Small Admissions [Book Review & Giveaway]
deliciously funny debut novel about Kate, a young woman unexpectedly thrust
into the cutthroat world of New York City private school admissions as she
attempts to understand city life, human nature, and falling in love.
Despite her innate ambition and Summa Cum Laude
smarts, Kate Pearson has turned into a major slacker. After being
unceremoniously dumped by her handsome, French “almost fiancé,” she abandons
her grad school plans and instead spends her days lolling on the couch,
watching reruns of Sex and the City, and
leaving her apartment only when a dog-walking gig demands it. Her friends don’t
know what to do other than pass tissues and hope for a comeback, while her
practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of, from trapeze
class to therapy to job interviews.
Miraculously, and for reasons no one (least of all
Kate) understands, she manages to land a job in the admissions department at
the prestigious Hudson Day School. In her new position, Kate learns there’s no
time for self-pity or nonsense during the height of the admissions season, or
what her colleagues refer to as “the dark time.” As the process revs up, Kate
meets smart kids who are unlikable, likeable kids who aren’t very smart, and
Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.
Meanwhile, Kate’s sister and her closest friends
find themselves keeping secrets, hiding boyfriends, dropping bombshells, and
fighting each other on how to keep Kate on her feet. On top of it all, her
cranky, oddly charming, and irritatingly handsome downstairs neighbor is more
than he seems. Through every dishy, page-turning twist, it seems that one
person’s happiness leads to another’s misfortune, and suddenly everyone,
including Kate, is looking for a way to turn rejection on its head, using any
means necessary—including the truly unexpected.
entirely sure what I was going in for when I decided to read and review Small Admissions. But I was pretty
pleased and satisfied by the time I finished reading this book. Although it is
centered around a school and the admissions process, it really is about family.
Friendships, love, break ups, recovering from a funk… this book really covers
brilliant character development we get to see from Kate. At the beginning, we
really see her as someone who is hopeless and helpless. I have to admit – I criticized
her a bit for wallowing so much when it came to a break up. A whole year is a
really long time! But we steadily get to see a bit more of the bigger picture
and what truly went on as we get further into the story. I started to blame
Kate less and less. It helped that we were getting to see her beautiful
transformation as well.
were in this novel. We see things from all of their perspectives, and really
get to see their story going in tandems with Kate, even though it might not
really have to do with her story directly. I’m someone who really thinks minor
characters all play their own role, and we really get to see this in the book.
Because indirectly, things that the minor characters do, eventually end up
effecting Kate’s journey and life in certain ways. So it was pretty nice to see
that reflected in the story.
times some of the story is told through letters, emails and correspondence
which was a nice change. I didn’t feel anything particular for that in either
way. There was also quite a lot of point of view switching, which worked at
times and didn’t work at others for me. I really liked to see all the different
perspectives, but it was also a bit of brainwork trying to figure out whose
perspective we were seeing things from after a chapter break.
I was expecting to not be able to appreciate any of the
parts which had to do with the school. I know a bit about running a school
because my mum is a head mistress, so I was prepared. But the author actually
managed to make it interesting, and I found myself strangely invested in what
was happening there. Yeah, it surprised me.
bit. Not because it was boring, necessarily, but because I think Kate reached a
plateau moment in her life and that slowed down the story. It’s the reason I
couldn’t give the book five stars.
Most of all, this book make me think about what it means
to leave things in life behind. Let go, move on. It made me think about
rejection – in the sense of school admissions and from other people. And it
also made me really think about whether there are really bad people in the
world, or just bad mistakes or bad situations that some people can’t handle…
to discuss in books?