Monday, December 15, 2014

Bennington Girls Are (not) Easy (to read)

What They Say.....Bennington College, founded in 1932 as a suitable refuge for the
wayward daughters of good families, maintains its saucy reputation for attracting free spirits. There, acres outnumber students, the faculty is composed of fading hippie and clothing is largely optional. Or, as J. D. Salinger put it in Franny and Zooey: a Bennington-type “looked like she’d spent the whole train ride in the john, sculpting or painting or something, or as though she had a leotard on under her dress.”

Cassandra Puffin and Sylvie Furst met in high school but cement what they ardently believe will be everlasting friendship on Bennington’s idyllic Vermont campus. Graduation sees Sylvie moving to New York City, where, later on their twenties, Cassandra joins her. These early, delirious years are spent decorating their Fort Greene apartment with flea market gems, dating “artists”, and trying to figure out what they’re doing with their lives.

The girls are acutely and caustically observant of the unique rhythms of the city but tone deaf to their own imperfections, which eventually drives a wedge between them. Equal parts heartfelt and hilarious, Bennington Girls Are Easy is a novel about female friendships—how with one word from a confidante can lift you up or tear you down—and how difficult it is to balance someone else’s devastatingly funny lapses in judgment with your own professional and personal missteps.

What I Say....I am super proud of myself that I finished this book.  It took work.  

It wasn't the writing that was bad, the author definitely has talent, but the story just meandered.  There was no beginning, middle or end.  It just felt like one long description of two characters that I couldn't tell apart until about the middle of the book.

As for the main characters, Cassandra and Sylvie, I didn't care too much about either one.  For two girls who were at a very expensive liberal arts college, there was never any mention of family money or support, which seemed a little odd.

In the beginning, I thought the book was set in the 50's, so I was confused later when there were some recent pop culture references made.  It was so weird, I couldn't even tell what time period this story was supposed to be taking place in.
I wonder if the story would have been more meaningful to me if I had attended, or knew anyone who attended Bennington College.  Since I don't, I didn't get a lot of the references to Bennington girls being sluts (the author's word, not mine), or lesbian-ish, or having multiple broken engagements.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.  I can honestly say bad books make me sad.

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