You All Grow Up and Leave Me
A highly unsettling blend of true crime and coming-of-age memoir— The Stranger Beside Me meets Prep—that presents an intimate and thought-provoking portrait of girlhood within Manhattan’s exclusive prep-school scene in the early 1990s, and a thoughtful meditation on adolescent obsession and the vulnerability of youth.Piper Weiss was fourteen years old when her middle-aged tennis coach, Gary Wilensky, one of New York City’s most prestigious private instructors, killed himself after a failed attempt to kidnap one of his teenage students. In the aftermath, authorities discovered that this well-known figure among the Upper East Side tennis crowd was actually a frightening child predator who had built a secret torture chamber—a "Cabin of Horrors"—in his secluded rental in the Adirondacks.Before the shocking scandal broke, Piper had been thrilled to be one of "Gary’s Girls." "Grandpa Gary," as he was known among his students, was different from other adults—he treated Piper like a grown-up, taking her to dinners, engaging in long intimate conversations with her, and sending her special valentines. As reporters swarmed her private community in the wake of Wilensky’s death, Piper learned that her mentor was a predator with a sordid history of child stalking and sexual fetish. But why did she still feel protective of Gary, and why was she disappointed that he hadn’t chosen her?Now, twenty years later, Piper examines the event as both a teenage eyewitness and a dispassionate investigative reporter, hoping to understand and exorcise the childhood memories that haunt her to this day. Combining research, interviews, and personal records, You All Grow Up and Leave Me explores the psychological manipulation by child predators—their ability to charm their way into seemingly protected worlds—and the far-reaching effects their actions have on those who trust them most.

You All Grow Up and Leave Me Details

TitleYou All Grow Up and Leave Me
Author
ReleaseApr 10th, 2018
PublisherWilliam Morrow
ISBN-139780062456595
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Crime, True Crime, Biography

You All Grow Up and Leave Me Review

  • abby
    January 1, 1970
    There are three things about Piper Weiss that stand out above all else in reading her memoir-slash-true-crime book. First, that she came of age in early 90s New York. Second, that she wasn't Gary Wilensky's ultimate victim. And, third, that she's spent years obsessing over why not. In many ways, this book IS Piper Weiss. You're going to like her or hate her and her book accordingly.The true crime part of the book, which is dwarfed by the memoir portions, focus on Gary Wilensky, a tennis instruct There are three things about Piper Weiss that stand out above all else in reading her memoir-slash-true-crime book. First, that she came of age in early 90s New York. Second, that she wasn't Gary Wilensky's ultimate victim. And, third, that she's spent years obsessing over why not. In many ways, this book IS Piper Weiss. You're going to like her or hate her and her book accordingly.The true crime part of the book, which is dwarfed by the memoir portions, focus on Gary Wilensky, a tennis instructor who taught privileged Manhattan girls while grooming them to become his victims. His students loved him because they felt he was one of them. Not like those other adults-- Gary really understood them. Even the girls' parents were taken in by his spell. Piper's mother, to this day, believes Wilensky gave her daughter free extra tennis lessons on Saturdays because of her talent. "You were so good," her mother says. But, it turns out, Gary Wilensky was so bad. He built a dungeon of horrors in the mountains and tried to abduct one of his former students. The case garnered national media attention.But that victim, the one reporters stalked and chased, desperate for an exclusive quote, was not Piper Weiss. A fact which only awakened a new obsession but in reverse. Piper became obsessed with Gary. Throughout her investigation, Piper pumped authorities for details about herself. Was she one of the girls Gary covertly photographed? Could she get a copy of the photographs? Was she Gary's backup plan? I'm not sure it's fair to say Piper wanted to be a victim, but I do think it appears that way on the surface. Her reactions are in stark contrast to another one of "Gary's girls," who wrote an article for the Washington Post likening her escape of his attentions to "winning the lottery." Piper Weiss is a little less grateful for her "winnings":"The teen he stalked. I don't know what exactly happened to her or what he tried to do, but I know she matters. He picked her and now she matters. Everyone wants to know what she has to say and how she feels because he chose her. She matters and I do not."So why did I like this book? It helps to be a bit of a memoir junkie and to also have an interest true crime. I'd never heard of Gary Wilensky before and don't know that I ever would have if not for this book. He seems to have slipped into true crime obscurity. Weiss is a talented writer and her style is engaging and addictive. Sure, there were times when I thought her memoir was self-indulgent and when she rubbed me the wrong way. But I found the majority of her story to be very compelling. Then there's the fact that so much of my own experiences overlap with Piper's. I'm roughly the same age and the references to fashion and music and the radio station Z100 take me back to the early 90s. This book is strong on the nostalgia. And I was also an "almost victim." I won't go into details, but, like Piper and around the same time she was taking tennis lessons from Wilensky, I was in trust of an adult male who turned out to be grooming girls. And, like her, I was not one of his