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An Uncommon Education

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Iety leads to an unforgettable series of transformations When Naomi finds herself among the Shakes at Wellesley she finally lets herself embrace the passionate inner self she's always kept locked away But when a sudden scandal unfo. I almost never give a book so few stars because I'm pretty good at anticipating what I'll like and ditching anything I don't after 50 or so pages But An Uncommon Education was a tricky little thing I should have liked it maybe even loved it There's a tiny picture of Shakespeare on the front cover for crying out loud and the heroine was weird compelling unexpected The story began with a fascinating and heartbreaking friendship between two outsiders and continued at a Northeastern Liberal Arts college Sounds tailor made for meMs Percer is a talented writer and goes to great pains to show us that she is awfully awfully clever but this book just did not work It read like a young girl's unedited diary and I don't mean that in a hilarious way The interesting and fun parts of the story involved the youthful friendship between Naomi and her first love a neighbor and kindred spirit As the book and the heroine progress things just fall apart I don't think I'll ever hear the word Wellesley again without rolling my eyes and I'm afraid I have to blame Ms Percer for that Not recommended no matter how much you like smart girls classical literature or coming of age stories

download Ë eBook or Kindle ePUB ¿ Elizabeth Percer

Lds she will be forced to learn the limits of the relationships that have sustained her An intimate and enthralling narrative Elizabeth Percer's debut novel An Uncommon Education marks the emergence of a stunning new literary talen. Also reviewed at Oh Paper PagesAt ALA Annual last year I saw people with copies of An Uncommon Education and I was saddened that I missed out on meeting Elizabeth Percer My disappointment has vanished now that I am able to help celebrate the paperback release of this wonderful book An Uncommon Education tracks the life of Naomi a girl who experiences loneliness and loss so profound that she carries the mark throughout her life When Naomi’s best friend is suddenly ripped from her life she is unable to cope and her unresolved feelings follow her to university Naomi is a wonderful narrator She is consistent believable and real I could hear her voice so strong and so loudly As the story progressed I could hear how her childhood nervousness transformed into careful observations Her mature handling of situations marks Naomi’s development from childhood to adulthood and I was astonished at certain points of the story at how she dealt with surprising revelations The one character that held my attention was Teddy Though we spend uite a bit of time with him at the beginning of the story he hangs on every page like a reluctant cloud His relationship with Naomi is extraordinary and their love for each other is so meaningful that it has become one of the love stories that I will treasure the most They spun around each other like twin flames Too seldom are people fortunate enough to find someone who loves unconditionally and deeply What Elizabeth did with Teddy and Naomi is incredible She did not trivialize young love She gave it power and meaningElizabeth Percer held my heart in her hands and gently sueezed it throughout the story I am the type of reader who will experience events right alongside the characters They become my friends and I love and cherish them With Teddy I felt so dreadfully sad His story unfolds slowly – like a child unwrapping a treasured present – and it is so beautifully written that I felt hopeless and lost How amazing that a writer can convey a story so exuisitely while simultaneously evaporating cheerfulness in the world It is apparent that Elizabeth has a talent of tenderly describing events and unpacking them to show readers how her characters end up I was riveted and I will automatically buy any book that Elizabeth writes She is a talented writer and I am certain that she will receive great admiration for her workI highly recommend An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer It is a lovely story and the writing is perfect Simply perfect

Elizabeth Percer ¿ 3 summary

For fans of Prep Dead Poets Society and Special Topics in Calamity Physics comes an elegant and remarkably insightful coming of age debut in which a young woman's serendipitous discovery of her college's underground Shakespeare Soc. A jumbled mess I was really excited to read this book because of one descriptive sentence The event marks Naomi's introduction to Wellesley's oldest honor society the mysterious Shakespeare Society defined by secret rituals and filled with unconventional passionate students I was disappointed to discover that this book wasn't about a secret society at all those books are like catnip to me but rather a dull coming of age novel with no real plot uneven pacing an unsatisfying conclusion and an annoying protagonist If you enjoy navel gazing self absorbed narration you might like this I however wanted dangerous rituals and secrets and classics majors killing farmers in the woods hee And as a side note the author's habit of ending each chapter with a Very Important Sentence annoyed me I've seen this device used well before but not here It just felt like I was being banged over the head with SYMBOLISM Why I Am A Jew remarkably insightful coming of age debut in which a young woman's serendipitous discovery of her college's underground Shakespeare Soc. A jumbled mess I was Cursed by Darkness (Befallen Tides, really excited to Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders, read this book because of one descriptive sentence The event marks Naomi's introduction to Wellesley's oldest honor society the mysterious Shakespeare Society defined by secret Kick-boxing pour la ligne rituals and filled with unconventional passionate students I was disappointed to discover that this book wasn't about a secret society at all those books are like catnip to me but Firm Abs Flat Stomach rather a dull coming of age novel with no Vacaciones Fatales 2/ Fatal Vacations 2 real plot uneven pacing an unsatisfying conclusion and an annoying protagonist If you enjoy navel gazing self absorbed narration you might like this I however wanted dangerous Living the Eternal Way rituals and secrets and classics majors killing farmers in the woods hee And as a side note the author's habit of ending each chapter with a Very Important Sentence annoyed me I've seen this device used well before but not here It just felt like I was being banged over the head with SYMBOLISM


