Thursday, December 18, 2008

Book Review: College Girl by Patricia Weitz

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.

11 comments:

Alea said...

That's too bad you didn't like it much :( I like that it's a lot about the day to day of college life, that's kind of what i was hoping it would be like! I think i miss college, can you tell! :P

Lenore said...

I'm definitely looking forward to reading your take on it. I am putting it in the mail to you tomorrow!!

Alea said...

Yay! Thank you so much!!!!!! :D

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I'm sorry you didn't like it overall. I really want to read this at some point. I just started college, so it really interests me.
-Lauren

bermudaonion said...

That kind of sounds like I Am Charlotte Simmons.

Ali said...

I made the tough decision to pass up a review copy of this one, so I've been looking forward to hearing more. Judging from your take, I made the right choice for me. Thanks for the review!

Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog said...

I just finished this and am hoping to review it in the next couple days...my response was very "meh" as well, and I had a hard time caring about Natalie.

Heidi said...

So I'm new to your blog and I have what may be a silly question. How do you have ARC of these books? Do you have a purpose for reviewing them other than your own personal enjoyment of reviewing?

I really like your take on the books, and I think you make some good points. On this one, it definitely seems to be character driven, and it's sad when that kind of book is driven by a character that's hard to like.

I can tell I'm going to find a lot of books on your blog to add to my list!

Joanne said...

Natalie's bad choices were very annoying to me also, kinda like watching a horror movie character going in a basement, attic, abandoned house - so obviously stupid :)

Alea said...

I nominated you for a blog award! Come play along! http://aleapopculture.blogspot.com/2008/12/kreativ-blogger-award.html

Anonymous said...

Natalie should check out that www.meetatquad.com college girls dating service site. She can meet some sugar daddies there! Have a little fun and earn money for her education. Hey, why not? Natalie sounds like the type of college girl who needs a sugar daddy!