Book Review: Commencement


Wow, I haven’t done a book review since October.  I’ve been off my game.  Truth be told, I picked a stinker of a book to read after the last review.  And I spent weeks battling myself internally as to whether I should muddle my way through the book.  The answer is NO.  If you’re not into a book after 50 pages…just move on!  There’s too many great books in the world to force yourself to read it.

So, then I tried another book.  And it was worse!  But I stopped trying with that one after about 40 pages.

After 2 duds, I knew what I needed to get back in the reading routine…..CHICK LIT.  Sometimes, a chick lit book is the perfect thing to breeze through and get excited about reading again.

Commencement by J Courtney Sullivan

Commencement is the story of 4 girls entering their freshman year at Smith College.  It follows the 4 friends through college and until the age of about 26.  Celia is the aspiring writer, lapsed Catholic, and always feeling that she’s just not quite good enough.  Bree is the Southern Belle, who is already engaged when coming to Smith but whose life takes another course.  April is the ultra-women’s liberation advocate.  Sally is the wounded soul who just lost her mother to cancer before coming to Smith.

Each chapter of the book is told by the point of view of a different girl.  I have always loved this form of writing.  I feel you get to know the characters better this way.  And you also get to know how the characters feel about each other through this method of writing.

Since the setting is Smith College (where the author graduated from as well), it’s, of course, very much centered around women.  At one point in the book, they quote Mary Poppins:  “Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they’re rather stupid.”  Love that quote!

One of the quotes on the back of the book says the book is:  a beach book for smart women.  (Entertainment Weekly)
So, I shouldn’t have been too surprised to find that the author added all these heavy topics into the book:  date rape, affairs, families not accepting one’s sexual orientation, and the biggest WHAT?! of them all:  American child sex trafficking.  I think that the author should have written a few books with her ideas since of throwing them altogether into one.  But the last 2 chapters of the book were great….especially the last chapter, I did NOT see that coming!!

You’re intrigued now, right??  😉

And finally, one of my favorite parts of the book.  (I don’t think I’m spoiling it by revealing there is a baby involved.  I’m not saying who or when or anything!)

“Listen, I want an enema,” she said, “It’s part of my birthing plan back home…  Call my doctor there if you don’t believe me.”
The nurse smiled.  “It’s not that I don’t believe you, dear,” she said.  “It’s just not our policy to give enemas.”
“Honey, why do you want an enema in the first place.”
“So I don’t take a big poop on the table while I’m giving birth!!”


3.5 stars out of 5