Sonia Reppe's Reviews > The Fallback Plan

The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein
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's review
Sep 29, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: midwest, fiction-contemporary

Ester is a recent college grad (theatre) who is slacking her way through the summer back at her parent's house. She hangs out with other slackers and then gets a nanny job. She's on anti-depressents and it's revealed that she had a break-down or serious burn-out during her senior year of college. The circumstances of this are interesting, but they aren't examined or given a satisfying storyline, it's just told in a flash-back scene.

Ester is depressed but smart, and the commentary on her life is amusing. She isn't too irreverent, but she is a little flip about serious subjects like Judaism, that might be a turn-off for
some readers.

She is the anti-heroine: she's trying to find direction and inspiration for her life. She fools around a bit with the dad of the four-year-old she watches but I was disappointed that this went nowhere. This novel does get a point for the very realistic sex scene between Ester and her crush, Jack (who just uses her).

The tone at the end didn't quite fit the rest of the book: Ester on a tire swing, spinning away her childhood insecurities. She didn't grow enough for me, the story could've been so much more.

I read through this novel in the same way Ester was drifting through life: looking for inspiration and distraction, often while reclining on my couch, asking myself "what's the point?"

When I can relate, I like. I used to nanny in the summers during college, and I stretched my
college years as a performance arts major as much as I could (7 yrs.).

Quote: "I rode north. I tried to change gears. There was a time in my life when I knew which gear was for, but now they all seemed arbitrary; it was difficult to pedal no matter which one I selected. Was I doing something wrong? Probably."

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Reading Progress

September 29, 2011 – Shelved
January 10, 2012 – Started Reading
January 10, 2012 – Shelved as: midwest
January 11, 2012 – Finished Reading
April 5, 2013 – Shelved as: fiction-contemporary

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