favorites. But where we differ is that I moved on, quickly at that, as teenagers are prone to do. He disappeared and I never really thought of him again. I am grateful to have not been a favorite.The difference is that Piper Weiss stayed fourteen. And that's what is fascinating about, if not also tragic, her memoir. The past and the present are just mirrors of each other. It also demonstrates how "almost victims" can, in fact, be victims in their own rights, even if they don't feel like they have permission to wear that label. How crime, predatory sex crime most of all, is like the rock dropped in the lake. The ripples stretch out far from the original source, jostling everything in their radius. Those outliers, like Piper Weiss-- we don't usually seek out or hear their stories. Maybe we'd be wise to listen.I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway
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  • Ellen Gail
    January 1, 1970
    For me, the life and death of Gary Wilensky took place over one year, the same period my own mind became the most dangerous it has ever been. At some point both our stories nearly overlapped, though not entirely and certainly not neatly. 2.5 stars. This strange true crime memoir is going to polarize a lot of people I think.Tennis was very on trend in the 90s. It was the chic thing to do, particularly if you were a well off Upper East-Sider. And in the early 90s, Piper Weiss was just that. At 14 For me, the life and death of Gary Wilensky took place over one year, the same period my own mind became the most dangerous it has ever been. At some point both our stories nearly overlapped, though not entirely and certainly not neatly. 2.5 stars. This strange true crime memoir is going to polarize a lot of people I think.Tennis was very on trend in the 90s. It was the chic thing to do, particularly if you were a well off Upper East-Sider. And in the early 90s, Piper Weiss was just that. At 14 she was training with Gary Wilensky, the premier private tennis coach, known for his ridiculous antics and prizes he offered to his students.But in the spring of 1993, Gary Wilensky would become known for something else.New York Times, April 1993"Grampa Gary" had another side his teenage pupils hadn't seen. 56 year old Wilensky attacked one of his 17 year old students and her mother with a cattle prod, intending on bringing the object of his obsession to a remote cabin he had filled with bondage, porn, and unspeakable nightmares. The newspapers would call it a "Cabin of Horrors."For all of his meticulous preparation, he wasn't prepared for his target to fight back. There would be NO taking either of these women anywhere.Just hours after his failure, with the police close behind him, Wilensky shot and killed himself in a parking lot. And just like that, the world knew what he really was; a predator.But for 14 year old Weiss, she knew Gary as someone else. How could funny, goofy Gary be the same person? How could he do this to a girl he claimed was one of his favorites?And the question that nags her still 20 years later - why not her? There is a study that claims the teenage brain develops at the rate of a baby's brain - which is to say, the fastest rate it will ever grow. The difference the second time around is that you are both physically mobile and mentally more aware. You know that something is happening within you but not within your control. This is your new body, you're told, but don't touch it. Don't use it yet. It's dangerous. You All Grow Up and Leave Me is perhaps more memoir than true crime. Wilensky's actions are secondary to the turmoil of a teenage mind. Weiss's youth was troubled to put it simply, and in her tennis coach she found someone who understood her, who treated her like an adult and not just and angsty teen. Gary understood her depression, her need for validation. She found someone who was grooming her, though of course she couldn't understand this at the time.So why not her? She was in his car plenty of times. He frequently gave his students rides home from practice.How do you deal with being an "almost victim" of someone you thought the world of?This is what You All Grow Up and Leave Me does well. It's very relatable, that sense of what could have happened, of how close you were to something you may have never known could've harmed you. When you look back, everything is tinted with the muck of almost, even what seemed harmless and fun. (whatever the opposite of rose colored glasses is I guess? dark sunglasses maybe?)Unfortunately, what didn't work for me was the writing. And when you don't like the writing it's very difficult to like the book as a whole. It's very much a love it or hate it thing. Abby comes down on the positive side, so if you want to read a review that liked this more than me, head that direction!That sense of adolescent directionlessness is very present. It feels at times like it's wandering, which might be the point? Weiss was set adrift, both by her dangerous and problematic teenage years, and by her relationship with Wilensky. Unfortunately, this lack of focus and power made it difficult for me to really get 100% immersed in the story.Overall, I don't know if I'd recommend this one or not. There's a great and extremely personal story being told within the pages. The true-crime elements are tastefully done. But it's really a tossup as to whether you'll like the writing and the way the chapters are structured. By all means, don't let my mild dislike / ambivalence turn you away. If you think you'd like this one, give it a shot, especially if you like your true crime to have a personal touch.*All quotations are from a digital arc and are subject to change in the finished copy*Thanks to William Morrow and Edelweiss for the drc!
