Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

by Curtis Sittenfeld
published by Random House
published in 2005

In Prep I was expecting a posh boarding school story where the rich-bitch characters bragged about hotel deals in exotic foreign countries and wore designer clothes to class.

Instead, I got the story of one Lee Fiora, a young girl from Indiana who decides that boarding school sounds like a romantic sort of thing, applies to several, gets a scholarship, and is then obligated to go. We follow Lee through her four years of school at Ault, meet her roommates, glimpse her classes, but just as Lee never really connects with anyone there (largely through her own choosing), I felt that we never quite connected with Lee.

I was somewhat of a loner in high school as well, and stories of individuals who are gloomy are not always the most appealing things to read, but unlike Lee, I was never bitter, and while I’d never care to go BACK, my high school experience was mostly positive. That being said, I confess to finding boarding schools romantic when I was thirteen or fourteen and I wonder if I’d have ended up as dark and depressed as Lee had I gone to them.

Somehow, I suspect not.

Nevertheless Prep was an interesting read, if only from the standpoint of Lee’s life being compelling in the same way in which a train wreck is.

Goes well with a stiff drink.