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Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Prep (2005)

by Curtis Sittenfeld

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,6741451,536 (3.55)143
  1. 30
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  5. 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.
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  8. 00
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  9. 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)
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  13. 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.
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» See also 143 mentions

English (137)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (2)  German (1)  All languages (143)
Showing 1-5 of 137 (next | show all)
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 |
After reading and enjoying Sisterland, I picked up Prep at a used bookstore.
Following Lee, the lead character, through 4 years at a prestigious New England prep school, Sittenfeld gives us an inside look at adolescent life, including some dark corners we might prefer not to see. ( )
  CYGeeker | Sep 6, 2018 |
Good storyline and entertaining characters. ( )
  cubsfan3410 | Sep 1, 2018 |
I really enjoyed American Wife. Prep was hard to enjoy because I was so frustrated with Lee, the main character. She was very hard to like because she was unfriendly, stand offish and would go out of her way to not talk to people. She was very insecure and always worried about what others would think.
I could identify with her, however; regarding her unrequited love for Cross and understood her falling for him when to him she was just someone to fool around with. ( )
  dara85 | Mar 14, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 137 (next | show all)
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:07 -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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