10 thoughts on “An Uncommon Education

  1. says:

    ugh i don't want to write this review because it's not that the book is bad it just never worked for me there is something so cheeky and earnest about this book but it's like an amish girl going on her rumspringa not that she's trying to be gritty or shocking at all but it just feels wrong somehow tentative like she is trying to write dramatic irony way out of her depth without realizing iti feel like the author is probably a really really good person she just isn't great at writing charactersand i feel just awful writing a bad review for this book it feels like slapping something sincere in the face she knows a lot about wellesley she did go there after all and that part shows but she doesn't know how to make a reader believe in her characters it is boring to read a character who is this emotionally cauterized who seems to never do the things that a normal human would do in her various situations but it doesn't seem to be a conscious choice on the part of the writer like she is trying to explore this element of damage and retreat and decision making as a conseuence of growth or adulthood there is no art to the writingfor example naomi plays laertes in her production of hamlet fine but the obvious choice would have been to make her hamlet and to have her offstage life mirror that character's own difficulties with confrontation and inaction blah blah blah and it is totally creative writing 101 amateur hour stuff but it would have at least given some substance to the novel but percer never makes that potentially rewarding comparison naomi is not uite a hamlet who wrestles with her choices she simply drifts into making the laziest choices possible she has no agency at all view spoilerwhy does she never actually try to go see teddy again?? he is just whoosh out of her thoughts for years and years why doesn't she try to remove the mask from her seducer?? why doesn't she talk about the things she needs to talk about with her mother and father? she just waits for decisions to be made for her by the passing of time drifting to the scene of her next conflict never taking charge of her own life hide spoiler


  2. says:

    This is a beautiful novel sort of Leif Enger meets Willa Cather with a pinch of Donna Tartt's The Secret History thrown in It's also not at all what I expected I wanted to read it because much of the story takes place at my alma mater Wellesley I also love coming of age tales I guess I expected somethingless exuisite? It's hard to explain Basically I expected something good something solid something that I would adore because of the Wellesley connection but not something that I would talk about endlessly to anyone who will listen which happens maybe once every few years In short this lovely evocative novel totally took me by surpriseI really love how Naomi's coming of age is a long and winding road with all sorts of wrong turns and dead ends We all have events in our lives that define us and shape who we are but for Naomi these events come off as infinitely indelible and profound There is one thing involving her family in the very beginning of the book and then something else involving a close friend several years later It makes perfect sense that these events make Naomi who she is at least until she goes off to Wellesley and then something starts to shift She begins to define herself not in relation to the people around her but as her own person Not in terms of the things that have happened to her but in terms of the choices she makes for herself This is a magical moment in anyone's life I think and Elizabeth Percer so perfectly captures this process of self realization in the very setting I experienced it myself that it takes my breath away It's murky it's confusing it's heartbreaking and intoxicating and scary as hell It makes no sense and it makes all the sense in the world I also love that this is the most important thing Naomi takes away from Wellesley Her 'education' is about 1 part academic and 9 parts everything else yet another thing I identify with and suspect a lot of people doThe actual story is compelling too of course and delightfully written I laughed I cried I paused at times a finger absently marking my place smiling to myself and staring at the wall and thinking of nothing and everything all at once It's possible I'm biased and that the book means to me than it will to the average reader who didn't come of age in the same place and in much the same way as the protagonist but I'm inclined to think that this truly is a bit of magic I'm also famously sentimental so take this all with a grain of salt


  3. says:

    A jumbled mess I was really excited to read this book because of one descriptive sentence The event marks Naomi's introduction to Wellesley's oldest honor society the mysterious Shakespeare Society defined by secret rituals and filled with unconventional passionate students I was disappointed to discover that this book wasn't about a secret society at all those books are like catnip to me but rather a dull coming of age novel with no real plot uneven pacing an unsatisfying conclusion and an annoying protagonist If you enjoy navel gazing self absorbed narration you might like this I however wanted dangerous rituals and secrets and classics majors killing farmers in the woods hee And as a side note the author's habit of ending each chapter with a Very Important Sentence annoyed me I've seen this device used well before but not here It just felt like I was being banged over the head with SYMBOLISM


