Curtis Sittenfeld's debut novel, Prep, is an insightful, achingly funny coming-of-age story as well as a brilliant dissection of class, race, and gender in a hothouse of adolescent angst and ambition. 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 ...
Curtis Sittenfeld's debut novel, Prep, is an insightful, achingly funny coming-of-age story as well as a brilliant dissection of class, race, and gender in a hothouse of adolescent angst and ambition. 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 adolescence universal to us all. "From the Hardcover edition."
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I couldn't put this book down.The main character,Lee was so easy to relate to.She reminded me of Holden Caulfield.I was instantly transported to my high school years-years in which many of us felt (probably all of us!)as Lee did-out of place and not good enough-thinking that everyone else knew the score that was eluding us.At the end of the book I was so angry with Lee!I wished I could learn her future.I was hoping to find that she had"grown into her skin".I will certainly read this again soon and recommend this to others.
Apr 1, 2007
Prep brought me back to my high school teenage days. It was a page turner that kept me interested in the lives of the characters. Prep reminded me how cruel teenage girls and boys could be even when they were not contained in an elite society and how much more insididious the cruelness could be when encapsulated in a priveleged society. This is a fabulous read, whether you are 15 or 55.....loved it......
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