Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Originality- 18/20
Characters- 18/20
Remembrance- 8/10
Quote-ability- 8/10
Entertainment- 18/20
Ending- 8/10
Recommend to read- 9/10
TOTAL- 87/100
Grade- B

Lee Fiora is an intelligent, observant fourteen-year-old when her father drops her off in front of her dorm at the prestigious Ault School in Massachusetts. She leaves her animated, affectionate family in South Bend, Indiana, at least in part because of the boarding school’s glossy brochure, in which boys in sweaters chat in front of old brick buildings, girls in kilts hold lacrosse sticks on pristinely mown athletic fields, and everyone sings hymns in chapel.

As Lee soon learns, Ault is a cloistered world of jaded, attractive teenagers who spend summers on Nantucket and speak in their own clever shorthand. Both intimidated and fascinated by her classmates, Lee becomes a shrewd observer of–and, ultimately, a participant in–their rituals and mores. As a scholarship student, she constantly feels like an outsider and is both drawn to and repelled by other loners. By the time she’s a senior, Lee has created a hard-won place for herself at Ault. But when her behavior takes a self-destructive and highly public turn, her carefully crafted identity within the community is shattered.

Ultimately, Lee’s experiences–complicated relationships with teachers; intense friendships with other girls; an all-consuming preoccupation with a classmate who is less than a boyfriend and more than a crush; conflicts with her parents, from whom Lee feels increasingly distant, coalesce into a singular portrait of the painful and thrilling adolescenceuniversal to us all.

I really have to start off by saying this is exactly the kind of book I love no matter what. Any book that takes place in a boarding school is absolutely fascinating for me. Maybe it's because I've always wanted to go to one and it just seems amazing. This will probably cause my opinion of the book to be a little biased.

I really loved Lee. She was relatable no matter what was going on. She was so funny and over analyzed everything. It was nice to read about someone who is a bit more crazy and anxious than I am. The rest of the characters were also great. You didn't get to know them very fell personally but you still got insight into their lives.

The whole book had a very autobiography feel to it. Since we went through Lee's entire four years at the school and even some after we get to know her pretty well. Just the way the story was told made it seem more personal.

Overall I would say that Prep was fantastic, funny, and real. I would recommend this book to most anybody who wants a look back or forward on their teen years.



Bianca said...

Okay. Let me just say that Prep is one of my favorite books ever!

I too have always wanted to go to a boarding school. I used to go on to boarding schools websites and imagine myself going there.

I can't even describe how much I enjoyed this book. I could really relate to Lee

Great review!

If you have any suggestions to boarding school novels, please send them to me!

WhatBriReads said...

Great review :) This one is sitting on my shelf waiting to be read.