Jessica's Reviews > An Off Year

An Off Year by Claire Zulkey
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Nov 28, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: teen-books

An Off Year tells the story of Cecily, a teenager who, upon arriving at her chosen college, decides she no longer wants to attend college, but would rather take a year off to figure her life out. Rather than just pointing readers to Cecily’s reasoning for making this quick decision, author Claire Zulkey takes readers on Cecily’s journey of discovery herself that flows smoothly from one page to the next.


Cecily’s character is both quirky and inquisitive, while being completely believable. Like many teenagers in the process of or ready to take the college plunge, Cecily is just unsure what her life holds and whether or not college should be a part of it. Having once been a college student, I was able to connect with and understand how one may always assume they are going to attend college, but when the time comes to move in and start classes, what once was such an assumed experience, begins to be one that is questioned.


Zulkey writes a superb story that interweaves plenty of emotions that readers will be able connect with, but also one that examines the fears and stress that can arise when it comes to college. Rather than making college seem like a fun filled paradise, Zulkey shows how the comfort of high school and the relationships formed there are not always taken to college and just brought to the next level. College is a journey that is different from one person to the next, good or bad.

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