Monday, 2 August 2010

“PREP” by Curtis Sittenfeld

So I finished this last night. And regular readers will know that I wasn’t exactly enjoying it. In fact if it hadn’t been a stipulation of the Transworld Summer Reading Challenge Rules that you have to read and review each book before you’re sent another, then I’d have flung this onto my pile of book ‘orphans’ days ago and read something more enjoyable instead.
I didn’t entirely connect with the MC. I found her a bit self-obsessed (which I guess can be forgiven at the ages of 15-17) but because the story’s being told in hindsight by the adult protagonist, I found so many passages so mind-numbingly over-analytical that towards the end I was skipping huge chunks (but don’t tell the Transworld people, ok?). I DO remember having all of those awkward, stumbling, ungainly feelings of self-consciousness at this age, but I didn’t really enjoy the way they were over-explained from the grown-up viewpoint.
As I said in an earlier post, the number of student names that kept being hurled at me, I had a hard time keeping up with (and then it turned out that although you were told what they’d had for breakfast for the past three years, they only passed the MC once in the corridor and didn’t figure any more in the story – hence the chunk-skipping).
I identified with a lot of the situations (the awkwardness of the parents’ visit, for instance and the sexual awakenings) but the whole thing was over-told. Some sentences I had to keep reading over and over because they were so long - one even amounted to 7.5 lines long – exhausted with commas and semi-colons, so that by the time I’d gotten to the end of the sentence I’d forgotten how it’d started.
I’d definitely watch it if was ever a film, because it’d be easier on the eye.

Now I'm giving myself a well-earned break and I'm going to start 'Avalon High' by Meg Cabot 'cos I'm missing The Girl and she told me this is one of her all-time favourites before she left for the Big Apple... *blub*


Anonymous said...

Prep sounds awful. One of those books you'll never get the time back that was wasted on reading (some) of it.

Debs Riccio said...

Ha ha, Suz - that's EXACTLY how I felt at the time - like pulling teeth. Although some BITS of it I thought were really insightful - it just laboured every point far tooo much!