Cover Image: Tracy Flick Can't Win

Tracy Flick Can't Win

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According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tom Perrotta was writing a new book about high school and small-town politics when he worried he was just covering the same ground as ELECTION. But that didn't stop him--in fact, it gave him a hook for the novel. "I suddenly realized that the novel needed something else," he said. "I was basically summoning Tracy to help me write this book, because she was at the center of all these ideas." 

This helps explain why Tracy Flick, last seen over twenty years ago in ELECTION, feels like an afterthought here. She's one of ten or so narrators. She should be the star here, but is constantly lost in the shuffle. There's a retiring principal and his secretary. A tech guru and his wife. A former football star. Multiple chapters are devoted to a pair of rather boring students (who barely interact with Tracy, and seem teleported in from an alternate book). 

Once the plot gets rolling, it's a quick page-turner. I finished it in two sittings. The quick cuts between all of the various characters was at times jarring, especially since some are written in first person and some in third. If Perrotta had stuck to Tracy's point of view the entire time, I think it would have felt like a more satisfying read. Her name is right there in the title! In a storyline where Tracy is fighting to get her proper due, what does it say when even the author won't give her the time of day?

[Will post to Goodreads and other socials closer to release.]
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A great follow up to Election, this book brings up to present day and shows us Tracy's determination to become principal after the current one retires
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Election is one of my favorite novels. When I read the premise of this, Perotta's sequel to my beloved story, I was a bit dubious. Have no fear, though, Perotta does justice (maybe that's the wrong word) to Tracy Flick.

I think we collectively anticipated that Tracy would become a politician. She was so relentlessly driven, and our last glimpse of her in Election tells us she is an intern in Washington, D.C. In Tracy Flick Can't Win, she is a high school vice principal, vying for the top job. Perrotta aptly explains how she got there and, as one of my friends pointed out, that strikes a parallel of high-schooler Tracy in Election.

Like Election, Tracy Flick Can't Win is full of dark humor and twists, and one can't help but picture Reese Witherspoon as the adult Tracy, now a single mom trying to succeed in local school board politics. I can't wait to see that film.

If you are a fan of either the novel or the film Election, you must check out Tracy Flick Can't Win. You will definitely enjoy it, and you will hear that familiar war cry in your head by the end of the book.
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Thank you #Netgalley for this advanced copy! As a fan of the book and movie, Election, this book did not disappoint. The boom follows a few characters but ultimately Tracy and her quest to advance from assistant principal to head principal at a local high school is the main plot line. The ending seemed a bit unbelievable but I won’t give any spoilers away. I enjoyed the book overall and how adult Tracy is still driven to strive for success.
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Really enjoyed this, which is surprising because I was underwhelmed by Election. Tracy Flick feels realer when we meet her here, decades after the high school presidential campaign in which she eked out a win despite her teacher's machinations. She's not POTUS as she'd once planned, but a high school assistant principal looking to take over the head spot at the end of the school year. This novel uses the same multiple-POV structure as Election to show how Tracy navigates the new campaign she's waging and the various players that make it seemingly impossible for her to succeed. 

In the last novel, Tracy seemed as much a plot device--an object for middle-aged men's fantasies and issues--as one of the story's protagonists. Here, she stands on her own, and while she's still not always likeable, she is sympathetic and understandable. I wanted to spend more time with her. 

Quick read, well-paced (if a bit abrupt at the end), interesting characters. Highly recommend.
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A delicious follow-up to Election. Super engaging, I read it in one sitting and didn't want it to end
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Sheeeee's baaaack! Tracy Flick, the iconic character of novel and movie Election is back in a school setting - this time as a vice principal. As a person working in a school setting, I know the frustrating feelings of disrespect regarded to an assistant principal. As an AP, Tracy is hoping to be the new principal and she navigates the interview process while simultaneously serving on a committee for an unusual hall of fame project.

Tracy's life has taken a turn for the worst since we last saw her. I was a little sad reading the book. But I love Tom Perrotta and his observations on current culture and the complexity of people in general. This school and life satire will surely be enjoyable to anyone who loved the first book, or any Tom Perrotta book! #NetGalley #Scribner #TracyFlickCantWin
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Glad to see Flick back. Many povs just like in Election with high school politics taking center stage. Highly engaging sequel.
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Loved it! Great characters and very relatable. . Seems like a predictable story, but it isn't. I couldn't put it down and read in one day! I had been slogging through some very good books and disappointed I couldn't find anything original and captivating.  This is it. I wish I could find another book like this soon.
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3.5 stars rounded up to 4. Election is near the top of my favorite movies of all time. It's smart, funny, and so darkly comedic. Every high school has a Tracy Flick...the student who has something to prove because she came from nothing; the one who completes all the assignments in the syllabus weeks before they're due, the one who aggressively insinuates herself into every class discussion until everyone just gives up. Tracy was destined for greatness and headed to Georgetown until her mother's illness derailed those plans.

Tracy is now approaching middle age, and once again, she's resigned herself to second best, serving as assistant principal at a high school. I could picture Reece Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick, and I was expecting the scheming and snark the original had. The story alternated among a plethora of characters, some so seconday and forgettable, I questioned their presence. The plot revolved around a Hall of Fame committee that was devoid of the scandal and juiciness I was expecting.

