Sunday, September 13, 2009

"An Off Year"

Claire Zulkey is the author of a very short humor book called Girls! Girls! Girls!. She also edits the blog

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, An Off Year, and reported the following:
I had to laugh when I applied the Page 69 Test to An Off Year because it was almost as if my publisher purposefully set the page to be a great representation of what the book is about. An Off Year focuses on Cecily, a girl who finds herself "accidentally" taking a year off between high school and college after she reaches her freshman year dorm room and inexplicably turns around and goes home. She takes the next year trying to figure out a.) why she did that and b.) what comes next. Page 69 takes place in December, which is about when Cecily's father gets sick of her hanging around the house and decides to persuade her to get more serious about deciding where she's going to go back to school, if she chooses to do so. Cecily is lugging around a college guide that she (unhappily) received as a Christmas gift, and to procrastinate, she decides to annoy her crabby older sister Germaine who is watching a movie with her usually-useless boyfriend Conrad. "What are some things that I want in a college?" Cecily wonders aloud, and while Conrad notes that choosing a college is one of the most important steps she'll ever take in her life, he confounds her a bit by also asking "Do you want activism? Do you want to do community service? Do you want to study abroad? Do you want a campus friendly to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered community? A medieval society?" This thereby renews the sense of how overwhelming and yet how absurd the college selection process can be, which is one of Cecily's obstacles during this year off. Of course what also makes page 69 representative of the book is how crazy Germaine and Cecily drive each other but the college thing is a weightier topic (hence why the book is call An Off Year and not My Sucky Sister.)
Learn more about the book and author at Claire Zulkey's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue