Sometimes, graduating college can be more:
Especially when your job prospects are looking bleak. So what do you do when you are graduated, 22, and with no job in sight? Move in with your parents, of course.
That's where The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein takes off. Esther Kohler has just moved back in with her parents after graduating from Northwestern with a degree in theater. Her only hope is to get a not-too-damaging chronic illness to garner checks from the government, and extra sympathy from her loved ones. To fill in the time between looking for jobs, and helping her mother with crafts, she hangs out with her friend Pickle, and her unrequited high school love, Adam. Her summer plans for illness and hanging out take a turn when her mother sets her up to nanny for a young couple, Nate and Amy, and their four year old daughter May.
May's baby sister just died six months before, and Esther is gripped with curiosity over the death of the baby, and how their household seems so unaffected by the baby's death. As she grows closer to May, she becomes a shoulder to lean on for Amy, and a listening ear for Nate, she finds out maybe more than she wanted to know in the first place. Esther's relationships get thrown for a loop, and she battles long standing inner demons, and escapes to the world of a screenplay she thinks about writing, a Narnia-esque tale involving pandas.
One of the things that made this book so enjoyable was the characters. I felt something for every single one. Esther's dialogue with her parents was hilarious and realistic. Her relationship with Adam was a true-to-life rocky and awkward 'are we or aren't we?' one. I felt for Amy and Nate. And I fell in love with May just as much as Esther did.
The Fallback Plan was also crazy hilarious, and I related to it very much, as I'm due to graduate in two months with a degree in the arts and the future freaks me out. There were parts where I called my mom to laugh and say, 'THAT'S SO ME!'
Oh, and if you love the show Girls on HBO, this will make you feel better about having to wait however-many-months for Season 3 :)
Rating: 4.5 / 5