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Curtis Sittenfeld
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3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  45,313 ratings  ·  3,780 reviews
Curtis Sittenfeld' s debut novel, Prep, is an insightful, achingly funny coming-of-age story as well as a brilliant dissection of class, race, and gender in a hothouse of adolescent angst and ambition.
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 a
Published (first published January 11th 2005)
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Feb 04, 2009 Joe rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
I always say that if a writer can evoke complete hatred and dislike for their protagonist from me, then they must be a good writer (Lucinda Rosenfeld's What She Saw... comes to mind). In that regard, Curtis Sittenfeld is an excellent writer (perhaps it's a last name thing) but Prep sucks.

Two reasons why I hated Prep:
1) NOTHING happens. I don't mind episodic novels in which each chapter is a tiny event that comes together as a whole (Peter Darbyshire's Please is an excellent example of this), b
This book isn't getting five stars because I thought it was a literary masterpiece. It's getting them because it's the first boarding school narrative I've read (ever) that is indicative of the actual experience, or at least my actual experience. Other books (fiction) on the subject, such as Black Ice or Oh the Glory of it All, tend to stick to one of two slants: 1) the narrator is from a poor family, gets a scholarship, and his/her has a wonderful life from boarding school on, filled wit
Again, I was shocked by the reviews after hopping on Goodreads. Only this time, I loved it and yet, there were so many haters. Can't a girl get a break? Am I forever doomed to be the outsider? Okay, a little overly dramatic, to be sure. There are MANY more who seemed to have enjoyed it than despised it, but the haters were hanging out at the top of the reviews, so that made it seem worse than the reality.

Yes, I loved Prep...shoot me. I always wanted to go to boarding school. I, in fact, used to
This book makes me want to shout at its critics, "you don't have to identify with the protagonist to like the book!--identification isn't the only reason to read!". But then I want to defend it precisely because it seems so "real." I.e., I identify with it.

Now I say "defend" because the book is marketed as chick-lit (I don't care how much reputable praise you list on the back cover; when there's a pink and green belt cinching your book, you're chick-lit), and I was embarrassed to brandish it on
Oct 24, 2010 Lea rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bitter people who want company (this book is NOT for teens)
Shelves: overrated
I loathed this book, really really hated it. I kept reading, hoping for the moment when the narrator would stop complaining, stop blaming everyone else for her misery, but the moment never came. She finished high school, went on with her life, and yet KEPT COMPLAINING about boarding school. It is easy to take pot shots at New England boarding schools, and at high school in general, but this book lacks any humor and the narrator lacks any self-awareness. I don't know that I would have liked this ...more
Let me first admit that "Prep" was far from perfect. I’m not sure I could argue against many of the bad reviews. At times, I longed for the novel to hurry along. The foreshadowing was clunky. Occasionally I was so bored I wasn't sure I could get through the entire novel.

And then (heavy sigh), Sittenfeld did what I hadn’t imagined anyone could do. She made me relive the most painful experiences of high school with such honesty that it was hard to believe that she wrote the book as an adult. I was
Worst book I've read in recent memory. It inspires in me a feeling I imagine to be familiar to those who have ever seized a pitchfork or a flaming torch and set off to terrorize a neighbor.

I've never read anything with a more loathesome, spineless, vacuous, sad-sack main character. Every single time (EVERY SINGLE TIME) Lee is on the precipice of learning something or connecting to someone or growing as a human being in any conceivable way, she slumps her shoulders and sabotages herself, and we'
Sita Sargeant
Two stars is way to generous...

I read the entire book. Okay, so I might have skipped huge chunks of it but I read it.

The book is about a girl that goes to a boarding school, she is shy (and quite boring), the book summary explains it. i did not pick up this book because I wanted to read about 4 years of being stuck in a boarding school, that she applied to (But changed her mind).

