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Prep | [Curtis Sittenfeld]

Prep

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (199 )
5 star
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3.7 (155 )
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4.0 (155 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Tina Honokaa, HI, United States 03-15-12
    Tina Honokaa, HI, United States 03-15-12 Member Since 2011

    Tina

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Juvenile, predictable and boring."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The description of this book is a bit deceiving. I am 54 years old so it may be that is was directed to a less mature audience but that should be indicated somehow in the description. I feel my time and money was wasted on this one. In fact I found it quite irritating because I kept waiting for it to get better but it never did. If you are over the age of 15 do not waste your time or money.


    Has Prep turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes. First of all I should have known being written by a man and supposedly from a girls perspective.... that alone is a problem. I once was a 15 year old girl and although it was a long time ago the basic things about how young girls feel and think was really poorly represented.... and in such a bad way. The author makes young girls seem so ridiculous and simple minded and that is really not true.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Julie Dretzin?

    She had a very irritating way of doing the mother voice but otherwise she was okay.


    What character would you cut from Prep?

    Oh so many to count. The author gave far to much useless information and detail about


    Any additional comments?

    The main character Lee (even that name choice was really lame) was portrayed as a boy-crazy idiot. She had the worst communication skills and it is a wonder anyone had anything to do with her as friends. I realize there are people in the world like that but they are not really fascinating individuals. I have no burning interest in them and I don't know anyone who does.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elbara Washington DC 11-18-13
    Elbara Washington DC 11-18-13 Member Since 2003
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    "I can't believe I listened to the whole thing!"

    I don't expect all protagonists to be fully likeable, but Lee Fiora is one of the most self-absorbed, insensitive, imperceptive and downright tedious characters I've encountered. It's hard to believe that anyone so dim could have gotten into a prestigious prep school, much less with a scholarship, and even less that she would become the best friend of the most liked girl in her class. Somewhere I read a recommendation for this book as being better than another one I was considering. Can't remember what that was, but if this is really the case, I certainly don't want to! As a public school graduate who attended an Ivy League school, I don't have any reason to be defensive of prep schools, but I will say that even the "villains" in this book are more interesting than the "heroine." The book drones on far too long, and I kept thinking I should just stop listening. Maybe I kept at it thinking it would get better, but it didn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura West Des Moines, IA, United States 10-09-13
    Laura West Des Moines, IA, United States 10-09-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Falls Flat"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No - it seemed more for young adults. Nothing much happens. The narration was really good so it was an okay listen, but I would never recommend this book. It was interesting to find that the author is actually a woman, and that her middle name is "Curtis" after her mother's surname - and that she went to Prep school at the same age as the main character in this book.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Curtis Sittenfeld again?

    Yes, because I loved her book "Sisterland"


    Have you listened to any of Julie Dretzin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    She is a terrific narrator for a young voice.


    Do you think Prep needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 09-08-13
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 09-08-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Enjoyable teen tale"

    Kept me hooked in. Absorbing story about the goings-on of privileged teens and the occasional regular kid. Cutthroat emotional hijinks. Good, angsty teen tale with enough restraint to make it enjoyable for any age.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Urbana, IL, United States 12-19-12
    Joan Urbana, IL, United States 12-19-12 Member Since 2002
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    "Compelling Story"

    This is a compelling story that will keep you listening. The narrator's viewpoint is well managed, although she shows a little too much self-understanding for a real adolescent. Still, it was a good cathartic look at coming of age.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn APO, AE, United States 06-18-12
    Carolyn APO, AE, United States 06-18-12 Member Since 2008
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    "annoying"

    I really enjoyed Curtis Sittenfelds other books but man was this ever a pain to get through. The character is so neurotic- but still finished it. Sad story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ingrid West Palm Beach, FL, United States 04-30-12
    Ingrid West Palm Beach, FL, United States 04-30-12 Member Since 2009
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    "A long and whiny road"
    What would have made Prep better?

    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."


    What was most disappointing about Curtis Sittenfeld’s story?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Every 10 years or so, I reread Catcher in the Rye. It's unlikely that anyone would feel that way about this book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Matthews Sonora, CA, United States 04-29-12
    Kate Matthews Sonora, CA, United States 04-29-12 Member Since 2011

    love to read, read a lot, mostly mysteries, historic fiction and a bit of sci-fi

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    "Another self-absorbed coming of age book"

    Curtis Sittenfeld does a good job of catching the somewhat ridiculous prep school culture, and, like J.K. Rowling and virtually every other YA author on the shelves today, he does a decent job of characterizing the almost absolute self-absorption of the teen years. But, as with many of these titles (I've read several lately, mainly I think, because there is simply just such a plethora of them), after a while, I long for another voice and a different perspective.

    Julie Dretzin makes for a very credible narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Good 04-17-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Drama drama drama, but so addictive!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    This is one of those stories that you kind of feel guilty for listening too, but just when you are about to change to something deeper, there is a shining moment that makes you think "That's right! That is exactly what high school/college was like!"


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book DID make me do both. And at the same time there were parts where all I could do was roll my eyes and think "drama drama drama!"


    Any additional comments?

    I think 95% of people will really enjoy this book (if you have an interest in "coming of age" type books), but there are definitely places where you will also probably feel a little silly for listening to soap operas.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brooke Conway, SC, United States 04-01-12
    Brooke Conway, SC, United States 04-01-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Surprisingly very enjoyable!"

    I bought this audiobook b/c of a sale and thought I'd give it a try. I actually really enjoyed it!! I wasn't sure how I'd like a high school setting, but it was fun to "re-live" it through a boarding school scenario. I loved hearing the inner thoughts of Lee... as crazy as they were, it's nice to know that our adolescent thoughts were somewhat normal. It was real and raw, which I appreciated. I'm sad it's over!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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