5 out of 5 stars
In this second book of the Pippa Park series, Pippa is in trouble when she agrees to host a massive Christmas party for the Royals. She is completely overwhelmed trying to schedule catering and decorations and entertainment for the party, plus she has to find the perfect dress and the perfect date! She still has a huge crush on Eliot, her math tutor, but there is a new boy in her life, Marvel, who is helping out with the church Christmas pageant. Which boy will Pippa ask to be her date to the party? Assuming she can actually manage to host the party without disappointing the Royals and everyone else.
This series retelling of Dicken’s “Great Expectations” is utterly brilliant from start to finish!
Instead of “Pip”, the main character is Pippa. And most of the main characters found in “Great Expectations” have their counterparts in Pippa’s story.
However, although many plot points and character roles are similar to “Great Expectations”, this book has its own voice, its own story, and its own delightful style!
I loved learning more about Pippa’s Korean-American culture. Pippa lives with her sister and brother-in-law, while her mother has stayed in Korea.
One of my favorite characters is Jung-Hwa, Pippa’s brother-in-law. He really functions like a father figure in her life, encouraging her and working hard to support the family.
I loved the complexity of Pippa’s relationship with her sister, Mina. Mina is tough on Pippa, nagging her about her grades, her chores, but she obviously loves Pippa very much.
And they have their own special traditions for Christmas with their unique cultural flair that is a mixture of lots of different traditions from different cultures.
Of course, Pippa gets a crush on the new guy, while she still has a crush on Eliot. She wonders how she can possibly like two boys at the same time, and she is very confused trying to sort out her emotions. The descriptions of how she feels, what she thinks, how she worries about her appearance, and wants to be cool to impress the guys… all these things are so spot on and expressive. It really puts you right into Pippa’s shoes.
I was so intrigued to read more about the “cool” girls group, The Royals. Their friendship dynamic is very complex, as each girl has her own personality and social power. Pippa still doesn’t feel very secure in her friendship with them, but it was incredible to see the character development as we learn more about this group of friends.
I was delighted with how serious, comedic, and wild this plot ended up being. It starts out with some fairly tame school drama, but went into some intense emotions and redemption near the end.
I loved Pippa’s continuing character development in this book! She tackles some really tough problems, and makes some stupid mistakes, but eventually she gains some wisdom and has the courage to do the right thing. It takes so much courage to be vulnerable and honest with your friends, and I’m so impressed with Pippa and her humility and gumption. It’s a complete delight to get into the heart of such a complex and deep character!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Media Master Publicity in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.