Book #2: Commencement

Book #2 in The Year of 100 Books was J. Courtney Sullivan's 2009 debut novel, Commencement. I read her second novel, Maine, over the summer and while I didn't love it, I thought I'd try Commencement anyway.

Sullivan's novel follows four best friends, Celia, Bree, Sally and April through their time at the all-women Smith College and beyond. The story is a nice, fast read and the characters are likable, which is more than I can say for the characters of Maine. There have been some comparisons of Sillivan to Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep and First Wife. While both authors write about women, I would say the comparison ends there. First Wife is the not-so-fictional account of a First Lady (based loosely on the life of Laura Bush) and is one of my favorite novels. That book, along with Sittenfeld's Prep (also good) have characters that (I think) are more developed that Sullivan's, which I think makes for a better read.

Overall, I'm giving Commencement three out of five stars. I thought the ending was a little far fetched and that it would have been a much better book if she had continued the plot in the direction assumed by readers (I won't discuss more for fear of spoilers).

On to book #3!

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