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For all the college seniors, it’s difficult to grasp that fact that graduation is already upon us. For most, that means saying goodbye to stability and hello to the real world. Author Leigh Stein captures this uncertainty in her latest novel, The Fallback Plan.
The Fallback Plan is about a Northwestern graduate, Esther, who leaves college without a job and is forced to move back in with her parents. Worst case scenario, right? Esther spends her days with her two guy friends Jack and Pickle smoking pot, watching movies and crushing on Jack who already has a girlfriend (of course). Esther’s mom lines her up with a babysitting job for the summer with their neighbors, Amy and Nate, who are parents to 4-year-old May. Esther dreads it, then suddenly realizes she enjoys hanging out with May more than anybody that summer. Then, out of nowhere, Amy goes crazy and Nate turns to Esther for advice on his unraveling marriage. Oh and throw in the fact that Esther has flings with both Jack and Nate, and you have a pretty crazy story. The plot lines are all over the place, and most of the loose ends never get tied up. The story as a whole is pretty anti-climatic; it seems as if you spend the entire book just reading about Esther’s day-to-day life, which makes for a somewhat boring read. We never know what happens to her, such as if she ever moves out of her parents’ house and/or gets a job.
Although I didn’t care for the story, it is a super fast read at just 219 pages. For college grads who want to count their blessings and see what their lives could have been, read this book. Otherwise, it remains an average-at-best debut novel.
The Fallback Plan
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Release date: Jan. 3, 2012
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