College girl Natalie Bloom, a senior at U Conn, spends most of her time in the library studying, wishing she were more outgoing so she’d feel comfortable enough to really make friends and date boys. When handsome, rich, pot-smoking slacker Patrick takes an interest in her, Natalie is thrilled yet terrified. Will he finally help her to break out of her protective shell or will he break her heart?
Natalie defines herself by her transfer status (she thinks freshmen year is when most college friendships develop and she missed the boat), by her family relations (she has 6 older brothers, one who committed suicide), by her socio-economic background (blue collar poor), and most of all by her lack of experience in the sex department (she thinks being a virgin at 20 makes her the freakiest of all freaks). There isn’t a lot of plot beyond day to day college life and Natalie’s “relationship” with Patrick which means the reader’s enjoyment of the novel relies heavily on whether or not they like Natalie as a character. Personally, I had trouble relating to her. I wouldn’t say she was poorly developed, but her perpetual insecurity and proclivity to make really bad choices increasingly grated on my nerves. It’s probably a bad sign that the parts of the novel I enjoyed the most were the academic snippets of her lectures and exams having to do with Russian history.
College Girl comes out in hardcover on December 26th.