I enjoyed re-visiting this iconic and familiar character, and maybe age has just softened Tracy like the rest of us. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this early read.
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To see a character again over twenty years later is a real treat, especially such a dynamic character like Tracy Flick. She was so realistic in this book, and I loved how the flashbacks and descriptions about her twenties got her to where she is today. With so many other characters in the book, they were all a little surface level for me. I really enjoyed the plot and thought it was a unique way to bring Tracy back to us, though.
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If you were a fan of Election and curious what Tracy Flick might be like now, softened by age and circumstance, this is a must-read. It’s sharp, witty, and extremely entertaining.
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I'm sure I already posted this review, but the transmission must have got corrupted. I really liked this book. 

Unfortunately, I read it last month and the details aren't so fresh in my mind as they were when I wrote my initial review.

I did appreciate the fact that the times have changed and with the #MeToo movement Tracy Flick's relationship with her teacher in high school was wrong, no matter how ambitious she was.  She was a child and that it is addressed here.

I also like that this book shows a realistic future life for Tracy.  She didn't become the lawyer she had planned to be because life happened, but she's good at what she does.  And she's still ambitious and a bit of a schemer, but the men are finally getting their comeuppance.

I also really liked the description of the town.  It was spot on.  The school and the people and all the candidates for MVP were awesome.  It was fun and funny and sarcastic book and I read it one day!  I loved it.  I only wish my original review, which was much longer and more detailed, could have been posted.  I was really excited to be granted access to this book and it did not disappoint.  It gently skewers the town and its people, while also praising Tracy and Front Desk Donna and most of the women.  The men don't come off very well, but the women finally get their due in a showstopping (literally!) ending.
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I’m a huge fan of Tom Perrotta and I loved Election.  I tore through this and read it in about 12 hours.  It’s not just Tracy’s story however. Its about where Tracy is now and others that are in her orbit. I will also say, I didn’t see the ending coming at all.
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I grew up watching Election. I was born in 2002 but my dad has always made an effort to introduce me to movies he loved. Tracy Flick is a great character who you love to hate and hate to love. It was so fun to reconnected with an older version of her. This satire shows Perotta’s witty and sharp humor as he covers new themes than Election first did. It isn’t for everyone and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing about it. This is a great novel with a funny and entertaining cast of characters and plot. I don’t think anything will ever come close to Election but it’s still a great read.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.
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Another great novel from Tom Perrotta! After Election, this was a great sequel that I really enjoyed. It was interesting to see Tracey middle-aged. This was a really believable story.
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Who hasn’t seen Election with Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick? And if you haven’t - stop right now and go watch it. This is an amazing sequel into the life of Tracy Flick and her life as an Assistant Principal. Yet now she has the opportunity to be a Principal with an unexpected leave from her current Principal. And in typical Tracy fashion she will do WHATEVER it takes to get to the top and  - let me tell you the end had me yelling out NO WAY!! I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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I was very excited to get a chance to read Tracy Flick Can't Win, a long overdue follow up to Election. I am a huge Tom Perrotta fan and it's crazy to think that Election was published over 20 years ago. It has also been about 5 years since Tom Perrotta's last book, so I was anxious to dive into his newest book. 
Tracy Flick is an adult now and the assistant principal at a local NJ high school. So she's still playing runner up and once the current principal announces his retirement, she is pumped at the chance to take over as head principal. But as the title suggests, she just can't win. I love the book cover design and title. 
This is signature Tom Perrotta and he does suburban angst so well. It's a very character driven novel with each chapter from a different character's point of view. He executes this perfectly and I was never lost or confused as to which point of view I was reading. And with so many characters, he still manages to fully develop them all. I generally prefer shorter chapters, but some of these chapters are TOO short and it started t0 read like diary entries at times. It could certainly use some tightening up in places, but that is expected for such an early look at this novel. It's a very fast paced and witty read and I devoured it over the course of 2 days. It tackles many current themes such as racism, adultery, bullying, addiction, LGBTQ, and gun violence.
Many thanks to NetGalley for an early copy for review. Publication date is June 2022.
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A great page turner in the covid era... a great escape for an afternoon, a day at the beach, a vacation or plane read to divert ones thoughts from everyday life.
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📚𝓑𝓸𝓸𝓴 𝓡𝓮𝓿𝓲𝓮𝔀 📚
4.5/5🌟

𝑬𝒍𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 is one of my favorite movies ever - was there ever more perfect casting than Reese Witherspoon as the prissy, ambitious Tracy Flick? And now she’s back, in her middle-aged iteration, as a single mother and a vice principal at the very high school that she attended, in this sequel to be published next year. 

Perotta delivers a delightful read that’s engaging and darkly funny, with his signature incisive wit and sharp observations on human behavior. Chapters alternate between the viewpoints of multiple characters, delving deep into their lives and past experiences serving to quickly evoke empathy for them. I loved peeking into the lives of this menagerie, and seeing how their circumstances intertwined. 

I finished this one in nearly one sitting and it was nice to catch up with Tracy Flick. I only knew her from the movie version of 𝑬𝒍𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏, not from Perotta’s book, which seems to have been a bit different, but the essence of Tracy’s personality as an adult is identical to what was translated to the screen years ago as her younger self. And, I always love an epilogue that shows where the characters are months or years later!

My thanks to @netgalley and @scribnerbooks for the opportunity to read the e-ARC of this one! Are you planning to read this one when it comes out next year?
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