Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: "Commencement"

Commencement by J Courtney Sullivan
3 out of 5 stars

It's hard to decide where to start with this book. It was recommended to me by my favorite aunt who's not really related to me :) and I enjoyed it...but. I think it's like reading a newsletter or blog dedicated to a person's hometown. If you aren't from there, you might find it interesting at times but you don't really get it. That's kind of how I felt with this book. I didn't go to a small college or stay in a dorm and get a close knit group of girlfriends. If that was more your life, especially if you went to one of the Seven Sisters Colleges, I think you will enjoy this book a lot more.

The book starts off four years after college graduation and four close friends: Celia, Bree, Sally, & April are getting together for Sally's wedding. The story alternates between flashbacks of how they all met and their college life together and the present stress of getting to Sally's wedding and seeing each other again after a long time apart. They are gathering at Smith College, their alma mater, and all the memories keep rushing forward. Their beginnings as first years (not freshmen) and how different they all were. No way that Georgia peach Bree would be friends with radical feminist April. And lapsed-Catholic Celia wants to mother Sally after finding out her mother died, but is that really a friendship?

I enjoyed the first half of this book immensely and if it had continued in that vein, I probably would have given it 4 stars. It read very much like a typical chicklit book and I liked hearing how these girls' relationships grew and matured. I was expecting a look at life after college for 4 BFF's and that is what I got...until it went into a kind of exposé, documentary on prostitution and abuse. The second half of the book was focused on April's work with her mentor Ronnie, an extreme feminazi almost, who is determined to get a good story no matter what the cost. And the cost is April. I felt like I was being lectured thru a lot of the second half and being told what I should believe in and fight for. Which, yes, prostitution is bad, abuse shouldn't happen, etc...but the way Sullivan told the story was just too much for me. 

So, Smithies or other similar college grads: yes, you will probably enjoy this much more than me! :) Everyone else, give it a shot if it sounds interesting! Also, a small note on the font type used in the book, which I will put in white so if you do decide to read it, it won't drive you crazy too lol: Any word with 'fi' in it, the 'i' wasn't dotted and that drove me absolutely bananas!! I'm not a font snob by any means, but that was so annoying! /end 

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