PREP by Jake Coburn


Age Range: 14 & up
Email this review


This foray into the dark side of Manhattan prep schools emphasizes details of setting over plot or character development. Nick, a shallow, self-absorbed, wealthy teenager, assiduously notes brand names of cigarettes, liquor, and clothing, and relates conversations full of obscenities and slang such as “Wazzup, boyz?” and “Chillz. Nick’s good peoples.” The teens here trash homes at drunken parties, shoplift at corner stores, play nasty practical jokes, use various illegal drugs, and have meaningless sex. Nick dwells on his romantic interest in Kris, an aspiring writer who inexplicably doesn’t notice his love, and reminiscences about his unconvincing past as a graffiti artist. When Kris’s younger brother, a precocious freshman alcoholic who quotes T.S. Eliot, is threatened by a vicious prep school gang, Nick tries to intervene despite the threat of violence. While the characters are hard to like and the slang gets tedious, the author’s credentials as a former prep school student suggest he is reflecting a real, disturbing subculture that may well interest teen readers in and out of that world. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-414-47135-9
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2003