The rites of passage university novel has always had a certain appeal encompassing, as it invariably does, some interesting group dynamics, sparkling dialogue and escapades that can only be put down to youth. Perhaps I've been around this particular block once too often but this time around, the whole coming-of-age undergrad thing seemed just a little too familiar.
Beautiful setting. Tick.
Difficulty with exams/love life/family/whatever. Tick.
One arrogant ring-leader character. Tick.
Pompous professors/tutors. Tick.
Rampant snobbery/elitism. Tick.
Arcane hobbies/interests. Tick.
Dark back story. Tick.
Burgeoning romantic relationships. Tick.
The fork in the path. Tick.
All are present and correct in Naomi Alderman's book which is nevertheless highly readable and very well written. "We're just there for each other in times of horniness" and "Rosemary - a girl with a nose that was made for dripping" are just a couple of the quotable lines that tickled me. 2:1.