Just back from sunny Acapulco (which at a cloudless 87 degrees for 7 straight days in a row is truly paradise) and was able to plow through some vacation reads.
Continuing on the teen theme……..First up – Prep by Cutris Sittenfeld. This is definitely a chick book so to my fellow BGB gals out there – read on. This book chronicles a Mid-Western, middle-class girl’s experience at one of the top prestigious Northeastern boarding schools. Not too surprising – Lee Fiora is an outcast for her entire high school experience and Sittenfeld does a great job describing how it feels to just want to fit in. She does such a good job in fact that at many points, it was painful to read because I was so empathetic and could personally relate to Lee.
If any of you were part of the popular clique in high school, maybe this book wouldn’t resonate so much but it was just such an accurate portrayal of all that teenage angst. Lee spends hours on end wondering what the popular girls think of her, how to avoid them so as not to humiliate herself and how best to remain invisible. What is interesting is that the popular kids don’t seem to think that Lee is a loser; they just don’t think about her at all. And for Lee – that works.
High school wouldn’t be complete without the suffocating crush on the popular boy and in this book Lee actually gets the boy but under shitty but realistic circumstances. Lee loves this guy Cross beginning in her Freshman year and one night during her junior year – he comes to her room drunk and starts making out with her. This continues to go on for many months and progresses to blow-jobs and eventually she loses her virginity to him. What is so pathetic about this relationship though is that during the day – Cross acts like he doesn’t even know her and Lee is seemingly fine with this. In the end of course he just discards her like a piece of trash.
There are 2 things that I really didn’t like about the book -
1) I thought Sittenfeld could have portrayed Lee as the outsider teenager who still retains her self-respect (a la her relationship with Cross)
2) I also thought that Sittenfeld didn’t have to make the setting an upper-class boarding school. In fact – I think the book could have been even more realistic had it just been set in a typical high school in a typcial town because god knows that shit went on/goes on everywhere.
Synopsis – Painful to read but overall enjoyable. Perfect beach read.