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Prep: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld
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Prep: A Novel (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Curtis Sittenfeld

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4,2111251,183 (3.56)123
Member:laurelosterkamp
Title:Prep: A Novel
Authors:Curtis Sittenfeld
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2005), Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld (2005)

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English (120)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (124)
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
Interesting - the first half worked, but it seemed like the book dragged on for too long and perhaps got bogged down in needing to have a full four years of school. ( )
  ericasmithx | May 6, 2014 |
Really enjoyed this one & it prompted me to check out other Sittenfeld books. Donating now as I am clearing bookshelves for move. ( )
  anissaannalise | Jan 1, 2014 |
Prep (2005) by Curtis Sittenfeld is a debut novel about a young Midwestern girl who decides to go to an Eastern prep school. She’s a good student back home and she manages to get accepted into a prestigious prep school on scholarship and for some reason her parents let her go. The protagonist, Lee Fiora, is unbelievably pathetic. I do not believe she was believable at all. It was like every teenage angst poured into one person. She was a good student who becomes less than average and barely manages to get through high school and learn anything. I think that the things she grappled with are not unusual but the fact that she was entirely pathetic in every regard was just too much and she never grew during any of the years she spent at Ault. If anything, she seemed to become stupider. The author not only attempts to explore teenage angst at its extreme, she also deals with class, race, and gender. On the positive side, this book might be so annoying that it would encourage a teen reader to do anything to avoid the many mistakes made by Lee Fiora. Lee had such a wonderful opportunity and as far as I can tell she wasted it all. This would make my worst read of 2011. This book was read for my F2F book club and I am expecting a lively discussion, so for that reason, it will make a good book club read. ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 16, 2013 |
After reading and feeling indifferent about Sisterland, I was prompted by many book lovers to check out Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep.

Sooooo glad I did! I found a copy of Prep at a book warehouse and sped through the novel.

Prep is the story of Lee, a midwestern girl who decides that for high school, instead of going to the local school, she wanted to go to a prestigious boarding school. Once she gets to Ault, she knows that her world will change and just be amazing.

For the full review, visit Love at First Book ( )
  LoveAtFirstBook | Aug 29, 2013 |
This is, in a nutshell, Lee Fiora's experiences attending boarding school near Boston after growing up in South Bend. It's more a collection of anecdotes than a single narrative, but that's pretty much what high school is after all: a series of events with no ultimate cohesion or story arc. Which is fine, as far as that goes, but I personally found this book absolutely excruciating most of the time, as Lee embodies many of my worst traits as a teenager. She's awkward and self-absorbed and petty and miserable. And as familiar as her attitude was to me, I had very little sympathy for someone who chose this life for herself. No one forced her to do this. But you know what? Part of me thinks this may be a book like Catcher in the Rye, where you really have to read it at a certain age. Maybe, had I been 16 when I read this, I would have really liked it. As a 34-year-old, I really didn't. ( )
  melydia | Jun 21, 2013 |
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For my parents, Paul and Betsy Sittenfeld;
my sisters, Tiernan and Josephine;
and my brother, P.G.
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I think that everything, or at least the part of everything that happened to me, started with the Roman architecture mix-up.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 081297235X, Paperback)

Curtis Sittenfeld's poignant and occassionally angst-ridden debut novel Prep is the story of Lee Fiora, a South Bend, Indiana, teenager who wins a scholarship to the prestigious Ault school, an East Coast institution where "money was everywhere on campus, but it was usually invisible." As we follow Lee through boarding school, we witness firsthand the triumphs and tragedies that shape our heroine's coming-of-age. Yet while Sittenfeld may be a skilled storyteller, her real gift lies in her ability to expertly give voice to what is often described as the most alienating period in a young person's life: high school.

True to its genre, Prep is filled with boarding school stereotypes--from the alienated gay student to the picture perfect blond girl; the achingly earnest first-year English teacher and the dreamy star basketball player who never mentions the fact that he's Jewish. Lee's status as an outsider is further affirmed after her parents drive 18 hours in their beat-up Datsun to attend Parent's Weekend, where most of the kids "got trashed and ended up skinny-dipping in the indoor pool" at their parents' fancy hotel. Yet even as the weekend deteriorates into disaster and ends with a heartbreaking slap across the face, Sittenfeld never blames or excuses anyone; rather, she simply incorporates the experience into Lee's sense of self. ("How was I supposed to understand, when I applied at the age of thirteen, that you have your whole life to leave your family?")

By the time Lee graduates from Ault, some readers may tire of her constant worrying and self-doubting obsessions. However, every time we feel close to giving up on her, Sittenfeld reels us back in and makes us root for Lee. In doing so, perhaps we are rooting for every high school student who's ever wanted nothing more than to belong. --Gisele Toueg

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:50 -0400)

In the late 1980s, for reasons even she has difficulty pinpointing, fourteen-year-old Lee Fiora leaves her middle-class, close-knit, ribald family in Indiana and enrolls at Ault, an elite co-ed boarding school in Massachusetts. Both intimidated and fascinated by her classmates, Lee becomes a shrewd observer of, and ultimately a participant in, their rituals and mores, although, as a scholarship student, she constantly feels like an outsider. By the time she's a senior, Lee has found her place at Ault. But when her behavior takes a self-destructive and highly public turn, her hard-won identity within the community is shattered. Lee's experiences, complicated relationships with teachers, intense and sometimes rancorous friendships with other girls, an all-consuming preoccupation with a classmate who is less than a boyfriend and more than a crush, are both a psychologically astute portrait of one girl's coming-of-age and an embodiment of the painful and thrilling adolescence universal to us all.… (more)

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