Psych Major Syndrome
I haven’t read much this summer. I haven’t been slumping, I’ve been busy, but somehow the habit of not reading snuck up on me. I needed something light and entertaining to ease myself back in, and Psych Major Syndrome was a good choice.
Leigh Nolan is a freshman at a laissez faire liberal arts school that allows you to create your own study of coursework. She has chosen Psychology as her major because she’s fairly addicted to studying behavior, analyzing it and overanalyzing it. This has not helped much in her relationship with Andrew, the guy she’s been dating since high school (but sees pretty infrequently now they’re at college) and whom she still hasn’t slept with. It also doesn’t help her understand the confusing behavior of Andrew’s hot roommate, Nathan.
One of the things I enjoyed about this book was the setting. YA books set in high school are de rigueur, but young adulthood doesn’t end with that June graduation. In many ways college is a more challenging environment, at the same time more free and less safe. Leigh’s reactions to her artistic roommate, her bitchy TA, and a competitive student in her field ring true. As did the juxtaposition of Leigh’s observant nature and her general cluelessness. You think you know so much at that age. No, you know you do.
The romantic set-up here is a love triangle, which is not my favorite, but to make up for it, there’s a lovely hero, both gallant and kind. I would have wished for a little more time in his head, but the first person point of view limits that.
I’ve labeled the sensuality here “Kisses,” but Leigh spends a lot of time thinking about sex and whether or not she should have it with Andrew. To fulfill part of her coursework ambitions Leigh gets roped into mentoring a group of at risk girls, and teen sex is discussed at length. Leigh’s mentee is younger and more sexually experienced than she is, and Leigh gets into trouble when she leads a frank discussion about these girls’ choices, including abortion.
Psych Major Syndrome was an enjoyable book with a likable heroine, a good accomplishment for a first-time author. I will keep Thompson on my radar in future.