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  • Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
    January 1, 1970
    You can read this and all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine.Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for You All Grow Up and Leave Me. I was immediately drawn in by the blurb and cover. The true crime buff in me couldn’t resist this book about a young women’s experience with Gary Wilensky, a child predator who preyed on the young of Manhattan’s elite families in the 1990’s.I have to be honest. This book is a tough one for me to review. There were many things that I really liked about it. For example You can read this and all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine.Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for You All Grow Up and Leave Me. I was immediately drawn in by the blurb and cover. The true crime buff in me couldn’t resist this book about a young women’s experience with Gary Wilensky, a child predator who preyed on the young of Manhattan’s elite families in the 1990’s.I have to be honest. This book is a tough one for me to review. There were many things that I really liked about it. For example, the pacing was steady. I always love books set in Manhattan, particularly in the 1980’s and 90’s. Ms. Weiss author is very open, honest, and introspective. I have a great deal of respect for anyone who can bare their soul in the ways that she does. This book provides a very unique look into how a criminal like Wilensky was able victimize a young girl, even as she grew into a woman, despite the fact that she was not his “victim” in the sense that he never physically or sexually assaulted her.Though I appreciated the author’s perspective, and the honesty with which she’s shared it, I must admit that I had some difficulty relating to her feelings and her ongoing preoccupation with Wilensky. The book’s description calls it “highly unsettling”. For me, this is spot-on. There were parts that made me, what I can only describe as, uncomfortable.Based on the blurb, I was expecting to hear more about the actual case. I would have liked to read more about what the police uncovered about him. Although I suppose it’s possible, it’s difficult to believe he hadn’t gone beyond grooming his potential victims prior to the incident that ended with his suicide. I also expected there to be a bit more emphasis on Wilensky’s relationship with the victim know as The Daughter and what the impact to her life has been. The author did note that she requested an interview with her and was turned down.I don’t normally say this about memoirs, or most nonfiction for that matter, but I think this would be an excellent book club selection. It’s one of those that will inspire lively discussion and debate, for sure!3.5/5 starsThanks to TLC Book Tours and William Morrow for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jen Ryland
    January 1, 1970
    Really interesting. A combination memoir and true crime investigation, this book is about the author's 1990s-era relationship with Gary, a tennis instructor who was later accused of being obsessed with his tween and teen students and plotting to kidnap one of them.She looks back at that time in her life and reflects on what it's like to be a girl exploring her independence, identity as a woman and sexuality. She also researches and reflects on Gary and the case. It's a fascinating story of how k Really interesting. A combination memoir and true crime investigation, this book is about the author's 1990s-era relationship with Gary, a tennis instructor who was later accused of being obsessed with his tween and teen students and plotting to kidnap one of them.She looks back at that time in her life and reflects on what it's like to be a girl exploring her independence, identity as a woman and sexuality. She also researches and reflects on Gary and the case. It's a fascinating story of how kids in their teens and tweens are particularly vulnerable to predators. It's a case study on how sexual predators groom and stalk their victims.The writing is impressive and interesting. The story is disturbing and compelling.More thoughts soon. But if you like memoir, definitely check this out.Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Check out my Bookstagram! Or check out my Jen In Ten reviews on Youtube - get the lowdown on current books in 10-30 seconds!Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!
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  • Meg - A Bookish Affair
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. "You All Grow Up and Leave Me" is the true crime story of Gary, a seemingly harmless man that weasels his way into the lives of many of Manhattan's elite families through tennis. He teaches female students how to be successful tennis players and his services are in high demand. He is hiding a very dark side and abuses multiple young girls in a monstrously systematic way and the way it ends for seems like something out of a horror movie.It took me a little bit to get in the book. At fi 3.5 stars. "You All Grow Up and Leave Me" is the true crime story of Gary, a seemingly harmless man that weasels his way into the lives of many of Manhattan's elite families through tennis. He teaches female students how to be successful tennis players and his services are in high demand. He is hiding a very dark side and abuses multiple young girls in a monstrously systematic way and the way it ends for seems like something out of a horror movie.It took me a little bit to get in the book. At first it seems like the book is very much as simply a memoir of someone who was a teenager in the early 90s. We see Weiss with her friends and what she was doing inside and outside of school. We see the tumultuous relationship with her mother and the friction that permeates their home. Eventually once we get to Gary and into the things he did and the dissection of why he did what he did, the book really picked up for me. Not only does Weiss explore who Gary was but she was a victim herself - one of Gary's girls. This makes for an especially haunting recounting of Gary's horrible crimes. Weiss seems to go back and forth between really wanting to understand what happened and pushing it away. While this was a little frustrating as a reader, I do think it captures the things that go through a victim's head, especially one so young. Understanding doesn't necessarily change things. I thought it was interesting to see what Weiss found in interviewing some of the other victims and made for a really unique read.This book stars slowly but ends up with a wild ride.
