Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to School Books

With the start of a new school year, we turn our attention to a school of books about and for the college bound, from the pragmatic to the nude. Not to mention several fiction books for anyone who feels nostalgic for the good old days come fall. Think of it as escapist literature, without the handcuffs or explosions. Here's Common Good Book's own Emma van Emmerick's review of a brand new collegiate novel written with the first incoming class of freshmen to "never have experienced alone time for longer than five minutes, without simultaneously competing in a fundraiser for relief efforts in Haiti" in mind.

Most college freshmen could probably relate to Penelope, the protagonist of Rebecca Harrington's (Deputy College Editor for the Huffington Post) debut novel. If not, they have definitely met someone like her in their orientation group--someone who seems as though their parents threw them out of the car too quickly during move-in day and they still aren't quite sure where they are, what's going on, or what college even is. For Penelope, college seems to just sort of happen to her. As she maneuvers through the freshman rites of passage (being vomited on at your first party, finding yourself in random dorm rooms with people who have suddenly become your best friends, etc.) Harrington actually normalizes the absolutely ridiculous things that happen when you allow barely legals to live all together. Current college freshman are bound to find many parallels to what they're currently experiencing, and for those of us whose first year of college seems like a chapter out of another life, this book will transport you back to experiences that you have been telling yourself didn't happen, but actually did, and quite frankly should not have.

-Emma, Macalester College '14