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Piper Perish Hardcover – March 7, 2017
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From the Publisher
Praise for Piper Perish
"A love-letter to the artistic life."
—Hope Larson, Author, graphic novelist, and two-time Eisner Award Winner.
“If a book could be my BFF, it would be this one."
—Bonnie Burton, Author of Crafting with Feminism and Girls Against Girls.
"It’s the Cinderella story for any artsy kids"
—Marika McCoola, New York Times bestselling Author of Baba Yaga’s Assistant, Eisner Award Finalist.
“A story that will break, heal, and warm your heart.”
—Sarah Skilton, Author of Bruised and High & Dry.
A note from the author
Y’all, I’m so excited to meet you and introduce you to Piper Perish!
The character of Piper, an awkward, funny, outspoken emerging artist, came into my life when I least expected her, on New Year’s Day 2013, and we’ve been together ever since. Who knew I would be spending the next few years figuring out what Piper was wearing, debating, and creating on a daily basis? It’s been a fun, terrifying, thrilling job to be Piper’s author, to guide her through her senior year of high school in Houston and to see what lays ahead for her future post graduation and possibly post-Texas.
I am and have always been an avid reader of biographies of great writers and artists. In college, as a drama major, I even created a one-woman theater piece on Tennessee Williams. Writers and artists were and are my creativity teachers. How do they persevere in times of failure and success? How do they have and hold on to relationships? Often biographies focus on the crowning achievements or the very young days and skim over the young adult period, unless something particularly transformative happened during that time. I just wanted to read what was in the mind of a young Picasso or a young Warhol. I wanted to see who they were before the world had an idea of how they should act, who they were and who they should be, what they created. In particular, I wanted to see a young artist living in the now, dealing with her very real, very everyday life problems. Best friends and boyfriends, money and art, a troubled sister and a naïve family, wanting to leave home and wanting to stay put. I wanted to read her diary because I wanted to accompany Piper on her unpredictable journey. I wanted to see if she could make it out from under the pressures of being an artist and a teenager at the same time. I wanted to know who Piper would be — and what her art could be — if she was truly free.
My biggest heroes have always been and continue to be artists. So, I guess you could say I wanted to write Piper as my up-and-coming superhero. I wanted to give Piper an artist superhero origin story.
As a writer who has kept a diary for over 30 years, it was time I wrote and read someone else’s entries. I wrote the book I really wanted to read. Hopefully you and your readers will enjoy Piper’s journey — and journal — as much as I do. We often see how art is made, but it’s not every day we see how artists are made.
Thank you for sharing Piper Perish with your young, adventurous, creative readers. My wish is that Piper is a faithful companion who accompanies readers on their own artistic journeys, too.
All good things!
"A love-letter to the artistic life, filled with glamour, passion, hunger and heartbreak." - author, graphic novelist, and two-time Eisner Award Winner Hope Larson
"Will embolden budding teen artists."-School Library Journal
"There may not be another book published this year that is more perfect for artistic, complicated Cancers, who love stability yet crave adventure."--Teen Vogue
"Piper Perish is smart, fresh, and utterly engaging. Infused with a love and respect for art that shines through on every page, Kayla Cagan's debut is equal parts funny and heartbreaking. You won't put it down."-Brandy Colbert, author of Pointe and Little and Lion
"Get ready for all the feels! Urgent, funny, and achingly real, Piper Perish will pull you into her artsy, messy, and love-rich world on the first page and hold you tight until the very end. The voice is so fresh and intimate you'll swear you've known Piper your whole life. I read this book on a tear and when I finished-breathless and teary and hopeful-I not only knew I'd discovered an amazing author, I also felt like I had a new friend. Stop what you're doing and go read Piper Perish now!" -Leila Howland, author of Hello, Sunshine
"Candid and thoughtful; readers will be sad to let go of Piper but eager to see what Cagan does next."-Publishers Weekly
"Cagan tells Piper's story with amazing authenticity. soulful reading for any artistic teen with a dream."-Booklist, starred review
"After reading Piper Perish I want to start my own handwritten, doodle-filled journal full of creativity, dreams, and adventures. This book captured that excitement I felt when I was a young artist full of hope tackling a big city. If a book could be my BFF, it would be this one." -Bonnie Burton, author of Crafting with Feminism and Girls Against Girls
"A smart, complicated, emotionally mature, coming-of-age story that leaps off the page and reminds you why you ever dared to dream. Bonus points for every Houston shout-out." -Pamela Ribon, bestselling author of Notes to Boys: And Other Things I Shouldn't Share in Public
"A character readers will remember."-Kirkus Reviews
"A great read for creative adults or teenagers who are on the precipice of becoming who they're meant to be."--Read it Forward
About the Author
Kayla Cagan is a writer and playwright. She received her BFA in Theater from Stephen F. Austin University. She lives in Los Angeles. This is her first book.
Top customer reviews
I wish I had t read some reviews before I read. But I did, and many are correct. I want to like so many of the characters but I can't, and it comes off very cliche and cheesy and over the top.
It was pretty mature, I think a 14-18 year old might really enjoy it, but I was bummed. I was hoping to be wowed.
One story line that I became especially interested in was Piper’s relationship with her sister, Marli. As you will find in the book, Marli is emotionally volatile and creates much tension for the entire family, as she has her entire life. I connected with this closely as a former special education teacher. In my work with students with emotional behavioral disabilities, many of the families I worked with were at a loss as to how to deal with the emotional turmoil their children exposed their families to. While Marli in this book is not technically labeled with a disorder or disability, the symptoms remain the same. I was heartbroken for both Piper and her parents as they struggled to absorb Marli’s wild mood swings. I was also heartbroken for Marli as she (in my opinion) needed professional help for her struggles. This part of the story was woven in throughout the book, and was probably supposed to be a backdrop for the art focus, but I didn’t read it like that. That’s the joy of books - we can all experience them through our own lens!
I will be purchasing a copy of this book for my high school library and another to check out to our high school art classroom. Cagan’s bio on her website states that she will be releasing another novel with Chronicle in 2018 - I can’t wait!
I received a digital review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.