POP your heart out.

Book Talk 19: Prep

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The novel: Prep-Curtis Sittenfeld
The song: Broken Social Scene-Anthems of a Seventeen Year Old Girl

A note about the song, first: This is like one of those real, real masterpieces. It's so choked full of layers of beautiful instrumentation and angst and hope and all the little doubts and nusiances of teenage, the swoops and fluttery feeling, the epic sense of accomplishment without really doing anything to start with...the song itself is mesmerizing, worth listening over and over again for long periods time without pause or feeling the repetition. This is how it's done. This is the soundtrack to every girl or boy at some point in their everyday lives. And it's only fitting for a book like this.

I thought I was going to hate this book. Everything pointed to it--the title, the trying too hard to be cute and clean cover with that infamous prep classic clean white, pink and green all in near sickening pastels and the title itself, even. A flip to the back cover shows more signs of a book I should be hating. Oh, a book about preps in a boarding school. I was expecting cliches at every corner. I was expecting terrible prose and barely convered condescending adult recollection.

In a way, a lot of that were in the book. The movie perfect characters--the outcast who only ever really wanted to be popular, the popular miss perfect, the hot and obsessed boy that the narrator will never be able to get...or so she thinks and doubts and ect. But it's not so much the plot of the book as the style itself that made me, somehow, like it. Finished it in two days, in fact.

Something about the constantly worrying, doubting, nervous, angsty actions of Lee, our famous I used to be real but now that I'm in boarding school all I want is to be accepted type character, it's her little swirling thoughts and details that really gave the book something outside its cliche storyline. Yes, she's a character that's easy to dislike, and often I found myself wishing she would gain some goddamned confidence and just GO FOR IT, in all caps and stop trying so damned hard and other annoyances, but in the end it's the little details that doesn't feel so unrealistic, the sort of thing I could imagine a high school girl somewhere worrying over...I guess that made it a worthy read. And what do you know? Some review even used the dreaded word "poignant" and I liked it.



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Listen, love, buy.
MP3s don't last forever.

songs + words

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