  4. says:

    I almost never give a book so few stars because I'm pretty good at anticipating what I'll like and ditching anything I don't after 50 or so pages But An Uncommon Education was a tricky little thing I should have liked it maybe even loved it There's a tiny picture of Shakespeare on the front cover for crying out loud and the heroine was weird compelling unexpected The story began with a fascinating and heartbreaking friendship between two outsiders and continued at a Northeastern Liberal Arts college Sounds tailor made for meMs Percer is a talented writer and goes to great pains to show us that she is awfully awfully clever but this book just did not work It read like a young girl's unedited diary and I don't mean that in a hilarious way The interesting and fun parts of the story involved the youthful friendship between Naomi and her first love a neighbor and kindred spirit As the book and the heroine progress things just fall apart I don't think I'll ever hear the word Wellesley again without rolling my eyes and I'm afraid I have to blame Ms Percer for that Not recommended no matter how much you like smart girls classical literature or coming of age stories


  5. says:

    First off I think that this writer has a lot of talent The language that she uses and the sentence structure are all great I just didn't like the story or the charactersWe start off with Naomi Feinstein as a child who is the apple of her father's eye He makes an extra effort with her as her mother suffers from depression Her mother spends most of her time alone as she doesn't want her moods to affect her daughter Of course the removal of her mother from most situations affects NaomiNaomi and her father spend a lot of time at the historical home of Rose Kennedy Her father admires Rose Kennedy immensely and wonders what her life might have been like had it been common then for women to obtain positions of power He doesn't want his daughter to suffer the same fate and encourages her to realize her dream of becoming a doctor by attending WellesleyI couldn't help but compare this book to another book about an all girls school Commencement by J Courtney Sullivan I didn't care for that one either Look I know that teens and young adults are supposed to be angsty but very few people in my teenageyoung adult years didn't laugh and smile at least some of the timeThe idea of a secret Shakespeare Society could have been so much fun than it was made to be Instead it proves to add to the girls' intense mood swings and seems to be a darker version of any sorority than any I've knownThere wasn't anyone to root for in this book other than Jun who seems to be kind to most people yet suffers an assassination of character against which she chooses not to fight I understand her reasons why her Japanese culture would not allow her to exist with honor as she truly is but it seems as though the bad guy wins no matter whatOverall I would skip The storyline tries too hard to create something that just isn't there


  6. says:

    Things I loathed about this book1 The plot ranges from nonexistent to stupid When I finished the book my only reaction was what exactly was the point of that?2 On almost every page I wanted to yell no one would ever do that andor no one would ever talk like that ESPECIALLY a college student Suspension of disbelief not achieved3 The writing is cringeworthy like when an author thinks she's saying something REALLY insightful so it's kind of sneaky and you're like oh maybe this is good writing but then 30 seconds later you're like most of these words are cliches and the rest of them don't mean anything4 The characters are so poorly drawn that their motivations are impossible to understand because they are unrecognizable as actual human beingsI could go on but I'll save it for book club I wish I could get back the week of my life that I spent reading this


  7. says:

    This is a wonderfully written book about what it means to grow up and find yourself despite how hard and non linear and unexpected that process can be This book is also the first one I've ever read about a place and time that I actually experienced as the author is a fellow Shakespeare Society member from Wellesley College who overlapped for one year with me This made the book even enjoyable for me to read as it instantly brought me back to that time in my life which much like the book was full of new experiences and friendships and drama both on and off the stage Elizabeth clearly has gift in capturing the emotions of her characters and allowing us to feel them as well and as such I highly recommend her book


  8. says:

