High school, alas, didn’t come with an instruction manual. But, fortunately, we had Judy Blume to guide us through the indignities of adolescence: terrifying new body hair, backstabbing peers, soul-crushing insecurity.
Just because you’re all grown up now doesn’t mean you don’t still deserve some good angsty teenager fiction of your own. In Prep, debut novelist (and Groton grad) Curtis Sittenfeld gives the Blume canon a slick J. Crew makeover (think Margaret Simon at boarding school with the Bergdorf Blondes). Late-blooming midwesterner Lee Fiora arrives at the prestigious Ault school to find herself painfully out of place amid peers with names like Gates Medkowski, Aspeth Montgomery, and Tullis Haskell. Lee’s awkward escapades over the next four years amongst the poised rich kids will strike a chord with anyone who’s ever had that frosh-out-of-water feeling. (It’s oddly comforting, in an it-was-awful-but-hey-I-survived kind of way.)
Enough to make you nostalgic for your training bra? Not quite. But it’s a perfect regression for the angst-ridden, diary-scribbling, Blume-reading adolescent in all of us.
Available online at amazon.com or at your local bookstore.