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Whip It

Whip It the book came out in 2007 by Shauna Cross and the movie of the same name came out in 2009 being Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut staring Elliot Page, Drew Barrymore, Kristen Wiig, Marcia Gay Harden and Jimmy Fallen.


The book is semi-autobiography of the author but there are same main differences in her life that she didn’t have to endure like having to do pageants.


The movie and the book are quite similar but there are a few major differences. First, Bliss who does hate doing the beauty pageants doesn’t colour her hair to ruin her chances of winning a title in a pageant, her derby name doesn’t come the way that it does in the movie, it is essentially a one liner in the book and rather comes in goes rather quickly. One major difference for me is that at one of the bouts it ends early, her friend is drunk, caught by the police and is taken home where is confesses to everything where after the bout Bliss goes off with her boyfriend and has a great night. Before she leaves though the competing team finds out that she is 16 and not 18.


The next day when Bliss gets home, her parents confront her about where she has been and why she dragged her friend Pash into all of this unnecessarily and worried for her safety and that is how they find out about roller derby. Where in the book Bliss just tells her parents that she is at Pashs place doing homework and it isn’t until her mom cleans her room that she finds out about roller derby.


At the next practice the team discusses that they can’t have her play because she is only 16 and her parents will not sign the release so she cannot play the game.


Bliss’s boyfriend is in a band and despite being warned about boys in bands, she decides to date him anyways have such a great time that he gives her his sweatshirt and she gives him a Stryker t-shirt the weekend they spent together. One day Bliss is missing him because he is on tour when she sees the college page that the band has on their website when she sees him with another girl and that girl is wearing her Stryker t-shirt. At that moment she doesn’t know what to do but leaves school and comes home. Her mother comforts her which is weird because her mother isn’t that type of person to do something like that.


On the day of the last big game Bliss has to do this big pageant which is also the same night as the last game of the season, but her teammates come to the pageant and her mom allows her to go knowing that Pash’s little sister is more of the pageant winner anyways. Surprisingly her parents are supportive of her this evening, and they really do get along. At the game, her sister Shania asks when she can get her pair of skates and her boyfriend asks if they are going to hang out as he is back from touring, and she just walks away.


Other cute moments in the movie are that when Bliss and her mother go to a secondhand shop to do some back to school shopping, the mom is checking out and says something along the lines of complimenting the vases behind the counter when they were really bongs, she quickly realizes this after she says it and is embarrassed and walks out quickly. At this shop is where Bliss gets the flyer for try outs for the league. Bliss needs to take the seniors bus to and from Austin Texas to get to practice (the seniors are taking the bus to go to their bingo nights) and she sits with a woman and knits, and she does hold the ball of yarn for her as she studies.


Would I recommend this book and movie to anyone? Yes, I would. I have enjoyed the movie plenty of times. I would as one usually would, recommend the reading the book first before seeing the movie. The book is rather short, has large print and the spacing is big so it is a quick read that can be done in a day as I did it that way myself. I would suggest this to everyone and hope that it will be those interested in joining a roller derby league as well!


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