Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Atria Books, Emily Bestler Books
Publication Date: December 27th 2016
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For fans of The Nanny Diaries and Sophie Kinsella comes a whip-smart and 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.
This book made it onto my radar when it came through in my email and I immediately added it to my review pile. I took my time getting around to reading it but then Grace over at Rebel Mommy Book Blog reviewed the book and I was super excited to start the book and I’m happy to report that I enjoyed it.
Kate Pearson is our main character and the story follows her and the people in her life from her family, her friends and the people she comes across every day at her new job as an admissions director for Hudson, a private school in New York City. After a disastrous relationship, Kate falls into a deep depression that takes her out of commission for a while and when her sister sets up a job interview for her to kick her out of her funk, Kate goes along with it and is surprised when she finds so much more than a new job. She finds a purpose. She finds a new circle of people that come to mean the world to her.
The book follows quite a few different people. There is Kate, of course, but there is also her sister, her friends, her boss and some of the parents that are trying to get their kids into Hudson. This book was fun and it was interesting but I have to note that in the beginning, it was confusing as hell. At least it was for me. I couldn’t figure out why Chloe’s bit was in first person, while everyone else was in third person, including Kate’s bit since Kate is the main character. It was hard to keep everyone sorted in my head but I continued on and was glad for it because everything was sorted and the story really was a good time.
This book has a bit of everything to make it an enjoyable read. Crazy parents, bratty kids, bad friends, well meaning friends, supportive family members and a sister that thought she knew everything but made me want to smack her upside her head from time to time. Every time Victoria thought something bad about Kate, I wanted Kate to come out on top of something else that would drive Vicky crazy. Every time Silvia Blake came onto the scene, my eyes got bigger and bigger waiting to see what shenanigans she’d get herself into. Angela made me roll my eyes all over the place and Chloe frustrated me but I ended up really liking her. There was much to enjoy about this book. It made me laugh, it hurt my heart but in the end, everything worked out and I was entertained.
This was a good book and I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for a fun chick lit book.
About the Author
Amy Poeppel is a graduate of Wellesley College. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she lives with her husband and three sons in New York City, where she worked in the admissions department of an independent school. She workshopped a theatrical version of SMALL ADMISSIONS at the Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit. She later expanded it into a novel.