By Curtis Sittenfeld. Published in 2005.
Am I ever going to get to the point where I can read about the torments of adolescence without suffering flashbacks? I couldn’t ever make it through more than 10 pages of Curtis Sittenfeld’s story of a hyper-self-conscious teenage girl without having to set the book aside for a while, to remind myself that I’m 26 now and should be past this stuff.
Prep, Sittenfeld’s debut novel, has its faults. The plot meanders lazily, and Sittenfeld sometimes relies too heavily on stereotypes when sketching minor characters. That said, her portrait of the neurotic loner as a young woman is so spot-on, so well-observed, so fully realized, that it makes the book's flaws look utterly inconsequential.