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  • Stacy Fetters
    January 1, 1970
    "The onus is on us to change, be better, be less like who we are. We're at fault for caving to our impulses and encouraged to steer ourselves toward more calculated decisions. Once we called this pursuit purity; now we call it evolving."Thank you, Goodreads for an advanced copy of this book. Opinion is my own!I will start this off by saying that judging someones life in book form is never easy. This is someones life in your hands. They felt comfortable enough to share their story and we are judg "The onus is on us to change, be better, be less like who we are. We're at fault for caving to our impulses and encouraged to steer ourselves toward more calculated decisions. Once we called this pursuit purity; now we call it evolving."Thank you, Goodreads for an advanced copy of this book. Opinion is my own!I will start this off by saying that judging someones life in book form is never easy. This is someones life in your hands. They felt comfortable enough to share their story and we are judging them word for word. The synopsis trapped me. Prep school tellings really aren't my thing, it was the dark undertone that got me.Pipers story isn't that different from a lot of others. She was rich, went to an upscale school, and had private tennis tutoring two days a week. She drank, she smoked and broke rules just like other kids. The only thing that stands out from her life is her tennis instructor was a sick and twisted man. Throughout the entire book, Piper comes off as whiny and a tad bit confusing. She kept repeating why wasn't she the favorite? Even after she found out what her tennis coach had done to countless others, she still wanted to be his number one. It just leaves you disgusted and shaking your head. I felt that the reason why she wanted to write this book because she is an obsessed woman still living in a fantasy world. She highly wants to be liked and that was a huge turn off from the start.Sad to say, but the highlight of this tale was the story of Gary and how he deceived his way into peoples lives. I wish the book was more about him and his sick fascination but instead, we settle for a tale of wanting to be everyones number one. Thanks, but no thanks! Bye, girl, bye!!
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for the copy! Check out my blog for more about the author.This book is first and foremost a memoir. There is then a blending with true crime to make for an intriguing story. YOU ALL GROW UP AND LEAVE ME by Piper Weiss is about Gary Wilensky and the crimes he committed from the perspective of one of his former students.I had never heard of Gary Wilensky and the horrible things he had done to some of his students. The fact there’s a “Cabin of Horrors” at Thanks to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for the copy! Check out my blog for more about the author.This book is first and foremost a memoir. There is then a blending with true crime to make for an intriguing story. YOU ALL GROW UP AND LEAVE ME by Piper Weiss is about Gary Wilensky and the crimes he committed from the perspective of one of his former students.I had never heard of Gary Wilensky and the horrible things he had done to some of his students. The fact there’s a “Cabin of Horrors” attached to his name and crimes was eerie enough. After reading through Weiss’ memoir, I went and looked up more info on the case – true crime will always fascinate me. This was an account of Piper coming to terms with why she hadn’t be selected as one of his victims.It is absolutely incredible to me how these predators can lead seemingly normal lives. They can be trusted mentors and teachers without anyone being suspicious of their motives. The fact that Piper was almost upset and confused as to why her cherished mentor didn’t select her just shows how charming and deceptive these predators can be.It always seems weird to rate someone’s story when it comes to a memoir. I really enjoyed the writing and the true crime aspects. The research is there and I learned a lot of Gary Wilensky and his victims. Having the emotional commentary and POV from Piper added to the overall feel of the book. If you’re looking for some nonfiction to add to the TBR and enjoy true crime, then I would highly recommend picking this one up!I give this 4/5 stars!
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  • Shaun
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book for free through a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway."You All Grow Up and Leave Me" is part memoir, part true crime. It's an interesting look into the world of New York private school and private coaching from the perspective of one of those students. The writing style took a bit to get used to. Each chapter was like a snippet from a news article and/or diary. As the reader gets further into the book, it's easier to read and actually becomes quite a page turner and be I received a copy of this book for free through a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway."You All Grow Up and Leave Me" is part memoir, part true crime. It's an interesting look into the world of New York private school and private coaching from the perspective of one of those students. The writing style took a bit to get used to. Each chapter was like a snippet from a news article and/or diary. As the reader gets further into the book, it's easier to read and actually becomes quite a page turner and becomes much more personal and introspective. Weiss does a good job of leading the reader with some pieces of foreshadowing and building the suspense throughout. I knew nothing about the case of her tennis coach, Gary Wilensky, so it was all new to me.Overall, definitely recommend the book to true crime fans, fans of coming of age memoirs, and memoirs in general.
