The Gap Year

The Gap Year From the widely praised author of The Yokota Officers Club and The Flamenco Academy a novel as hilarious as it is heartbreaking about a single mom and her seventeen year old daughter learning how to

  • Title: The Gap Year
  • Author: Sarah Bird
  • ISBN: 9780307592798
  • Page: 461
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Gap Year

    From the widely praised author of The Yokota Officers Club and The Flamenco Academy, a novel as hilarious as it is heartbreaking about a single mom and her seventeen year old daughter learning how to let go in that precarious moment before college empties the nest In The Gap Year, told with perfect pitch from both points of view, we meet Cam Lightsey, lactation consultanFrom the widely praised author of The Yokota Officers Club and The Flamenco Academy, a novel as hilarious as it is heartbreaking about a single mom and her seventeen year old daughter learning how to let go in that precarious moment before college empties the nest In The Gap Year, told with perfect pitch from both points of view, we meet Cam Lightsey, lactation consultant extraordinaire, a divorc e still secretly carrying a torch for the ex who dumped her, a suburban misfit who s given up her rebel dreams so her only child can get a good education We also learn the secrets of Aubrey Lightsey, tired of being the dutiful, grade grubbing band geek, ready to explode from wanting her real life to begin, trying to figure out love with boys weaned on Internet porn.When Aubrey meets Tyler Moldenhauer, football idol sex god with a dangerous past, the fuse is lit Late bloomer Aubrey metastasizes into Cam s worst silent, sullen teen nightmare, a girl with zero interest in college Worse, on the sly Aubrey s in touch with her father, who left when she was two to join a celebrity ridden nutball cult.As the novel unfolds with humor, edge of your seat suspense, and penetrating insights about love in the twenty first century the dreams of daughter, mother, and father chart an inevitable, but perhaps not fatal, collision .

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      Published :2019-02-12T18:50:55+00:00

    One thought on “The Gap Year

    1. Sarah Bird

      This was my therapy book. I wrote it to help myself understand all the strange symptoms I experienced around the time my only child left for college. Real Estate Regret was a big one. I'd drive around town imagining all the vastly better lives we could have had if we'd lived in different neighborhoods and gone to different schools. Very odd. But writing "The Gap Year" did help me so, for that, I give it five stars.

    2. Kristin Strong

      After skimming a few of the reviews of this book on , I think I may have read it with a different focus than some other readers. Maybe it's because I'm the mother of a tween daughter who one day (too soon for me, probably!) will begin to think about her future in very concrete terms, and, less theoretically than she does now, about the type of human being and woman she wants to become. The divergence of a mother's and daughter's ideas about these vital topics was the core of the book for me.I en [...]

    3. Lori Anaple

      Things would be so much simpler if these silly teens would just tell their mothers and/or fathers about what is going on in their lives! I get that you want independence, but Come ON! With the serious shit that Tyler is living he would appreciate the fact that Cam would totally dote on him too! But nooooo, the girl is afraid to bring the clanger down on the plan. The mother would just blow a nut. No way could this woman ever understand. I bet she would have. Especially if Aubry would just talk t [...]

    4. Diane Wilkes

      I remember picking up THE BOYFRIEND SCHOOL one night when I was sick. It held my attention despite my severe intestinal pain and I read it until I was finished. I have read it multiple times and it is in my top five books of all time. I read all of Bird's other published books (ALAMO HOUSE, THE MOMMY CLUB) and as each one came out, I read them all--except THE FLAMENCO ACADEMY, which I just could not get into. Until HOW PERFECT IS THAT came out, I thought her books were getting progressively wors [...]

    5. Carol

      I struggled to get through this one, and it almost ended up in the DNF pile several times along the way. I just didn't like Cam, the mom, at all. She was so clueless. I know that that was an essential part to the story, but it annoyed me. Plus the writing felt like the author was just trying too hard to write something funny / creative / witty / poignant, and it came off as forced and ineffective. I didn't understand the inclusion of all the irrelevant details around her job as a lactation consu [...]

