Over the last year, I have read 56 books. One of the last books I finished was ‘Prep’ by Curtis Sittenfeld. It’s a coming-of-age novel capturing the boarding school life of Lee Fiora, a student on scholarship from Indiana. Her four years at Ault, a prestigious establishment outside of Boston, are filled with observations on class, race and gender. Sittenfeld brilliantly positioned Lee as an unlikable character, whose teenage experiences are extremely relatable, “therein lies the paradox” (it’s an expression used by the students of the boarding school, but very fitting in this context). Her friendships, her teenage crush, her encounters with her classmates and her conflicting relationship with her parents feel so real it’s hard to imagine they’re a work of fiction.
I absolutely devoured the book and felt the same kind of withdrawal I had when I finished Normal People. I wanted to know more about the characters and their impressions. Despite being disappointed in the ending, I think this is one of the most insightful book I have read on teenage life. I urge you to pick up a copy and I guarantee you will finish it in less than a week because it’s so good! I am looking forward to reading her other novel American Wife inspired by the life of Laura Bush (former First Lady of the United States)
And I will end on a quote from the book which I feel represents the essence of this amazing book: “Caring about everything was draining, but it was also exhilarating”.