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  • Dorothy
    January 1, 1970
    True crime written by an 'almost victim'. Author had close relationship with a man who turned out to be a sadistic pedophile, who killed himself just as the truth about his nature was being revealed. Weiss has spent the last 20 some years reflecting on what impact the man's duplicitous nature had on her, both when he coached her during her early teen years, and after his death. Wrenchingly honest and eye-opening.
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  • Stephanie Mills
    January 1, 1970
    WOW! This is a great book! I love a great book that can get the emotions/ feelings going and this is one! Many tears and opened eyes.
  • Samantha Osborne
    January 1, 1970
    i liked it a lot it was a interesting read i received this for a honest review
  • Tim
    January 1, 1970
    Best book I’ve read in the past year
  • Deb
    January 1, 1970
    I love memoirs and I find true crime fascinating so I immediately wanted to read this book and be on the TLC Book Tour even though I only had a vague recollection of the Gary Wilensky case. I was in my late twenties, across the country, and focused on other things when in 1993, Wilensky attempted to kidnap a seventeen-year-old former tennis student and when he failed, killed himself. I had little in common with New York's Upper East Side teens and their lifestyles and private schools and tennis I love memoirs and I find true crime fascinating so I immediately wanted to read this book and be on the TLC Book Tour even though I only had a vague recollection of the Gary Wilensky case. I was in my late twenties, across the country, and focused on other things when in 1993, Wilensky attempted to kidnap a seventeen-year-old former tennis student and when he failed, killed himself. I had little in common with New York's Upper East Side teens and their lifestyles and private schools and tennis coaches. Piper Weiss, however, was in the middle of it all, a fourteen-year-old student of "Grandpa Gary" who was confused reconciling that Gary with the friend, mentor, and one of the few "adult allies" in her life. Also confusing for her--both then and today, are her feelings of being let down, that she wasn't the focus of Gary's so-called love. You All Grow Up and Leave Me vacillates primarily between 1992-93 and 2014-16 and Weiss paints a picture of growing up on the Upper East Side where many people including Weiss's mother believes is the "safe" part of New York City. With prep schools and privilege and parents focused on getting their children the best help to stand out and be successful, it seems all to easy for Gary Wilensky to insinuate himself into society and become a successful tennis coach. Because of word of mouth and his own marketing skills, no one looked closely at his background and parents gave him access, often too much, to their daughters. It wasn't until his obsession with one of "Gary's Girls" made her uncomfortable that his behavior escalated into dangerous. Piper Weiss does a good job of building Gary's background and history--although I wouldn't have minded more information on him and the actual crime. I found myself pulling up some of the articles the Weiss mentioned to learn more, but really this story is Piper's--at least in this book. Piper's story is both relatable and not. While her personality, family, and lifestyle were very different from mine, I think most anyone who is or was a teenage girl has had that feeling of not quite fitting in, being judged--by yourself, your friends, the boys you like, and wanting to be special and to be loved. I found myself at times both wanting to hug her and give her a shake. Both she and Gary Wilensky had (in her case, still has) their obsessions, but his came out in a chilling attempted crime and death by his own hand, while Weiss exorcises her demons by seeking to understand them and writing about them. She writes honestly, often poignantly, sometimes darkly humorous, and in a way that is a bit unsettling--the memoir-leaning parts are a bit like looking into a teenager's diary and seeing more than you might have wanted to. This book won't be for everyone, but I think it could lead to some interesting discussion. I found it unique and compelling and well worth reading. You can see my review as well as a recipe inspired by the book on my blog post here: http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/20...Note: A review copy of "The Wild Inside" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Rhonda Lomazow
    January 1, 1970
    A chilling memoir.Young girls from the wealthy private school society in Manhattan,Gary a tennis coach.that these young women’s parents hired for private lessons.Gary who personally drove them to lessons Gary adored by these young girls proud to be one of his girls.As Piper Weiss looks back at this time of her life her excitement at being one of his girls.When this instructor was discovered to be a pedophile a predator everything changed.As an adult Pipers memoir is heartbreaking these innocent A chilling memoir.Young girls from the wealthy private school society in Manhattan,Gary a tennis coach.that these young women’s parents hired for private lessons.Gary who personally drove them to lessons Gary adored by these young girls proud to be one of his girls.As Piper Weiss looks back at this time of her life her excitement at being one of his girls.When this instructor was discovered to be a pedophile a predator everything changed.As an adult Pipers memoir is heartbreaking these innocent young girls .
