Tuesday, July 24, 2012

College Girl by Patricia Weitz

     Natalie Bloom is a shy young woman in her junior year as a transfer student to the University of Connecticut. On the academic side of things, Natalie has everything in order. However, her shy nature gets in the way of her social life.
     When she meets the seemingly perfect Patrick, Natalie is shocked that someone with his status would see anything in a boring Russian history major such as herself. The downward spiral that ensues is only stopped when Natalie learns to accept her past as well as who she has become.

     With college quickly approaching in the fall, I had high hopes for College Girl giving me a good picture of life beyond the four walls of my high school. If college is anything like what Natalie experienced, I can honestly say I'd rather just sign up for another decade or two of high school. Weitz's book is just, well, depressing.
     Natalie has her insecurities, which I am more than willing to understand, as everyone has them. The thing that makes the book so depressing though is the extent to which she takes these insecurities. They blind her in a way that makes the reader cringe! Instead of seeing others for what they really are, be it friend or foe, Natalie lets her own issues color her view of everything. She doesn't see herself as worthy, in the classroom or outside, which saddens me because she is.
     The other characters in the novel seem to have their lives in order, according to Natalie. Faith, the roommate she keeps at a distance, might not know what she wants, but certainly knows what she doesn't. Gwen, the popular girl on her floor, seems to have it all. What Natalie fails to realize is that each of these people are dealing with their own hardships too.
     As a reader, I wanted to see more strength in our main character. I wanted her to pull herself together, put herself out there, and be who she wanted to be instead of waiting for some magical moment or person to change her life.
     I think Weitz's writing was great in how she brought the story to the page, even if I wasn't so fond of the story itself. The biggest thing lacking, in my opinion, was the dialogue. It was too strained and even numbing at times. Regardless, the author's style is certainly accessible. I was able to get to know Natalie for who she was, though she couldn't see it herself.

Rating: 4

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