Sarah Bird’s, The Gap Year, enjoyed nice press in the Dallas Morning News a few weeks ago. Because I was a big fan of her essays in Texas Monthly magazine and owned a few other books of hers, I rushed out to buy this ode to a daughter’s last year in high school. Being in that same place myself I thought it would be timely, what it was was depressing. Not entirely, parts were funny, but overall I find that writers who don’t have much hope, can’t offer much hope. Sadly, it just comes as a reminder to me that there’s a HUGE segment of the population who would read this novel and think this was a positive, optimistic world view–live and let live. Though I admire Sarah BIrd’s turn of phrase and her characters are always spot-on, I can’t tell you this is a book I would whole-heartedly recommend. Wry, yes. Poignant, definitely. Realistic, probably. Satisfying, no.