Fin: ‘Prep’

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

  • Date finished: Feb. 9, 2012
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Year: 2005
  • Project: n/a
  • Reading List: Winter 2011-12
  • Quick thoughts upon finishing:

I think I might have liked Prep if the book had included any of the following:

  • Dark humor
  • Insightful perspectives into the elite world of private boarding schools
  • Some kind of extraordinary circumstances, like mass murder or someone with super powers
  • A protagonist who actually stood for — nay, believed in — something, anything
  • Some kind of life lesson

As it stands, Prep has none of this. And while I didn’t need magical mass murderers to make this book worthwhile, it would have been nice to have a protagonist who, I don’t know, was interesting. Lee Fiora, the super-angsty teen from South Bend that we’re following at Ault School, is about as flat as a really flat pancake. She’s self-conscious, irrationally shy, sad and angry. She’s really not that nice, or smart or believes in her self worth. She lets the boy of her dreams walk all over her, and when she finally does speak out against all the snobbish injustice, she spends the tail end of the book regretting it.

I will give Prep this: there were several brief but insightful moments into what it’s like being a teenager. Yes, Lee annoys me. But, stuck inside her head, I was reminded what it’s like to be paralyzingly shy. I remembered the sinking feeling when the popular girls hand you the slip of paper, slamming the awkwardly young teacher — you feel terrible participating, but what else can you do? The teenage years are rough, baby.

Still, I finished Prep learning nothing. I don’t think Lee learned anything either, which is disappointing. I don’t need for anything profound to happen, but come on. At least gain some self-respect or take your math class seriously. All in all, a disappointing read.

  • Grade: C-

One thought on “Fin: ‘Prep’

  1. Pingback: Fin: ‘Special Topics in Calamity Physics’ « Paperback Fool

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