    6. Amanda

      Dreams. Growing up. Relationships. Food Trucks. Cults. Secrets. Lactation Coaches. Decision-making.I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed this tale of a mother-daughter relationship, told from both point-of-views. Told in a non-linear fashion, you learn about a mother and daughter trying to deal with their relationship, as well as forming new ones with others. Really well done as even with tension between the characters you really felt for both Aubrey and Cam, no matter what they were doing to each [...]

    7. Tracie

      Many things about this book rubbed me the wrong way and I will chalk that up to personal persnicketiness, but I have one major beef: why wouldn't Aubrey let her mother meet her boyfriend? As long as girls have been choosing their own dates, they have been introducing overbearing, annoying, embarrassing parents to guys who understand that this is just part of the ritual - and in this case, that simple introduction would have opened a line of communication that might have prevented all the unhappi [...]

    8. Chris

      A lot of this hit very close to home, as I an the mother of a 17 year old band geek, but luckily she's proud of it and so far has not developed a rebellious streak. I could really relate to the second about the bittersweet feeling of our beloved children growing up, and questioning the choices we have made in raising them. Loved it.

    9. Estelle

      Originally reviewed on Rather Be Reading BlogOnce in awhile I am lucky enough to read a book I cannot stop thinking about. I want to send carrier pigeons and take out an ad on TV just to inform people of its pure genius. After reading over 90 books so far this year, The Gap Year easily fits in my Top 5 of 2011.First, writing style – Bird alternates chapters between Mom (Cam) at present day and daughter (Aubrey) exactly a year before. The imagery is crisp and the sentence structure flows perfec [...]

    10. Heather

      I'm having trouble rating this book. Three stars seems too low, but four too high. I enjoyed it, the writing was solid, but it didn't blow me away. This story centers around Cam, a lactation consultant and single mother and her daughter, Aubrey. The author allows each character to tell their story by alternating chapters in their own voice. Cam's story is in the present, while Aubrey's story is one year prior. The story centers around Aubrey's senior year of high school and her mom wanting her t [...]

    11. Amy

      My review for Library Journal:Traditionally, a gap year is a year taken by a young adult after secondary school and before starting college. However, in Bird’s latest novel, the title alludes to the break in a mother-daughter relationship during the daughter’s senior year of high school. Single mom Camilla feels her daughter, Aubrey, beginning to pull away from her, especially after Aubrey embarks on a romance with classmate Tyler. Add in the sudden reappearance of Aubrey’s father, who yea [...]

    12. Catherine

      Lactation consultant, single mother, and judgmental control freak Cam struggles with her daughter Aubrey’s emotional distance during her last year at home. The story alternates between the beginning of Aubrey’s senior year of high school (2009) and the days just prior to her scheduled departure to college (2010), and between mother’s and daughter’s points of view. Band geek Aubrey has an awkward meeting with football star Tyler, which leads to friendship and then romance. Aubrey lies to [...]

    13. Lauren Fidler

      i am on the fence with this one.Bird's novel moves back and forth between Cam (the crazy mother) in the present and Aubrey (the bitch daughter) in the past. We get Cam trying to get her daughter to pick up some trust fund money left to her by her father before he joined a Scientology-esque cult named "Next" (don't worry, assholic, abandoning daddy comes back later on). Aubrey is explaining to us how she met Tyler, who appears to be a cross between every role Brad Pitt has ever played, the star f [...]

    14. Brian

      Good Girl HS student Audrey meets a seemingly bad boy, and her mom gets upset in this novel of alternating viewpoints. The mom is a nurse who helps new mothers learn to breast feed. Her best friend Dori is estranged from her daughter Twyla. And the mother, Cam, doesn't talk to her ex husband, who has joined a cult and not spoken to his daughter. The book's perspectives also take place in different time periods. I started reading this and was drawn into it at first, but I was very busy this week [...]