I thought it was going to be about a girl who climbs her way up the social ladder, makes lot's of friends, generally
Lee Fiora is an average, middle class girl who feels like she is meant for far greater things than her Indiana hometown. Convincing herself that trading her Midwest family in for a fancy East Coast prep school is the answer, Lee becomes a scholarship student at the wealthy and prestigious Ault School, where she quickly learns that gaining admission isn't the same as gaining acceptance. Prep chronicles Lee's four years at Ault, starting out as an insecure and lonely freshmen, leaving as a love-si ...more
this book was a complicated one for me. if i could, i'd probably give it a 2 slash 3 for its rating. the best way i can describe it is this: you know when you meet someone and after talking for a little while you start to think, wow, this person is JUST like me, we're totally on the same wavelength! and then each meeting after that you continue to have the same impression UNTIL they say or do something so foreign to your personality that it makes you realize you are NOTHING alike. to the point w ...more
Jul 07, 2007 Anna rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: prep schoolers
Having attended a prep school myself, I found the descriptions of prep school logistically were fairly accurate. It was a strange flashback into life with boarding students and the activities/events that surround going to an elite private school that focuses greatly on matriculation into Ivy Leagues.
Despite the vague nostalgia that I felt at times, the protagonist was extremely hard to identify with, although she did have characteristics that could have made her more sympathetic. What I believe
Synesthesia (SPIDERS!)
I can't decide how I felt about this book.
In some ways I could identify with the main character. The book reminded me a bit of when I went to college in upstate NY.
But, at the same time, the main character was frustrating. She hated her school and where she was, but she didn't do anything about it. I loved my time in upstate NY. But this character was always complaining about how much she hated the school she went to and expressing frustration, but NOT TAKING ANY ACTION.
And the whole "romance" p
I recently read this for an encyclopedia entry I was writing on post-2000 coming-of-age novels, so my assessment, I fear, isn't really fair. On the one hand, I think Sittenfeld is a very talented writer, but on the other, I kept wanting to say GTFU (you know, grow the *#^$ up), which seems very, very ungenerous of me. In the end, I can appreciate what attracted people to this book, making it a surprise success. That doesn't mean the book sticks with me or changed my life in any drastic way---and ...more
You know, I started out really liking this book. I thought the writing was good, and I found myself really relating to the protagonist as I used to have many of the same tendencies (not really involving myself in things and instead just hanging out on the fringes of life). But then about halfway through, the book just turned craptastic. Of course the craptastickness involved a boy. It always does. But it just ruined the book for me. It made me just not like Lee, the main character, at all. She t ...more
When I went to college I was shocked to meet kids who had actually attended boarding school. I had grown up on a steady diet of boarding school literature, but conceptually, it seemed so preposterous. You went to boarding school if you were European and from the 19th century, not if you were American and born in the early 90s. I befriended one girl who attended a Massachusetts boarding school as a day student. When I asked her about the experience, she shook her head and said, “Never send your k ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Amanda Dissinger for

Walking through the typical young adult section of a bookstore, there are usually five, maybe even ten, books about a teenage girl, perhaps from a small town, who transfers from that wee little town to a prep school.

Typically, this prep school is in Connecticut, or Massachusetts. Typically, the girl starts out struggling, tries to fit in with the popular crowd, misses her hometown, faces many moral problems, and meets a handsome, promising young
A for Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaangst
Prep, a story told by the talented Curtis Sittenfeld, was hard to put down. The narrator, Lee Fiora, an unremarkable girl from South Bend, Indiana, does a remarkable thing. At 13 she decides to apply to East Coast Prep schools and winds up spending an angst-ridden four years at Ault School just outside of Boston, Mass.

("How was I supposed to understand, when I applied at the age of thirteen, that you have your whole life to leave your family?")

This is the story of EVER
i hated the main character after the first chapter, and really could have cared less what happened to her. i have a hard time liking books where i can't find redeeming qualities in the characters i'm supposed to care about. also, i agree with the author's parents that the last chapter should have been cut. i might have liked it better then.
In her ruthless efforts to make a book that depicts how prep school “really” is, Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep forgets that in order for a novel to work things must happen.
Assumedly, the book was supposed to be a coming-of-age novel wherein the fish-out-of-water protagonist Lee Fiora, learns to exceed the repressive bounds of prep school and get over her personal issues. However, this is not the case. Instead the book is horribly lopsided, Sittenfeld spends three hundred pages having the protagonist
Every time I pick up a book, I expect to be taken on a ride. Sometimes it's a short drive into the city for dinner, consisting of laughs and entertaining conversations, leaving me full and content by the time I reach home again. Other times it's a fast-paced roller coaster, ups and downs twisting my stomach in knots, exciting me until the very last page. My favorites are road trips, the ones that take forever and a day to get through, but every adventure is new and you get to know the characters ...more
Jan 05, 2008 Lesley rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: delayed female travellers
This book kept me entertained enough during my six hour delay at Logan despite the somewhat tedious subject matter (life for an "outsider" at a New England prep school). The characters in this book have names like Cross, Darden, Horton, Aspeth, Gates, and McGrath. I would have thought this was the author poking fun at the absurd names disgustingly wealthy people give their children (I'm sorry but doesn't naming your daughter Horton pretty much guarantee she'll become a coke-addled slut in her la ...more
the book that traumatized me for the weekend: Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep. Ms. Sittenfeld writes very well, maybe too well- I have to say, she did a fine job planting the image of the drama in my mind, but now it's burned too well, and since the images/ideas aren't exactly the sort I want to keep in my head, I wish I didn't have to remember it. The main character isn't my favorite person, but the reader is still compelled to understand her.

The freaky points are: a) I used to want to go to a prep sc
Melea Rose-Waters
This book is on my nerves. I'm going to give it my best and try to finish the last 150 or so pages but I may tear each page out one at a time and burn it as I read it.

011510. Finally finished!!! This one almost made it to my "couldn't finish" list but I made it!

Lee has zero growth throughout the entire book until the last 50 pages, when she actually becomes interesting only because she becomes controversial.

