HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Prep (2005)

by Curtis Sittenfeld

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,8121451,619 (3.55)145
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)
  1. 30
    Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (citygirl)
  2. 30
    The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (cataylor)
  3. 20
    Looking for Alaska by John Green (SqueakyChu)
  4. 20
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (SqueakyChu)
  5. 10
    The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (ominogue)
  6. 10
    Moo by Jane Smiley (sweetbug)
    sweetbug: Moo is also a coming of age novel, but it is set in a Midwestern college town at an ag school (hence the title). More humor and less drama than Prep, but a similar feel.
  7. 10
    Testimony by Anita Shreve (kirsty)
  8. 10
    College Girl by Patricia Weitz (cataylor)
  9. 00
    If I Knew You Were Going To Be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go by Judy Chicurel (charl08)
  10. 00
    Conversion by Katherine Howe (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Although Prep is realistic fiction written for adults and Conversion is a YA mashup of suspense and historical fiction, both books detail the complex social interactions of elite Northeastern prep schools with intense, sometimes gut-wrenching, precision.… (more)
  11. 00
    Whores on the Hill: A Novel by Colleen Curran (jbarry)
  12. 00
    Crush by Jane Futcher (veritas)
    veritas: Prep is a far more sophisticated novel in a lot of ways, but Crush evokes a very similar feeling.
  13. 00
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (derelicious)
  14. 00
    Skippy Dies by Paul Murray (eenerd)
  15. 00
    I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe (cataylor)
  16. 12
    The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (amyblue)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 145 mentions

English (138)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (2)  German (1)  All languages (144)
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
[Prep] is about one midwestern girl's high school experience at an East Coast boarding school. Lee is "on scholarship", which she hides carefully, and utterly terrified of being noticed but depressed that she's not noticed. A typical teenage dilemma.

The book is about teenage friendships and perceptions of the world which are obviously narrow. Lee is casually racist and sexist, without realizing she is either. She both resists the wealthy East Coast ideals, and desperately wants to be a part of them.

I liked this book, but I felt like it went on a little too long. The main character, who narrates the books, is not likable, but I still could identify in small ways with her teenage experiences. This was Sittenfeld's debut novel - it is full of great writing and insight, but is just a little clunkier than her subsequent novels. ( )
  japaul22 | Jul 12, 2020 |
Such a guilty pleasure and I think it's really more like 4 stars, but what the hell.... let's do the Cinco. I have been obsessed with boarding schools since I was a kid. I used to sneak upstairs to watch The Facts of Life before dinner and at that time I loved school so much that to imagine a place where you LIVED at the SCHOOL was a dream come true. Not to mention having roommates and wearing a uniform were also secret fantasies of mine...

Add to that all of the fantastic movies about boarding schools (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Children's Hour, Dead Poets Society, School Ties, Class -with Rob Lowe) that I used to watch on repeat and mix it in with a healthy dose of my being an overly-sensitive, intelligent Midwestern child and you have a recipe for my 5-star rating.

I WAS/AM Lee Fiora, minus the boarding school. She is highly observant, insecure, always wanting for something more and unsure of how she fits in with her family. This book put me right back into my childhood and thank God 20 years have passed, because I can finally read about it and feel like I've come out on the other side.

The writing is good! Curtis Sittenfeld is one of my favorite authors; she doesn't always hit the mark but she did with this one. I gobbled it up and relived all the awkward and wonderful moments but after finishing it, I confess it felt good to be a middle-aged person again. That's something I don't say too often. ( )
  gakgakg | May 28, 2020 |
4.25 stars. i really love her writing here and am impressed that this is her first book. (and excited. i'm looking forward to the rest of her work now.) everything is handled so deftly - except perhaps the ending, which i thought felt uncertain. but the rest of the book is excellent. she touches on quite a bit, actually, while not seeming to. issues of class, race, gender are all woven into the story well. they aren't *the* story or the main thing at all, but they're all a part of it, they inform the rest. the main part - the coming-of age part - is uncomfortably real and true. i think many, many women will recognize themselves in so much of lee's high school thoughts and insecurities. if at any time the voice of the main character felt a bit old, well, she was telling it from more than 10 years later, looking back, and so that made sense.

her writing is insightful and beautiful and i'm so excited to have found a new (to me) author of this caliber, and that i found her late and don't have to wait for more of her books to come out.

"I always worried someone would notice me, and then when no one did, I felt lonely."

"...I felt a plunging sadness that entirely eclipsed the suspicion and irritation I felt toward Dede. But the sadness was too large for me to understand, and then it passed."

"We stood there for so long without speaking that I thought we might not speak at all. But that kind of silence would happen only in a movie; in real life, it's so hard not to clutter the significant moments by talking."

"...I wished that I had never come to Ault, or that I'd been born a different person, or that at the very least I could lose consciousness immediately but not in a way that would be disruptive, not, say, by fainting and collapsing to the ground - more like by simply vanishing."

"I tried making conversation with Rufina Sanchez, who'd been recruited to Ault from a public school in San Diego and who was so pretty that I'd have been intimidated to talk to her if she were white..."

"In the scene before Ophelia drowns herself, Melodie and Jesse kissed, and I felt jealous of them, of how, because of their parts in the play, they'd had to become comfortable kissing so publicly, how during the weeks of rehearsal they'd had that kiss to count on. Every day, they'd known they would touch another person, and it didn't depend on anything external; it didn't matter what they did or didn't do."

on her parents:
"I hated them because they thought I was the same as they were, because if they were right, it would mean I'd failed myself, and because if they were wrong, it would mean I had betrayed them." ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Mar 6, 2020 |
This book stressed me out, which probably means it should get more stars for being evocatively written. But in the end I didn't like it and wished I had kept passing it over on the shelves as I'd happily been doing for the previous decade. ( )
  NML_dc | Aug 17, 2019 |
I could feel the pain of Lee Fiora as she goes through her high school years at a boarding school far from home. She is insecure and incessantly questions and overthinks every move she makes and thought she has. High school can be very, very hard for some people, and this book brought back some bad memories of my own. Still, it got a little tiring after a while. I've enjoyed Curtis Sittenfeld's later books more than this one. ( )
  flourgirl49 | Apr 13, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For my parents, Paul and Betsy Sittenfeld;
my sisters, Tiernan and Josephine;
and my brother, P.G.
First words
I think that everything, or at least the part of everything that happened to me, started with the Roman architecture mix-up.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.55)
0.5 6
1 46
1.5 13
2 138
2.5 27
3 364
3.5 107
4 475
4.5 56
5 241

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 150,931,904 books! | Top bar: Always visible