PREP by Curtis Sentenfield (Celebrating Banned book Week and a Giveaway!)

Lee Fiora knew from a young age she wanted out.  Out of her hum drum life in South Bend Indiana, out from under her parents smothering thumbs….  she dreamed of being a boarding school student but her family did not have the means or the desire to see her attend such a place.  Lee knew is she wanted to make that dream come true, she would have to work for it.  When Lee earns a scholarship to Ault, her family is shocked but accepts that their daughter is going away.

What Lee finds at school is mostly money kids who have always had access to money and never have known what it is like to live on a budget.  These students were raised as privileged and Lee finds herself feeling insecure in her placement at Ault, while few know she is on scholarship, she fears she reeks of inadequacy. 

Between hot girls and cute boys (enter the likes of super hotty Cross Sugarman), Lee stumbles along always feeling like an outsider.  She works hard to earn every tiny step she makes towards feeling good about herself and if making slow but steady progress when she makes a major lack of good judgement and destroys all that she has worked so hard to earn.

Prep, is Lee’s story.  She narrates this as being 24 years old looking back at her days in Ault, reliving each feeling and what, now in hind site, she could have done differently.

Why did I want to read PREP?  I actually started reading PREP over a year ago.  At no fault of the book, life became busy, I sat it down and just did not get the time to finish it.  This year, I found the audio version at a sale and could nor resist giving it another go.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out this book was also a Banned Book, so it fit right into my Banned book Week planning. 
PREP is Lee’s story.  Narrated by Julie Dretzin this 17 hour+ audio can feel long at times, and yet author Curtis Sittenfield keeps it  engaging.  As Lee retells her prep school adventures you can feel for her… trying to find a good roommate, avoiding the girls that others pick on so she can up her status, meeting the guy, thinking about the guy, dreaming of the guy… and then getting the guy…

sort of.

It’s hard to review this book because it really is day-to-day life at Ault and while as I mentioned above, there are periods in Lee’s retelling that seem to be drawn out… in reality, life is not one big moment after another… but times of small moments… with occasional big ones. 😀  All in all, while PREP wasn’t over the top engaging, it did hold my interest and I am glad I had this opportunity to listen to it. 

Why was PREP challenged/banned?

In 2008 and in 2009 Pulled from the accelerated reading program in the Heritage Oak School in Yorba Linda (CA). A parent complained that the book was “pornographic.”

My thoughts:  PREP has a few sex scenes, but they are not anything detailed and I have read much more detailed scenes in books that are not banned. 

Amazon Rating

Goodreads Review

Check out other banned book reviews and giveaways here



For this giveaway – A $10 Amazon gift card will be given away at the end of Banned Book Week.  To enter, let me know in a comment what book on the banned book list really surprises you.  Click here for a list of these books.

38 thoughts on “PREP by Curtis Sentenfield (Celebrating Banned book Week and a Giveaway!)

  1. From the list, I am surprised that Huckleberry Finn was banned. I recall reading it as an eight-year-old, and my parents were quite strict.

    But from the statement about “why” it was banned, I guess I’d have to say that when I read it, that language was not that shocking.

    As for Prep, I read another book by this author, so I’m surprised about it’s being banned, too.

    Don’t you think that the “bannings” say more about the complainants than anything else?

    1. I don’t think the language is shocking Laurel because that is the way it was then… they want to change the book to change the language but doing that is like trying to change our history…. it is ridiculous!

  2. I’m surprised the Twilight books are on there. There was nothing too disturbing in them in my opinion. I’m sure there are a lot on the list that shouldn’t be. Thanks for the opportunity!

    1. I know is that not crazy? I think it was the paranormal – and there may have been teenage sex – but honestly… I dont think until after the 3rd book and they were married then… so well… I dont know. 😀

  3. I have to say the American Heritage Dictionary (1969). How in the world can we communicate with one another if we are banning the use of a book of words? This one concerns me more than any of the fiction. Although fiction raises my ire greatly too.

  4. Small minds abound!!

    Who bans books such as the “American Heritage Dictionary “?

    If it offends thee, don’t pluck it out, JUST DON’T READ IT.

  5. I saw the cover in my RSS and thought, Prep? How? Banned because of a few not-to-graphic sexual scenes… considering the age of the character and the rest of the book I wouldn’t have thought it was bad.

  6. It always surprises me to find the Little House books have been challenged. Also, the dictionary thing was a new one for me too.

    1. I am sensitive to things being over graphic (sexual, violent, language) and so far in all the banned books I have read I have never said – “Oh yeah – that one really should be watched.”

  7. The are many on the list that surprise me. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for one. I realize that the words in there are offensive, but unfortunately that was a part of our history. Trying to “hide” it won’t make it go away. That period will always be there. And while racism is still very much in existence today, it also shows how far we’ve come- and I think it’s very important to remember that, (as well as to keep an open mind while you read a book). I could go on, but I won’t lol. Don’t even get me started on the dictionary being banned…

  8. It still blows my mind that Harry Potter has been challenged. Some people are so strange. Also, I just finished Lord of the Flies and I don’t get why it was banned. There is some death, but it’s not graphic at all. Maybe because it shows the darker side of human nature?

    1. I know – that is so crazy about Harry Potter! Heres what I found with Google about Lord Of The Flies:

      “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding was challenged at the Duval County, Florida public school libraries (1992) because of profanity, lurid passages about sex and statements defamatory to minorities, God, women and the disabled. It was challenged, but retained on the ninth-grade accelerated English reading list in Bloomfield, New York (2000).

      1. That’s really interesting. I must have missed something, but I don’t remember any lurid passages or any discussion of sex at all. I think the boys were around 12. Crazy.

  9. I don’t necessarily want my 17yo reading 50 Shades of Grey but to ban a book about teens because it contains some sex scenes seems to be sticking your head in the sand.

  10. I think it’s ironic that Fahrenheit 451 was banned since it’s a book about censorship! It’s surprising to me that it was banned for one bad word! I always like to see the books on the banned book list and read them to see what I think! Thanks for this great post!

  11. I am shocked that ‘the adventures of Huckleberry finn’ (a book that i did read as a young child) is banned. Rasism has been stamped upon in the twenty-first century with such words that just cannot be said. However this fantastic book was written a long time ago and i think it unjust to ban it because it doesn’t meet modern requirements. That one word was aceptable in the past and so i still think this book should be read and treasured. A child/ younger reader should still be able to read past works of fiction and yet know about rasism. x

    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

Hmmmm... what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s