It’s time to wrap up the questions for Commencement! I finished it on Wednesday. You can see everyone else’s answers to the questions by clicking on the button.
1. What parts of the book could you most relate to? Least relate?
There were some parts I could relate to, but I was mostly struck by parts that I couldn’t relate to. The parts I could relate to were mostly Sally and Celia. Sally because she is the first of her friends to get married and struggles to balance her friends and her relationship. Celia because she is kind of the “every woman” character who you can relate to whether or not you’ve lived her experiences.
I couldn’t relate to a lot of the girls’ college experience. Some of it was similar, but I think going to an all-girls school is a really different environment, even though most of my friends at college are girls.
What I most could not relate to was April’s projects with Ronnie, or ever liking someone like Ronnie. I tend to push extreme people like that away, so to become so absorbed with someone like that struck me as really off-balance. But I liked April’s story when it got really exciting at the end.
2. If the author were to write another novel that followed one of the girls onto her next step of life, which one would you want it to be about? Whose story would you want to follow more of?
At first when I finished the book, I was really happy with the ending. I read a review on Goodreads where someone said they wanted to throw the book at a wall when they were done, so I was pleasantly surprised that everything turned out fine. But after letting it sit with me a few days, I really wished that they had included some sort of epilogue. Even though the parts about Bree weren’t my favorite, I would say that her story was left the most unresolved. Does her family ever accept her relationship, or does she just break ties with them? That’s what I was most curious about. I also would have liked to know more about what happened to Celia.
3. What surprised you the most about this book?
I really wasn’t expecting April to be alive at the end of the book. I also was surprised that it just ended with her finding her friends in the hospital without resolving anything else about April’s problems. I was pleasantly surprised that everything turned out well with Sally and Jake, I thought they might have been hinting that things would go south at the end of part 1.
Going back to part 1, the biggest and most obvious surprise was when Bree started her relationship with Lara. I went to college under similar circumstances as Bree (long term relationship, strong family ties, etc.) so for her to make that abrupt life change was kind of shocking to me. But, once I got over it, I really started to enjoy reading about her troubles in a lesbian relationship. Some of the issues that were brought up had never even occurred to me, so I felt like reading about Bree was kind of eye-opening.
4. Which character did you look forward to reading about the most?
I looked forward to Celia and Sally’s sections the most. But I really liked how Sullivan used the characters sections to tell about the other characters. The format of the book kind of reminded me of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series with the way the chapters were broken up, but I liked how major revelations about characters happened from the perspective of one of the friends. I thought it added some nice depth to their relationships.
5. Did this book meet your expectations?
When I read the summary of the book, I thought it was basically Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, college-style. That was clearly not the case. However, once I got into the book I was really glad I stuck with it. It wasn’t my favorite book ever, but it was entertaining and I feel like I got something out of it.