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've heard this book compared to The Catcher in the Rye, but I don't see the comparison. It's just the self-absorbed life a teenager, feeling like an outsider at a posh school. I found it tedious, and couldn't get past the first few chapters. I tried to stick it out, in the hope of a big philosophical reveal at the end, but it just wasn't worth it.
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.
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.
Yes, because I loved her book "Sisterland"
She is a terrific narrator for a young voice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
love to read, read a lot, mostly mysteries, historic fiction and a bit of sci-fi
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.
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!"
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!"
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.
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!
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