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Cannonball Read IV: The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein

By kport412 | Book Reviews | September 12, 2012 | Comments ()


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The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein is about a 22-year old girl named Esther who has just graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in theatre. The book describes the life of a post grad in an existentialist-type phase of life. It is June, Esther has just graduated, has no job, and is living with her parents again in the town in which she grew up. She is learning that the world is not everything she had always believed it was. From being used by the boy she thinks she's in love with to being used by the man whose child she babysits, she discovers things aren't like they are in the musicals and plays she loves.

The story begins with Esther moving back into her old house with her parents. She hangs out with friends and smokes marijuana and pops Ativan until her mother gets her a job babysitting for some neighbors. She becomes involved in the lives of the Browns, whose youngest daughter died while they were at a party at Esther's parents' house nearly a year before. She falls in love with their daughter, and becomes a confidant to both Mr. and Mrs. Brown until their life as a family comes apart at the seams.

I adored this book, probably because I am also a 22-year old recent graduate who is also seeking the meaning of life. There were moments of clarity for me while reading the book, and moments of hilarity. The character of Esther has a wonderful personality. It was a very easy read and very relevant to my life. However, I'm not sure how relatable it would be to anyone who is not going through a quarter life crisis. To anyone who is: This book is a must read, if only to understand that you are not alone.

This review is part of the volunteer Cannonball Read IV. Read all about it, and find more of kport412's reviews on the group blog.

(Note: Any revenue generated from purchases made through the amazon.com affiliate links in this review will be donated in entirety to the American Cancer Society.)







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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Alpimp

    I would rather watch "Two and a Half Men" that read this whiny post-adolescent bullshit.

  • dsbs

    Ha, don't I know the feeling. I just turned 25, and despite having two separate degrees (...almost), I still have no clue what I want to do with my life. The quarter life crisis may be trivial in the greater scheme of things, but like so much in life, it sure does suck while you're going through it.

  • OMGLookPanda

    I'm in the same boat. Seems like everyone I know has their plan figured out except me.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I am 36, and still fail to have a plan.

    Some days that works for me. Some days it doesn't. But on the whole, life is still good. Just treat yourself and others nice.

  • BWeaves

    I'm old enough to be your grandmother. There is no meaning to life. You work, so you can afford to push food through a hole in your face, so you can work some more. If you're really lucky, you'll live comfortably and die in your sleep. If you're not so lucky, you live in extreme poverty with ignorance and war on your doorstep. If you're really good, you try to make a difference in the world or someone's life. If you're really bad, you try to grab all you can for yourself, screw everyone else. And all the while, it doesn't matter how old you get, you're still young inside your own head, so remember that when you talk to old people.

  • Captain_Tuttle

    Thanks for the review, and the caveats. Even though I'm firmly ensconced in mid-life (and am old enough to be your mother, missy), it still sounds like a good read. (Oh, and by the way, I'm still looking for the meaning, etc at 42, so don't feel bad if you don't find it right away).

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