I know it's wrong to judge a book by its cover, but the cover didn't reflect the feel of
I am very pleased to report that Prep, a first novel by Curtis Sittenfeld, has finally been published. This is a book that I desperately wanted Imprint X to buy, back when I read it under its original, cleverer title (CIPHER). Nearly two years later, it was finally published in hardcover by "little Random."

The new title doesn't do the book any favors; it underlines the superficial side of the story. The novel covers Lee Fiora's high school career as a boarding student at the prestigious Ault Sch
after re-reading 7.08:

Sittenfeld is a genius. The voice of Lee Fiora is so poignant and so real — she is so screwed up, but Sittenfeld shows this to us perfectly, in small bites, with a background (and the perfect characters for foils) that out her screwed-up-ness crisply and in heartbreaking detail. Lee speaks from a gorgeously flawed teenage place — somewhere intensely familiar, somewhere achingly wrong about so many things — and her foibles translate so well for me. This reread (number three)
I relate well to Lee. We are similar in a lot of ways, but the book had no real plot. Though it would seem hypocritcal if i said i did not like the main character, considering we are so much alike, but i did not like the main character very much. I also didn't like how Sittenfeld made Little Washington a stereotypical black person, though Little had made it into a preppy boarding school. I also didn't like how she separated races so much. Seperated the latina's and the black people ect. Barely c ...more
It had all the makings of something I'd love: wealthy, elitist prep school kids. But I could not stand the main character. I don't think I've ever read a book where I hated the main character so much and gave less of a crap what happened to her. No, wait. I did not hate her. That is far too strong a word. She wasn't nearly interesting enough to hate. She was just very, very irritating. Plot....? What plot?

If I remember correctly, the story is loosely based on the author's own experiences. I wis
Melissa He
Dec 20, 2009 Melissa He rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Adults and Older
**Imagine you were sent to a school hundreds of miles away from your home and you were all alone. That’s the beginning of Prep, a poignant novel written into the perspective of an over analytical high school student, Lee Fiora. This is the story of everything that goes on inside her head while going to the prestigious and wealthy Ault school. This is a realistic novel because Lee is alone for the first time, she shows that high school is not just an educational institute, but also a place filled ...more
I liked this book as much as I thought I would, I suppose. I wasn't expecting too much. At parts, probably because I'm in high school right now, I can really relate to Lee's observations about her school, friends, etc. On the other hand, sometimes she just starts to get frustrating. She is so detached from everything and everyone (even her "friends") and I wanted her to find some sort of happiness by the end of her years at Ault School.


For a while there, it seemed like she was pre
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I thought it would be a run-of-the-mill story about another New England boarding school, like so many Hollywood movies are fashioned after. And while, at times, it was (the typical blond beauty, the jock the insecure girl lusts after, the closet lesbian), what I found different about this book was how everything DIDN'T end up all neatly wrapped in a bow.

The main character, Lee Fiora, didn't find the answers to all her questions by the time the bo
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La Stamberga dei ...: Prep di Curtis Sittenfeld 1 6 Nov 09, 2013 04:45AM  
Comparison 1 75 Feb 20, 2012 07:16PM  
Chick Lit Book Club: 9/2010: Prep: Assassin (p. 66-116) 7 17 Sep 22, 2010 10:30AM  
Chick Lit Book Club: 9/2010: Prep: Kissing and Kissing (p. 285 - 403/End) 1 11 Sep 11, 2010 02:14PM  
Chick Lit Book Club: 9/2010: Prep: Spring Cleaning (p. 247-284) 1 9 Sep 10, 2010 04:23PM  
Chick Lit Book Club: 9/2010: Prep: Townie (p. 207-246) 1 11 Sep 10, 2010 04:16PM  
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  • I am Charlotte Simmons
  • Little Children
  • Kissing in Manhattan
  • The Official Preppy Handbook
  • Me vs. Me
  • Commencement
  • Towelhead
  • Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities
  • The Dirty Girls Social Club (Dirty Girls, #1)
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Curtis Sittenfeld is the author of the bestselling novels American Wife, Prep, and The Man of My Dreams, which are being translated into twenty-five languages. Prep also was chosen as one of the Ten Best Books of 2005 by The New York Times, nominated for the UK's Orange Prize, and optioned by Paramount Pictures. Curtis won the Seventeen magazine fiction writing contest in 1992, at age sixteen, and ...more
More about Curtis Sittenfeld...
American Wife Sisterland The Man of My Dreams A Regular Couple Pride & Prejudice (The Austen Project)

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“I always worried someone would notice me, and then when no one did, I felt lonely.” 2161 likes
“There are people we treat wrong and later we're prepared to treat other people right. Perhaps this sounds mercenary, but I feel grateful for these trial relationships, and I would like to think it all evens out - surely, unknowingly, I have served as practice for other people.” 91 likes
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