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  • Tracy Robertson
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Piper Weiss and Goodreads, I won a copy of this book. It was a memoir by a woman who happens to be a writer and was by chance, a student of a tennis coach who turned out to be a dangerous stalker. Piper Weiss wasn't herself his victim, but she knew him very well. The crime part is sort of the backdrop of a fascinating, honest autobiography. It was different in the way as it broke the cardinal writing rule of "you have to be really famous to write a book about yourself". I loved it even Thank you Piper Weiss and Goodreads, I won a copy of this book. It was a memoir by a woman who happens to be a writer and was by chance, a student of a tennis coach who turned out to be a dangerous stalker. Piper Weiss wasn't herself his victim, but she knew him very well. The crime part is sort of the backdrop of a fascinating, honest autobiography. It was different in the way as it broke the cardinal writing rule of "you have to be really famous to write a book about yourself". I loved it even more for breaking that rule. Aside from growing up more affluent than most, Piper could have been anyone's next door neighbor, and I loved how easy it was to relate her teenage self to my own teenage self. Great book!
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    The description of this book seemed like perfection! I was expecting a true crime type novel. It was not that at all. It was basically a memoir of the writers insecurities, which was well done but still not the crime novel I was expecting. I finished it but was left wanting more. I would probably read a future book by this author but was definitely disappointed.
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  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    Holy craziness, batman
  • Cynthia
    January 1, 1970
    a well executed novel about a teen's obsession with her tennis coach and his obsessions with his young female students. Tensely written with a flair for the dramatic.
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book, but I was pleasantly surprised how well written and engrossing it was. The only complaint I have is that I didn't really like the back-and-forth between the 1990s and present day. I found myself skimming through the more recent sections and looking forward to the next 1990s section.
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  • Kevin M
    January 1, 1970
    I heard about this book as a sort of blending of memoir and true-crime. Let me dissuade anyone who thinks the same: this is not a true-crime book. In 15 minutes of google-ing Gary Wylenski, you can know more about the case than is presented here.What it is actually about could have been interesting: growing up in a private Manhattan prep-school among New York's rich and famous, all while dealing with the growing pains that accompany being a teenage girl (not to mention being Jewish in WASP-ville I heard about this book as a sort of blending of memoir and true-crime. Let me dissuade anyone who thinks the same: this is not a true-crime book. In 15 minutes of google-ing Gary Wylenski, you can know more about the case than is presented here.What it is actually about could have been interesting: growing up in a private Manhattan prep-school among New York's rich and famous, all while dealing with the growing pains that accompany being a teenage girl (not to mention being Jewish in WASP-ville). Where it goes wrong is in trying to shoe-horn in the Gary subplot. She seems to have put a lot of research into the facts of his life, even reaching out to the "Daughter", the person Gary did end up stalking, trying to kidnap, and beating severely. In a sliver of self-reflection she realizes after the second time trying to ask the Daughter for an interview, that she has no right to her story, to make her relive it. And then she wrote this book. The disconnect is astounding.Even more disturbing is the central theme of her entire work: why wasn't it me? Why was I not the one he obsessed over, photographed, stalked, prepared to abduct and rape/restrain/abuse, and ultimately beat in a parking lot.All this and I haven't mentioned the confusing structure, jumping around at random between her own recollections and the pieces of Gary's life she witnessed/researched, and forwards and backwards through time with no appreciable focus.This book would have been more appropriate if kept between the author and her therapist. I do not mean this as a jibe, the central theme is not healthy, and I hope she moves past this part of her life.
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  • Maggie
    January 1, 1970
    This book was incredibly well-written, unique, and poignant. The coming-of-age story was painfully real, the true crime eerie and woven in with just enough horror. Several passages struck me as particularly powerful--I might have to go back and find all of the best moments and underline/dog-ear them just to come back and re-read them a few more times. Overall, awesome. One of the most interesting books I've read in a while.
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  • Sara Strand
    January 1, 1970
    This one was kind of hard for me to get through and I'll be honest, I could have put it down by the mid point and called it good because I just couldn't get into it. Though I finished it, it felt kind of pointless. The book is kind of odd and uncomfortable in a lot of ways and that's saying something for me because I'll read most anything. There are large chunks of this book that feels pointless and could be taken out, it took so long to get to the dramatics of the story that it's hard to get (a This one was kind of hard for me to get through and I'll be honest, I could have put it down by the mid point and called it good because I just couldn't get into it. Though I finished it, it felt kind of pointless. The book is kind of odd and uncomfortable in a lot of ways and that's saying something for me because I'll read most anything. There are large chunks of this book that feels pointless and could be taken out, it took so long to get to the dramatics of the story that it's hard to get (and stay) engaged. What was interesting is that the question that basically spurred the book was "why not her?". Why was she not the attempted kidnapping victim? What was it about that particular student and not her that would lead a man to throw his life away? It is a true crime story memoir so if you're a fan of that, you likely will enjoy this book a lot. Or if you are a fan of the early 90's tennis scene you might relate to all of the references and information about it. It just reminded me of that recent case where a teacher abducted his student who he was in love with and seemingly held her hostage. I will never understand what sends people over the edge like that. Overall the book was just OK for me. It wasn't great but it wasn't awful because once we get into the meat of it, I perked up, it just took awhile to get there. The writing feels like we're wandering aimlessly sometimes and that makes it hard to stick with. But this would be an interesting book to pick apart at a book club or discussion group because there were so many opportunities this guy had to do this with any of this students but he picked this one girl for a reason. She fought back but I wonder if in hindsight he thought of another student who probably wouldn't have fought back? What if that girl never did fight back, do you think he would have continued picking students? It's strange because I guess we'll never really know how the human mind works in these situations. I'm giving this one a solid 3 stars. I would have given it 2 but the true crime aspect of it was fascinating for me even if the memoir aspect didn't grab me as much.
