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Kate Pearson is about to discover just how far moneyed Manhattanites will go to get their children into the most prestigious private school.

A devastating breakup has left Kate’s life in a shambles. She finds herself back home in New York with no fiance and no job. By sheer luck, she lands a position as an admissions officer at the elite Hudson Day School, where she evaluates middle school applicants and their parents. Kate meets the typical cast of admit-lit characters: the spoiled underachiever, the too-perfect braggart, the charming scholarship candidate, and, of course, the crazy parents. With one notable exception, they do exactly what readers of this genre have come to expect: pressure, bully, throw tantrums, and threaten to sue when things don’t go their way. Debut novelist Poeppel delivers some fun and entertaining moments but fails to offer anything fresh or insightful in her tales from the admissions-committee room. Since the author worked in the admissions office at an elite prep school herself, readers might expect she would have more material on which to base her fictional tale. Aside from one point of high drama at the end, though, this book lacks the punch one hopes for in this genre. Diluting the novel's potency further is a supporting cast of Kate’s family and friends from outside the admissions world, none of whom is particularly compelling.

Passing grade, though not top of the class.

Pub Date: Dec. 27th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5011-2252-1
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Emily Bestler/Atria
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2016


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