Filed under: book reviews, fiction | Tags: anisha lakhani, popular literature, schooled
Despite my recent and ridiculous failure with James Patterson’s Sundays at Tiffany’s, I still could not resist the temptation of an easy pleasure read in the world of popular literature. I found an advanced reading copy of Anisha Lakhani’s Schooled and decided why not? Schooled is the story of Anna Taggert a recent Columbia graduate who opts for a fulfilling career as a middle school teacher rather than pursue a less satisfying mega-money job. She lands a job at a prestigious and private school in Manhattan but quickly finds disappointment resulting from obsolete pay and pushy mothers. Soon after she begins teaching Anna finds herself invited into a world of “tutoring” where Ivy educated graduates do children’s homework and projects for some hefty financial rewards.
I admit that up through the first quarter of Schooled I found it somewhat nauseating and superfluous. The story began to read like an adult landing in the middle of the world of the Gossip Girls. I found Anna Taggert to be oblivious and shallow when it came to her surroundings and above all actually being a teacher. The book is littered with errant remarks from her paranoid, conservative and Republican parents as they criticize Anna for her decision. It is all meant to be humorous and poking fun but I had to roll my eyes.
And then the part of me that loves caramel lattes even though I know coffee isn’t really good for me and the price certainly isn’t and the part of me that drove me to watching a 48-hour marathon of The Real Housewives of the O.C. said: Get off of your high horse. And then I quickly found myself really starting to enjoy this book.
No, Lakhani is not attempting a great capital “L” Literary piece with Schooled, but she has created a charming and entertaining book about Anna Taggert’s reality shock when it comes to life after college, teaching and herself. Not that the book is all fluff, Lakhani teases about “irresistible” reasoning persuading people to act against their beliefs and how difficult it can be to instruct students in an age of increasingly hyped up technology. Much of the cushioning of Schooled is provided through Taggert’s growing attraction to fashion and what becomes a year of shopping sprees thanks to her tutoring money.
Schooled is well-written and I had fun reading it. I’m even looking forward to hearing about Lakhani’s future works.