    15. Sherry

      I saw this book in a copy of Book Page I picked up at my local library and I was excited to read it. Maybe I set my initial hopes too high.I thought this book was okay. I kept thinking maybe something more exciting was going to happen, so I kept reading. From my perspective nothing overly exciting does happen. This is definitely more of a slice of life type of book. The writing itself was pretty good. I could easily picture the characters and their surroundings.I would probably not recommend thi [...]

    16. rubywednesday

      I feel like this could have great appeal to a very specific subsection of society (wealthy western women with grown children?) but it didn't do much for me. There was too much navel-gazing, too much trying to clever when it wasn't that clever, and nobody learned anything! nobody grew! it was just pointlessso, i found it impossible to believe anyone would be playing football at that level without knowing their real age.

    17. Heather

      I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. What is interesting to me is how I could identify with the mother (as the parent of a teenage daughter) and yet still have these intense flashbacks of being on the cusp of adulthood and would then find myself identifying with the daughter. There were elements to the story that made me roll my eyes, but the core story kept me interested.

    18. Heidi

      This was a decent book, but I feel like it could have and should have been better. Neither main character was particularly likable. The daughter also wasn't particularly well developed as a character. Neither her relationship with her father nor the one with her boyfriend was ever really explained. It seemed like it was conflict, conflict jump to happy ending with no real path there.

    19. Linda

      Even though, I did finish this book and it got better as the story progressed, I wasn't enthralled with this book.The mother was way too high strung, the daughter was being a normal teenager but shutting her mother out, and the friend was funny.I thought the story was going to be about the year between high school and college but it is not.

    20. Karen

      You know how sometimes you read the right book at the right time - this is that book. Just as my girls head off to university, I read this novel about a mother and her daughter, who not only pushes her away, falls in love with the high school football hero, starts communicating with the guy who left them both, but treats her poor mom with a combination of eye-rolling and a total and complete lack of empathy. Wow , makes you appreciate what you have! Even if they are leaving, at least the heartbr [...]

    21. Tori

      I will preface this with the fact that I'm a 40-something mom of 2 daughters. However, I wanted to gauge eyes out at the mom chapters. There's a part when Aubrey talks about how some moms never really realize that their child is not an extension of them. Cam is annoying, lacks self-esteem, still pines for a man who left her 16 years ago, snoops in her daughter's room and generally tries to run her child's life. It was excruciating. 5 straight for Aubrey. 1 for Cam.

    22. Cathy

      The plot was interesting but I didn't really like most of the characters. Not sure if they were too real and I just prefer a bit of airbrushing in my fictional characters or if they were too one-sidedly shown in their selfish, whining, petulant guises. I almost didn't finish halfway through but wanted to figure out Tyler's character.

    23. Christianne

      I kept getting frustrated with both of the characters in this book. Aubrey isn't fair to her mother, and her mother isn't really trying to talk to her daughter. I suppose that's par for the course with teenagers and their parents, but it felt a bit off here.

    24. Sarah Thurber-fiorenza

      Mothers and daughters, The Mommy Wars, cults, and football as religion in the South. What's not to love?

    25. Apallant

      Thoroughly enjoy this writer. Good brain candy. It is a senior year in high school story of single mother and daughter as they navigate separation. Funny, sweet, light read.

    26. Nancy

      The Gap Year was an interesting read and addressed some of the obstacles an empty nester, in particular, a single mother sending her one and only daughter off into the wide world of college. The book is written in alternating POV between mother and daughter. Not only is the writing style and attitude different, but so is the font which is wonderful for the visual reader. The book addresses a common practice of taking a year off of school before starting college which I had two problems with: a) [...]

    27. Maddi Hausmann

      I really enjoyed this novel, from the viewpoint of a single mom of a recent high school graduate, and the daughter while she is still experiencing her senior year. Sarah Bird did a terrific job with the lagged viewpoint of the daughter, and one of the book's strengths is Bird's ability to reframe our expectations again and again from both the viewpoint change and the time difference. The mother is Cam, a lactation consultant whose husband abandoned her to a Scientology-like cult, and she is deal [...]

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