book review: prep

have you guys read prep?

i bought it when it first came out in 2005, largely due to the pink and green cover* and the fact that the dustcover made it sound like the novels i was reading at the time:  coming-of-age, girl heads east, new release novel. i bought it, tore through it, and–unlike the rest of my friends–loathed it. i promptly put it on my shelf where it sat collecting dust until this past christmas.

after exams, i’m always a bit of mental blob–can hardly form full sentences, let alone read real things. so i decided to give prep a try again to see if i liked it any more than my first crack at it. answer: not even a bit. the main character, lee, is the single most irritating individual in modern literature.** she has this spectacular opportunity to get an education that is infinitely better than anything she had before, it’s free, and she apparently cannot even make an effort to make friends. she spends 400 pages bitching about how miserable she is. it was like the book version of eating burnt, plain whole wheat toast.

some people have compared this to catcher in the rye. well, sittenfeld is no salinger (i’m offended for him) and this girl is no holden caulfield. she’s so vapid; she has no goals, no joie de vivre. my philosophy in life: if you’re unhappy, change it. and this girl wastes her entire youth being miserable for no reason.

i would not suggest it. not even a bit.

have you guys read prep? did you like it? am i missing some huge part that makes it all lovely and stuff?

*don’t judge. it was my sophomore year of college at a school whose colors were pink and green. naturally, i was drawn to all items that came straight from, or looked like they might, the pages of TOPH. (not every school was called out by lisa birnbach. mine was. holla! ;))

**i love hyperbole. no apologies.

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7 Comments

Filed under prep, reviews

7 responses to “book review: prep

  1. I love pink and green. They’re pretty. And then one day I wore a gorgeous green dress, and tossed a pink scarf with it to keep warm (I was going on a boat ride on a river in France to drink wine and check out the chateaux) and a bitchy (white) girl decided to give me shit for wearing (wish I were kidding) AKA colors. She was like “Green and pink? What are you? In a black sorority or something?” and I was like…. uh…..

    Totally speechless.

    I had meant to read Prep but now I’m fairly certain I won’t ever. Because I’m kinda too old for that stuff. I’ll watch Gossip Girl every week, but I read the first book and won’t be reading the rest. Meh.

  2. I actually liked Prep for the underlying sociological commentary. She’s an outsider trying to fit in. A guy likes her but won’t admit it because she’s poor, etc. etc. She does complain a lot at first, but as I recall, she comes into her own. It’s been awhile since I’ve read it. I’m still waiting to read “I Am Charlotte Simmons” by Tom Wolf. It’s just so massive… I bought it in hardcover and it’s still sitting on my shelf.

  3. amie: whoa! i mean, i know the french are generally absurd, but yikes! and there are MUCH better books of this variety to read. if you want suggestions, let me know.

    FT: that’s fair. i thought the author made every single stereotype she could have and i found that to be a bit off-putting, but i’m glad you enjoyed it. i listened to the abridged version of i am charlotte simmons on a cross country drive once. i actually liked it much better. tom wolfe is a master at what he does.

  4. hahaha, no, the girl was from Iowa. The French were lovely, and would never have said such a thing. the girl was generally ridiculous though.

  5. This is so refreshing. I really didn’t care for it, thought there was far too much angst and navel-gazing. It just became very tedious. And for some reason repeated the experience by slogging my way through American Wife or whatever the next one was.

    Now as for what you’re reading now, that is one of my all-time faves, by one of my all-time faves. Also very intense, but in an entirely different way.

    I need to come visit more often, honestly, I love reading you.
    tp

  6. amie: ah.

    PP: i started reading american wife, and just couldn’t handle it. but ayn rand is something else! truth be told, it’s the first time i’ve really dug into her work and i really like it. thanks for coming by, i love your blog and your comments! 🙂

  7. Faux Trixie, I felt the same way. I really loved it, and I feel like a lot of people don’t quite get it. It’s not really supposed to be a cute fun chick flick book. It’s definitely a book about the stuff that goes on in people’s heads when they’re really young and insecure. There are stereotypes but I think for the most part the characters ring true. I liked it a lot better than Charlotte Simmons in which Tom Wolfe came off as an old dowager dropping his opera glasses every time someone drops an F-bomb.

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