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  • ashley | citygirlscapes
    January 1, 1970
    Originally posted on citygirlscapes.com. You All Grow Up And Leave Me by Piper Weiss was dedicated to Lost Girls and opened with an epilogue documenting where all the information comes from, indicating that what is to follow is based on true events. This was a true crime memoir, something I haven’t really heard of before, despite my love of true crime and memoirs.This was written as such, too. Written with a storytellers voice, even though it was depicting actual events that were taken from inte Originally posted on citygirlscapes.com. You All Grow Up And Leave Me by Piper Weiss was dedicated to Lost Girls and opened with an epilogue documenting where all the information comes from, indicating that what is to follow is based on true events. This was a true crime memoir, something I haven’t really heard of before, despite my love of true crime and memoirs.This was written as such, too. Written with a storytellers voice, even though it was depicting actual events that were taken from interviews and reports. The content was all over the place, often seeming off topic or not important. But we’re getting to know the narrator, she is setting the scene and everyone in it, which pulls this situation out into a longer and more flowery narrative.Though I can’t see this being for everyone. The way it is written is all over the place. It’s not hard to follow but it’s not straight up linear and it speaks to Weiss’s obsessiveness and mental state. I liked this. A lot. It reminded me of other memoirs I read, where it’s just a scattered stream of consciousness. It’s telling a story in it’s own way and will get there eventually, but not until we’ve unraveled everything else that is in her head.Not to mention, at the core of this book is a pretty awful crime that can be triggering for some people and disturbing for most.This book was a carefully curated mix of a women’s struggle with obsessive compulsiveness and generally coming of age, and what happens when she remembers how close she came to being a victim of a predator. Slightly therapeutic, I imagine. It’s also a somewhat analytical look at obsessiveness and self harm, supported by studies and facts. Weiss mashes together a descriptive story about her upbringing, a profile of this predatory man’s life and the quest her adult self embarks on to find out why she’s still obsessed with this man so many years later.It’s an odd combination and the tone of the book changes often throughout. I don’t know if it necessarily works well, it doesn’t create much of a flow, but it does cover all the interesting angles of the story, from an intimate she-was-there perspective to the factual investigative reporting to a hindsight 20/20 adult viewpoint, all of which brings both answers and more questions to the scenario.Not surprisingly, I read this book obsessively, tearing through the pages in a couple of sittings. Everything about it gripped me from the first page and pulled me to the edge of my seat. It’s a shame that I took such entertainment from someone’s almost tragedy, but it was written in the way that provokes the intrigue and the celebrity of it all, so I guess it’s to be expected.
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  • Bailey
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not sure exactly what to say about this. I think it was intended to be a lot like The Girls, but a memoir and about a different crime. The memoir part, about growing up and having a tumultuous relationship with your mother and trying to figure out your place in the world - and reflecting on it as an adult - was so interesting. It was heartfelt and moving, and rang extremely true.However, this book really hinges on the true crime aspect, which is almost nonexistent. It ruminates heavily on th I'm not sure exactly what to say about this. I think it was intended to be a lot like The Girls, but a memoir and about a different crime. The memoir part, about growing up and having a tumultuous relationship with your mother and trying to figure out your place in the world - and reflecting on it as an adult - was so interesting. It was heartfelt and moving, and rang extremely true.However, this book really hinges on the true crime aspect, which is almost nonexistent. It ruminates heavily on the author's teacher-student relationship with Gary Wilensky, but barely goes into any of the other parts of the narrative. I was somewhat disappointed by this as I feel like that's how this book was advertised to me.Overall I'm glad I read this, but I wish it had been a Megan Abbott novel instead.
