Authors: Curtis Sittenfeld
Publisher: Random House
Reading Level: Young Adult
Released: November 2005
Lee Fiora is an intelligent, observant fourteen-year-old when her father drops her off in front of her dorm at the prestigious Ault School in Massachusetts. She leaves her animated, affectionate family in South Bend, Indiana, at least in part because of the boarding school’s glossy brochure, in which boys in sweaters chat in front of old brick buildings, girls in kilts hold lacrosse sticks on pristine mowed athletic fields, and everyone sings hymns in chapel
As Lee soon learns, Ault is a cloistered world of jaded, attractive teenagers who spend summers on Nantucket and speak in their own clever shorthand. Both intimidated and fascinated by her classmates, Lee becomes a shrewd observer of–and, ultimately, a participant in–their rituals and mores. As a scholarship student, she constantly feels like an outsider and is both drawn to and repelled by other loners. By the time she’s a senior, Lee has created a hard-won place for herself at Ault. But when her behavior takes a self-destructive and highly public turn, her carefully crafted identity within the community is shattered.
Ultimately, Lee’s experiences–complicated relationships with teachers; intense friendships with other girls; an all-consuming preoccupation with a classmate who is less than a boyfriend and more than a crush; conflicts with her parents, from whom Lee feels increasingly distant, coalesce into a singular portrait of the painful and thrilling adolescence universal to us all.
I've heard this book was one of those books where you either love it or hate it. Me? I was closer to loving it then hating it. Actually I pretty much LOVED it, except for a few things that bothered me, but I'll get to those later.
When I first started Prep, I really didn't know what to expect. So I was kind of surprised by what happened in the novel, and not necessarily in a bad way. Lee was one of those girls who always felt left out, who thought she wasn't ugly nor pretty, smart nor dumb. So when she came to boarding school, I, well, I pitied Lee as a character. She was always so negative and didn't know how lucky she were. She was, shall I say, clueless. It was a bit annoying, but when I thought about, I think that it was necessary for Lee to be annoying in her character to fit the part in this novel. If that makes sense.
Throughout Lee's time at Ault, she grew. She grew so much, it was crazy. Every time a new chapter started, which was not a lot of times considering there were eight chapters and 400 pages in the book, Lee had grown up immensely. And I loved to see Lee grow up, actually I loved to see any character grow up, like through a long period time, in any book. Which is probably why I love the Jessica Darling Series so much. Anyway, back to Prep.
Sittenfeld's writing was close to impeccable. I really enjoyed her style of writing. Her writing made me think and it made me curious. I had no idea what would happen next. Something that bothered me was the ending, I was hoping for a little more, Lee was telling us what happened since she left Ault about everybody she ran into, but I really didn't know what happened to her. Also there were times in the novel when I got so frustrated with Lee were I just wanted to rip out the pages. but nonetheless, this was an excellent read that I highly recommend.