This New York Times best-seller is a funny and poignant coming-of-age story, a dead-on examination of adolescent angst, and a sharp criticism of America’s social structure.
Fourteen-year-old Lee Fiora enrolls at the prestigious Ault School of Massachusetts and is surrounded by beautiful, wealthy students. She immediately feels like an outsider, but manages to carve out a niche for herself. Then everything falls apart when Lee’s private thoughts become public information.
©2005 Curtis Sittenfeld (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC
"Sittenfeld, who won Seventeen's fiction contest at 16, proves herself a natural in this poignant, truthful book." (Publishers Weekly)
“Curtis Sittenfeld is a young writer with a crazy amount of talent. Her sharp and economical prose reminds us of Joan Didion and Tobias Wolff. Like them, she has a sly and potent wit, which cuts unexpectedly–but often–through the placid surface of her prose. Her voice is strong and clear, her moral compass steady; I’d believe anything she told me.” (Dave Eggers)
I look for four stars or more from fellow listeners and the longest read (good bang for my buck). The formula is usually successful, but not fail proof. This book was a good choice for easy listening. It is an introvert's experience (stream of consciouness) through four years of prep school. There are no twists or turns. It's not a thriller, feel good book, or must read. Still, I found myself relating to parts and caring a lot about, Lee, the girl in the story. It was good company. If all my Audible choices proved to be as entertaining, I'd be content.
I like to mix up my listening: historical fiction, light weight "slice of life" stories, and occasionally a classic. I listen for entertaining companionship while housekeeping, doing hair/makeup again (every freaking day of my life) and driving long distances alone. I don't care for fantasy, vampires, or creates from an imaginary world. Murder mysteries don't do it for me either. I'd rather listen to a fictional story about real life possibility. I also read non-fiction books, which are better absorbed visually at my own pace, not audibly.
I have been an audible member since 2003. I just started to write my opinions immediately after listening because I rely so much on other members when making my choices. I hope this helps you.
I thought Julie Dretzin did a great job as the narrator.
Not sure I would recommend to my friends because although a lot of it rang true, the main character was just so self obsessed that it got a little bit old.
I thought she was good at doing all the characters voices.
I don't know that I can see this as a movie maybe a TV series but there wasn't enough of a plot to make it into a movie, although as I listened imagined the Sugerman character to be a Ryan Gosling type guy. I bet he'd make a good Sugerman. The rest of the characters didn't have a strong enough image in my head to image who would be good portraying them in a movie.
I usually like to listen to long books but I got a little annoyed this one with because of the self obsession of the main character. I suppose most high school kids are still uncomfortable with themselves and awkward but the main character was sooooo concerned about how she appeared to everyone at the prep school that I began to feel less sympathy for her and more like she was so self conscious that she was vain.
I guess I'm a baby...I just love to be read to.
My favorite books are always the ones that don't seem to be about anything...just someone's life. I loved it and I don't even know why.
Say something about myself! Or about yourself! Or something!
This is more or less extracts from the diary of a self conscious introvert with big self esteem issues. It doesn't go anywhere and doen't even offer any hopeful images of elite boarding schools. It is a depressing horror saved only by a level of fascinating detail (like watching a car crash) and an excellent performance.
I own a small shop selling custom/costume Jewelry. I love to listen to audio books while I create jewelry. I love all animals and get very upset when they aren't treated well, even in fiction.
Very good book! I went to boarding school in high school too, as a scholarship student--- very real! By the time you've listened to this book, you'll feel like you could call the characters up on the phone, they are people you KNOW
By the end of Prep, I thought, "Why am I listening to this girl tell her story? She has clearly not grown from the time she arrived to graduation. What is the moral to this story from Sittenfeld?"for the most part, Prep is what one thinks will be a coming of age story about a young girl who is ambitious enough to know to get out of her Indiana town and on to something better. But, in the end, the listener realizes she is so insular, she never unfolds from her shell. This leaves the listener unfulfilled and wishing for some hours of their life back. The long dragged out ending of the ruined what could have been salvaged from this wreckage but by the end, graduation couldn't come soon enough.
I read Prep because I loved Sittenfeld's American Wife, but Prep was such a letdown! I figured since the author seems to have an intimate knowledge of the prep school world, she would show its seedy underbelly and maybe delve into some new territory. Instead, she stuck to a story easily told in any high school (private or public) e.g. some kids are rich and popular, some kids are not. As an extra hurdle to relate-ability , the main character has a really debilitating fear of social situations, which just hindered the story. Don't waste your time with this - stick to American Wife.
This book was fantastic. I'd heard about it for years and I'm so happy I purchased it. The detail the author used to describe each scene is incredible. It's the type of book that you could read and love at any age, and it means something different to you at different points in your own life.
I enjoyed the book. I had never been to a boarding school nor was a scholarship student, but I found this to be a real likeness to what it might have been. I like to mix up my listening and this fit the bill for a light read between my more heavy reads. To me a book doesn’t have to about anything special... just like someone’s life. I loved it. Tina said she said it was not for those over 54.... well, I can say that you can be 70 and still like it.
No one should write a book about their high school years unless and until they have gained perspective. There's a reason we strive to "Know theyself."
In the years after college, when the main character met a classmate, it was clear she had no more self knowledge than she had had as a prep student.
Every 10 years or so, I reread Catcher in the Rye. It's unlikely that anyone would feel that way about this book.
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