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  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    A big thank you to William Morrow and Edelweiss for a digital ARC of this new true crime/memoir.The combination of the two styles was a bit disconcerting for me as a reader. As the author flipped back and forth from the time of the crime to her research in later years the narratives were mixed and sometimes almost blurred. It would be traumatic to have such a near miss. Add that to an already fragile psyche and you wonder how many other "victims" are out there with baggage from being one of Gary A big thank you to William Morrow and Edelweiss for a digital ARC of this new true crime/memoir.The combination of the two styles was a bit disconcerting for me as a reader. As the author flipped back and forth from the time of the crime to her research in later years the narratives were mixed and sometimes almost blurred. It would be traumatic to have such a near miss. Add that to an already fragile psyche and you wonder how many other "victims" are out there with baggage from being one of Gary's girls. The glimpse behind the scenes of Gary's breakdown was alarming to watch as you knew there would be collateral damage. How interesting to see how much more we know about stalkers today than we did 25 years ago.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    Memoirs, by design, are self-centered. They are the memoirist's version of the truth. You All Grow Up and Leave Me is a difficult read. This is not because of its coverage of a child predator but because of the author’s tone. There is no doubt that Weiss is aware of her privilege and she is certainly entitled to tell her truth. Yet still, linking her coming of age to hebephile Gary Wilensky feels inappropriate and selfish. Weiss explains her attachment to Wilinsky and honors the victims and thei Memoirs, by design, are self-centered. They are the memoirist's version of the truth. You All Grow Up and Leave Me is a difficult read. This is not because of its coverage of a child predator but because of the author’s tone. There is no doubt that Weiss is aware of her privilege and she is certainly entitled to tell her truth. Yet still, linking her coming of age to hebephile Gary Wilensky feels inappropriate and selfish. Weiss explains her attachment to Wilinsky and honors the victims and their privacy in her writhing but it’s difficult not to feel as though she is inserting herself into something that she should not.
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  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    I have mixed feelings on this one. Interspersed with the story if the perpetrator is Piper's own story. Her reflections on her teenage anxieties and her relationship with Gary Wilensky were interesting. I felt like her story really helped me understand how predators groom their victims. But the story was so hard to follow, changing both the perspective and time so frequently that I had trouble figuring out the timeline. It felt like a story that you have told yourself so often that you have no i I have mixed feelings on this one. Interspersed with the story if the perpetrator is Piper's own story. Her reflections on her teenage anxieties and her relationship with Gary Wilensky were interesting. I felt like her story really helped me understand how predators groom their victims. But the story was so hard to follow, changing both the perspective and time so frequently that I had trouble figuring out the timeline. It felt like a story that you have told yourself so often that you have no idea someone else doesn't know the story until they are like, "Wait. Who are we talking about?" I spent a lot of the book asking "Who are we talking about?" and more.
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  • Brooke
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher. This memoir provided an interesting glimpse into what it might have been like to be a wealthy Jewish teenage girl growing up in NYC in the ‘90s. I found the passages on Weiss’s life to be more entertaining than the pieces on Gary Wilensky. I believe that the memoir would have worked better if the author had actually been a victim of Wilensky. She had contact with him as one of “Gary’s Girls,” but nothing ever really happened (thankfully.) T I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher. This memoir provided an interesting glimpse into what it might have been like to be a wealthy Jewish teenage girl growing up in NYC in the ‘90s. I found the passages on Weiss’s life to be more entertaining than the pieces on Gary Wilensky. I believe that the memoir would have worked better if the author had actually been a victim of Wilensky. She had contact with him as one of “Gary’s Girls,” but nothing ever really happened (thankfully.) Therefore, this memoir wasn’t as scintillating as the blurb would have you believe.
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  • Colton
    January 1, 1970
    This was a cross between true crime and memoir about a young girl's relationship with an attempted kidnapper. It was definitely unique and much better written than other true crime books I've read, being written from the perspective of a potential victim. It's clear that both of these people were broken and unhappy and never quite fit into their lives, despite both looking successful from the outside. There really is no satisfying ending or answer or even much of a crime, only realizing that eve This was a cross between true crime and memoir about a young girl's relationship with an attempted kidnapper. It was definitely unique and much better written than other true crime books I've read, being written from the perspective of a potential victim. It's clear that both of these people were broken and unhappy and never quite fit into their lives, despite both looking successful from the outside. There really is no satisfying ending or answer or even much of a crime, only realizing that even the people you think you know the best can harbor dark and dangerous secrets and passions.
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  • Ernie
    January 1, 1970
    A very intimate self-portrait painted by the author. A reminder of how impossible and dangerous it is to be a teenager. I'm thankful that she allowed this glimpse into her mind and I thoroughly enjoyed every word. The crime talked about between the covers is interesting for true-crime aficionados, but it is as mysterious to us as it is to everyone else involved. Just like Piper, you never really get a grip on Gary, and that's OK, because this isn't about him. It's about her.
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