaknesses: I would have liked this better if it had ended before the Frau Jacobs scheme; that was uncomfortable, and I found it hard to believe that any school would continue to dress code girls after everything that has been on social media.
What I really think: Better than Pack of Dorks but not as good as Bringing Me Back or Caleb and Kit. I'll definitely purchase for my readers who want books with drama.
Ms. Yingling

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