Liz's Reviews > Commencement

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan
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's review
Sep 14, 2011

liked it
Read in August, 2011

** spoiler alert ** Picked this up from my apartment building's laundry room/library and thought I'd give it a shot. I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would- it wasn't your run-of-the-mill chicklit for one thing, and for another it rang true in parts. I went to grad school in Boston and roomed with Wellesley girls, who also have a unique bond and a very strong sense of self. However, I found the characters in Commencement to be oddly hollow- Celia had a drinking problem, but I never really understood why, and the bottle of vodka in her suitcase just seemed like a prop. Sally seemed like more of a proper Southern belle than Bree. Bree's relationship with Lara annoyed me- I felt like the author took great pains to make it work when it didn't. All the fighting and bitching over Bree not making was so wearing and after awhile I forgot all the good stuff that Sullivan mentioned about their being together and just wanted them to break up and have Bree be single. April, sadly, is so UNmemorable, and yet she's the one with the most compelling storyline. She's a one-note character, and a feminist, which I think says volumes about feminism in general- any why I don't want to be thought of as one. I never understood what, exactly, she was doing with Ronnie Munro except for some vague "CHANGING THE WORLD" strategy that never really clarified for me. Sally seemed destined for sadness- lost her mother, glommed onto some guy her friends didn't like (totally expected that relationship to tank) and yet she came out the most "normal". I guess in one sense they were all realistic in a way- no one was particularly memorable or outstanding- but the set up made it sound like we were goint to be getting 4 distinct characters and instead we got 4 vague outlines. The book itself was pretty good- the evolution of the friendships was realistic and moving. Good read if a bit frustrating at times.

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