    An Uncommon Education is a wonderful coming of age storyToo often in life I will hear someone say “All my problems will be over once” something happens The teenager thinks going to college will change them; the college kid thinks a real job with a paycheck will the young employee thinks marriage then children then empty nester retirement and so on The real truth about life is we never get rid of our problems rather we just trade them in for new ones The only constructive thing a person can do at any sage of life is to address their problems head on and befriend them It is through this you can find some sort of peace Naomi Fienstein is a young woman severely troubled by life A disinterested mother and a secretive father beset with ill health When her father has a heart attack right in front of her she decides that she can fix this She will dedicate her life to medicine specifically to the heart But her problems mount at school as she is without friends a social outcast who is picked on Her first love the neighbor boy suddenly moves away and she is left alone She deals with the loneliness by literally running away from it; taking to the streets to run Eventually life will be better when she gets to college her problems left behind When meeting her freshman roommate her father comments how she is Naomi from down the street symbolically demonstrating that for all her running all her planning she has yet to travel very far Because at the end of the day her life is still with her Her dad does not open up about his past her mother does not magically change into a caring person and she still spends most of her time at the library An Uncommon Education is a wonderful coming of age story It shows a young woman who is forced to see herself for who she really is and to stop letting others define her Be that her father her peers or the mentors in her life The turning point in her life is her inclusion into Wellesley’s oldest college group the Shakes A college club but definitely not a sorority dedicated to the works of William Shakespeare She is immediately pressed into playing Laertes in Hamlet Much like her Laertes is a child who acts against his own interests when he will not look at the whole picture the truth of the situation He continues down the path created by his father and King Claudius until ultimately all is lost Fortunately Naomi springs to life from this role finally making true friends making an ever so small connection with her father and finally experiencing life on its own terms An Uncommon Education is a fantastic look at growing up a child breaking free of their own limitations and finding happiness in their situation Befriending her problems and turning them into opportunities


  9. says:

    Also reviewed at Oh Paper PagesAt ALA Annual last year I saw people with copies of An Uncommon Education and I was saddened that I missed out on meeting Elizabeth Percer My disappointment has vanished now that I am able to help celebrate the paperback release of this wonderful book An Uncommon Education tracks the life of Naomi a girl who experiences loneliness and loss so profound that she carries the mark throughout her life When Naomi’s best friend is suddenly ripped from her life she is unable to cope and her unresolved feelings follow her to university Naomi is a wonderful narrator She is consistent believable and real I could hear her voice so strong and so loudly As the story progressed I could hear how her childhood nervousness transformed into careful observations Her mature handling of situations marks Naomi’s development from childhood to adulthood and I was astonished at certain points of the story at how she dealt with surprising revelations The one character that held my attention was Teddy Though we spend uite a bit of time with him at the beginning of the story he hangs on every page like a reluctant cloud His relationship with Naomi is extraordinary and their love for each other is so meaningful that it has become one of the love stories that I will treasure the most They spun around each other like twin flames Too seldom are people fortunate enough to find someone who loves unconditionally and deeply What Elizabeth did with Teddy and Naomi is incredible She did not trivialize young love She gave it power and meaningElizabeth Percer held my heart in her hands and gently sueezed it throughout the story I am the type of reader who will experience events right alongside the characters They become my friends and I love and cherish them With Teddy I felt so dreadfully sad His story unfolds slowly – like a child unwrapping a treasured present – and it is so beautifully written that I felt hopeless and lost How amazing that a writer can convey a story so exuisitely while simultaneously evaporating cheerfulness in the world It is apparent that Elizabeth has a talent of tenderly describing events and unpacking them to show readers how her characters end up I was riveted and I will automatically buy any book that Elizabeth writes She is a talented writer and I am certain that she will receive great admiration for her workI highly recommend An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer It is a lovely story and the writing is perfect Simply perfect


  10. says:

    Most people who don't love An Uncommon Education say that the book was slow to start and that the first half dragged I seemed to have the opposite reaction I thought that An Uncommon Education was amazing and compelling at the beginning yet seemed to meander along throughout the last half It's just that learning about Naomi's life was great at first but after a while I noticed that there wasn't much going on in her life that could have kept me engaged throughout the whole novelI loved reading about Naomi's goals and ambitions and related to her immensely So I loved reading about all her and her father's aspirations to get into Wellesley However once she got there she didn't do much At first I thought Okay well once she gets into the Shakes clearly that's going to change and the book is going to get as engaging as it was in the beginning Well that didn't happen Not much happened once Naomi was in the Shakes or at least nothing too interesting There was just so very little plot in this book Don't get me wrong I love character development and coming of age novels I'm a YA fan extraordinare I just felt like Naomi changed which I didn't have a problem with people change when they go to college that's normal While I didn't have a problem with her change I just felt like there was very little cause for it One minute she was who she was at the beginning the next she did a bit of a 180 but there weren't enough events that happened to back that change upSo I thought that An Uncommon Education was just an okay novel The beginning was superb and engaging but towards the end it just lost it's footing The book as a whole was magnificently written but I just expected from it I felt a bit let down at the 'blah' ending and I wanted to know about the Shakes which seemed to be the only interesting thing that happened after Naomi left for college If you want to read An Uncommon Education I'd suggest maybe check it out from the library


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