Sunday, August 30, 2009

An Off Year by Claire Zulkey
Cecily has always done everything as she was supposed to: taken the right classes, gotten the right grades, applied to the right colleges. But after a lifetime of following the rules, she surprises everyone by arriving for her freshman year of college . . . and turning around. There are infinite possibilities for Cecily’s unexpected gap year. She could volunteer, or travel around the world—but, for now, Cecily is content to do absolutely nothing. What follows is a year of snarkily observed self-doubt and self discovery during which Cecily must ask herself, for the first time, what does she really want to do with her life?

I knew right away when I read the blurb for this book it was made for me. And I was so happy that once I was done reading it that it provided exactly what I was looking for. For me the story was very realistic and relatable. I sort of unknowingly took a year off after I graduated from college and literally did nothing (I watched so many repeats of Scrubs they actual started repeating back to ones I had seen that same year!). I know that some people might have problems reading a story about a girl that really doesn't do anything for a year but for me it was so honest and real. It really made me think back on that time in my life.

I feel like this book could help a lot of people that are thinking about college or what's next for them in their life. Cecily takes the time to think whereas most of us just go onto college and do it because we think that's what we are supposed to do. Whereas for some reason Cecily stops herself and decides she's not ready. I think the characters in the book from Cecily's therapist to her career counselor to her friends all help make the point that most of us don't know what we are doing and are faking it until we make it. Just knowing that I think can make it easier for people.

I really liked the range of secondary characters in the book from Cecily's older sister who is just finding a job after college and trying to avoid Cecily to her father that feels helpless but wants to help her, to her brother and his girlfriend and Cecily's friends she feels like she's growing apart from. The all helped Cecily understand something about herself and helped her grow.

Because of my personal connection to this book, for me it was something special. I hope others can recognize themselves or someone they know in this book as well and get something out of it.

An Off Year is released September 3rd!
Genre: Young Adult
4/5 Stars
ARC provided by publisher


  1. This book sounds really interesting - I'm adding it to my TBR list! Thanks!

  2. Adding this to my tbr list now! I think this could be something I'd really like and find useful. Thanks for reviewing this!

  3. As somebody who leaves for college at the end of this year (EEP!) I'm definitely going to add this to my wishlist/TBR pile.

  4. The book sounds so good and I'm all about those bunny slippers!

  5. This sounds like a book I would like. Nice review!


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