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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    103
  • 4 Stars
    154
  • 3 Stars
    108
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    20

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    138
  • 4 Stars
    118
  • 3 Stars
    61
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    84
  • 4 Stars
    115
  • 3 Stars
    82
  • 2 Stars
    31
  • 1 Stars
    24
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Easy & Enjoyable Listen

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.


16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel
  • Atascadero, CA, United States
  • 09-24-10

Re-experience High School

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

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Pathology report -social anxiety and depression

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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wendi
  • Houston, TX
  • 03-21-12

Sittenfeld has a way with Empathy

What did you love best about Prep?

I loved the way Sittenfeld told the story of a young girls' experience at a prep school. Her inner most thoughts are eloquently laid out for all to read. It's like we're invading on her personal space but she welcomes us in her skeleton closet with open arms and deep understanding. Her prose are so beautiful, just as they were in 'American Wife.'

What other book might you compare Prep to and why?

I would compare Prep to 'American Wife' by the same author because of her beautiful writing style and honest characters. They touched me.

Which character – as performed by Julie Dretzin – was your favorite?

The story teller is definitely the greatest character, I love the way Dretzin performs the voice innocently, and honestly. I loved her voice with all characters.

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

I really connected to this book. I too went to a prep school where I didn't really feel that I fit in with all the rich kids. She over thought everything and as she said.. the only time she felt she really fit in the school is when she was away from it.

Any additional comments?

A delightful story and a charming story teller- this is one of my favourite audiobooks!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Daisy
  • VINALHAVEN, MAINE, United States
  • 03-09-12

So so

Would you try another book from Curtis Sittenfeld and/or Julie Dretzin?

I thought Julie Dretzin did a great job as the narrator.

Would you recommend Prep to your friends? Why or why not?

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.

What about Julie Dretzin’s performance did you like?

I thought she was good at doing all the characters voices.

Could you see Prep being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Yolkut
  • Bronx, NY, United States
  • 07-25-11

Very Disappointing!

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.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

For high school?

Seems to be written to appeal to teenagers. Not for adults! I returned it after listening to a couple of boring hours.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Flat main character

Ultimately the entire text centers around a flat main character. At the end she realizes her mistakes and that she should have evolved, but she didn't. Thus, she reflects on her lack of ability to socially adapt.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

excruciating

this book has no discernable plot and the protagonist is exhaustive in her ruminations. dont waste your time.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I went to boarding school on a scholarship and am from a middle class family. The similarities between Lee and me end there. I've never found a protagonist more socially awkward, self-conscious, tiresome, unsympathetic, and boring than Lee. I kept at this story only because I wanted to know how Lee's adult life turned out; unfortunately, Sittenfeld leaves us with few details. This novel felt like a waste of time.