Cover Image: Tracy Flick Can't Win

Tracy Flick Can't Win

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Member Reviews

My thanks to Scribner, the author and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of Tracy Flick Can't Win. 

There are few authors who could revisit a beloved character without it being gimmicky, but Tom Perrotta did it here. As always, he's empathetic, pointed, observant and humane.
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I am generally a fan of Perrotta’s books, particularly Election. This book held my attention, which is something for an audio book. It did seem inessential and might have been another story that Perrotta grafted Tracy Flick onto. It makes sense from a marketing perspective, but I didn’t think it added much to Election.
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While I am a huge Tom Perrotta fan, I somehow have never read Election.  Still, this book holds up as a stand-alone as we follow Tracy Flick in her quest to become principal.  Jam=packed with hilarity, this book certainly stands up to Perrotta's unique writing style.  The chapters are quick and told from the point of view of multiple characters, which really keeps the plot moving nicely.

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
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Confession: I did not read Perrotta's Election. But I will now. 
Nonetheless, I could still follow this title and found it charming! I think the different points of view told added to the story and enhanced the "Tracy Flick story."

Naturally, fans of 'Election' will be drawn to this title, but I see this garnering new reader to Election and the Tracy Flick world!
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This followup to Election finds Tracy back in her home town and assistant principal at her old high school. When the principal announces his retirement and a board member decides to create a "hall of fame" things get tense at school and home. Secrets, lies, misadventures, and disappoints abound.

I loved this book.  As a former high school teacher, I recognized so many of the characters, but the secrets, emotions, machinations are universal. The tension builds until the night of the HOF induction when everything gets crazy!! The book is filled with humor and pathos, just like real life.
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Thank you, NetGalley, for an e-ARC of Tracy Flick Can't Win by Tom Perotta.
This book is fast-paced and engaging. Written from different points-of-view, this book gives insight into many characters. I have not read Perotta's book, Election, which introduces Tracy Flick, but I was able to follow along and didn't feel like I was in the dark. I do plan to read Election now that I've become a fan of Tom Perotta.
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I read Election first to prep for this book. I had seen the movie years ago. This book was fairly interesting  and a quick read. Some parts dragged on a little.  ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
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Such a refreshing re-visit to one of our favorite late-90s over-achievers. Readers don't NEED to read or watch the original, but that context helped with the backstory.
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Oh Tracy, I've always wondered what happened to you. What a great book to let us see what became of Tracy Flick. Excellent job! I loved it!
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Thank you to netgalley for providing an e-galley for review. Tracy Flick is back in Tracy Flick Can't Win. This is another dark installment in Tracy's life. She is grown up, but it is not all that she had planned for. This makes her extremely relatable. Her major dreams and ambitions had to be reimagined with the curveballs that life threw at her. Then there's the high school hall of fame, and the same old people looking for the same old glory, or do they?
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I love that Tom Perotta has a such a distinct voice & you always know a book is his. The book was entertaining, but doesn’t stand out. The fact that I don’t really have anything to say about it probably says more than anything else.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC digital copy. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.

I truly enjoyed reading this for the first 98% of the book. I found it quite interesting to know that the characters were tied together somehow and to discover the backstories that connected them.

Unfortunately, the ending was so poorly done that I won’t be recommending this book. The resolution didn’t actually resolve much. The ending felt more like packaging up some loose ends and leaving others’ actions completely out of character.

2.5 stars rounded up to 3 out of respect for the author.
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I had not read the first "Tracy Flick" novel, but I had seen the film based on that book--Election.  This sequel, 30 years later, Tracy Flick Can't Win, is a much more sympathetic Tracy Flick than the earlier film created.  In this novel, Tracy is more multidimensional, and thus, far more interesting.  Tom Perrotta creates a back story, which was missing from the film.  It is the back story that plays a large part of making her more sympathetic.  

The plotting of Tracy Flick Can't Win works well.  There are multiple narrators, which helps to create depth for each character.  Readers are given the opportunity to live within all these minds, as the narration and the plot play out.  While the end of the book was not a total surprise, Perrotta provides a sensitive ending to this very fine novel.  This is a stand alone novel, but I have discovered that I like Tracy Flick, and so now I will read the first novel.

