The blurb: A stunning novel in the great tradition of American coming-of-age novels from Catcher in the Rye to The Secret History.
Lee Fiora is a shy fourteen-year-old when she leaves small-town Indiana for a scholarship at Ault, an exclusive boarding school in Massachusetts. Her head is filled with images from the school brochure of handsome boys in sweaters leaning against old brick buildings, girls running with lacrosse sticks across pristine athletics fields, everyone singing hymns in chapel. But as she soon learns, Ault is a minefield of unstated rules and incomprehensible social rituals, and Lee must work hard to find – and maintain – her place in the pecking order.
My review: I picked Prep for my challenge because I love the cover. There’s something very old school about it. I’m not quite sure what it is, perhaps its because the girl they’ve chosen to depict Lee looks a bit like Joey Potter from Dawson’s Creek!
Prep is a lovely read, I’m way past school age now, but Curtis Sittenfeld depicts what I imagine to be US school life perfectly. It’s addictive reading. Lee has decided to go to a school based on her merits and intelligence, rather than the local comp so to speak. And its her observations as a scholarship student about the moneyed classes of a private school that are done so well.
Lee is a likeable heroine, in the wonderful tradition of Rory from the Gilmore Girls, and I really felt for her, not fitting in at home then being an outcast at school. She develops as the book progresses and there are some satisfying moments that I think will ring true for many readers. Slightly too long in places but a nice read nonetheless.
7 out of 10 stars *******