I didn't attend a prep school, but I did graduate from Princeton in 1984. The Official Preppy Handbook was spot-on about preps, the Ivys, and their clubs. This book has a few absolutely correct observations, including how girls with long hair put air into their hair (based on observing my own daughter), but they're scattered among a couple hundred pages of poorly organized, redundant, and worst of all, boring material. Buy the wonderful, and still timeless, Take Ivy, instead.
A big disappointment - perhaps it is the passage of time, but I recall Birnbach's original book was much, much better. This book alternates between preachy, vapid and tedious - it is almost like a collection of Wikipedia essays. The characters in this book do not come across as funny or believable - just a bit boring.
After enjoying "The Original Preppy Handbook" so much over the past 30 years, I was disappointed in Mz. Birnbach's new take in "True Prep." Yes, we have cellphones and Polarfleece and gasp! multiculturalism and divorce but her take in TOPH was somewhat sweeter while still being funny. Banana Republic, Vineyard Vines, J.Crew, Hermes and Brooks Brothers DOMINATE the book; only Brooks Brothers has stood the test of time from the original book.
The "Daddy's second (or third) wife, Polarfleece and "death" section seem to be among the few essays that resonated. Flip through this one at the bookstore to skim the limited humorous parts and treasure the TOPH still in your library instead.
The first book was unique and very funny but this one is like a thesis in cell biology: long, tedious, far too granular and frankly too boring to get through. It's focused on the outside not the inside maybe because the authors don't really understand the good and bad that is important and sometimes outrageously ironic and genuinely funny. I guess they needed some book revenue and royalty income but it ain't coming from me: I borrowed one and then sent my pre-order back when it came. Maybe a television "special" would be better if someone good writes it... especially if they are from NYC or Boston and not from La-La Land.
The greatest disappointment I have received in many years! I didn't finish reading the book because it was more autobiography than new informaton about new style and life-style. It was boringly written, holding no one's interest and a total waist of money. By the beginning of chapter three, the book was tossed in the trash.
Don't waste your time or your money, unless, of course, you're related to the authors! They are the only ones who found the material in this book worthy of publishing.