I want to thank the author and publisher for providing this ARC, in exchange for my honest review.  The comments above are my own thoughts and opinion.  Thank you also to NetGalley for listing this novel and for introducing me to another writer, whose work I enjoyed.
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Tracy Flick, from Election by Tom Perrotto, is now the assistant principal at her old high school.  The principal has announced his upcoming retirement and Tracy appears to be the leading candidate for his job. When a wealthy alum wants to start a Hall of Fame at the school, a committee of faculty, students, and school board members is formed.  Perrotto does an excellent job of developing these characters as well as the backstories of some of the nominees.  The book takes some unexpected twists.  Overall this is an enjoyable, quick read describing how school politics works in a small town.  I enjoyed it and recommend it.  I thank NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this ARC.
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3.5 rounded up 

Tom Perrotta is one of my favorite white male authors and I was so excited to read this sequel to “Election.” While I’m glad I read it for the nuances and layers Perrotta is known for, I didn’t fully love this novel or my reading experience due to the multiple POVs.

This sequel begins with beloved Type A Tracy Flick as a forty something single mother. She’s an Assistant Principal, still driven and organized as we saw her as a teen in “Election” (and so iconically played in the film by Reese Witherspoon.) Tracy feels her life is fine but unexceptional, and is lit up by the prospect of being promoted to Principal after all these years. She’s also tasked with serving on the school’s new Alumni Hall of Fame. When everyone wants a horrible NFL player inducted, Tracy reexamines her own life and the hand she’s been dealt.

Perrotta is looking at “Election” and Flick through the lens of our post #MeToo era. There’s a lot to unpack here with various layers and it left me with a lot to think about. I cared about Tracy and her journey more than I thought I would when starting this book. Where the novel lost some stars for me was outside of Tracy. We see perspectives from people on the Hall of Fame committee, students, teachers, etc…and it all became a little much. Too inclusive, too broad and it diluted the novel and Tracy for me. I enjoyed this one but it won’t be in my top Perrotta picks (which are “Little Children” and “The Leftovers” for me.)

✨Trigger Warnings: Cancer, Infidelity, Mental Illness, Abortion, Racism, Violence, Sexism, Death

✨Themes: Self-Justification, Ambition, Consequences, Multiple POVs
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It is curious to me how this author’s work keeps getting noticed by Hollywood in the making of movies or miniseries. And those are actually quite good., or at least entertaining. In contrast, this is an insipid book. The only book I have read by this author. Generally if one gets a book filled with one page chapters, then it is clear that nothing deep or inspiring is going to go on throughout the book. Thanks to NetGalley for a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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I read about half of this one but just couldn’t get into it! I liked ELECTION more and found Tracy Flick as a teenager the more compelling version to read.
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Tracy Flick is a hard-working and ambitious Assistant Principal at a suburban New Jersey public high school.  She's a single mom of a ten-year-old girl who's feeling stuck in her career and her lot in life until she finds out the Principal of her school will be retiring at the end of the school year.  She is reignited with new hope and purpose as she sets about proving her talent and worthiness for taking over the role as Principal.  One of her new tasks is to support a burgeoning campaign to create a Hall of Fame for the school's alumni which brings with it a host of high school politics.  Lots of characters and drama emerge from this story, some from the legacies of the high school's past and some from its current students and staff.  It's well-written with a dynamic pace as chapters alternate from different points of view.  It's entertaining though perhaps a bit disappointing with how it glosses over some deep-rooted serious topics.  Tracy Flick is a likeable character, though I'm not sure how much of a connection it really makes with the first Tracy Flick book Election.  I never read that book or watched the movie and didn't find much detailed backstory that told me about that part of her life.  So that's good in that it's a standalone story, but worth noting that nothing compelled me to go back and read that part of Tracy's story.
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How fun to revisit Tracy Flick, one of my all-time favorite book and movie characters. Less satirical than Election, TFCW still includes lots of social commentary and I appreciated the different POVs. I was a little sad about where Tracy ended up but in the end, it seemed fitting.

Thanks to Scribner for the copy to review.
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I'll admit, while I had seen the move Election I have never previously read Tom Perrotta's books. This was my first one. Unfortunately I am not a fan. This story was told from the perspective of multiple characters surrounding the retirement of a longtime principal and the creation of a Hall of Fame at the school. It gave you a glimpse into the day to day lives of these characters. While parts were interesting, it felt like Perrotta was trying too hard to place in various pop culture talking points in order to make certain perspectives more relevant. Instead it fell flat. Thank you NetGalley and Scribner for the ARC.
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