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Small Admissions

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  9,026 ratings  ·  1,089 reviews
People’s Book of the Week

The Devil Wears Prada meets Primates of Park Avenue.” —The New York Times

“Perfect for fans of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep.”—Booklist

Top 6 Books You Need to Read—BuzzFeed

Best Books to Give Every Book Lover on Your List—Town and Country

One admission can change your life...forever.

When ambitious grad student Kate Pearson’s handsome French “
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published December 27th 2016 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
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Amy Poeppel Hi! Kate's mother is an anthropologist whose focus is the study of Old Norse and the Viking Age. She appreciates the various foods and cultures of the…moreHi! Kate's mother is an anthropologist whose focus is the study of Old Norse and the Viking Age. She appreciates the various foods and cultures of the world, but especially of Northern Europe/Scandinavia. She loves to use words and phrases in foreign languages, such as German or Finnish, but also of whatever country she happens to be visiting :) This is a habit that works well for comedic fiction!
Tampere has an excellent university, which is why I chose it. (less)
Cassie D Class Mom by Laurie Gelman was a funny and light read too. I liked it.…moreClass Mom by Laurie Gelman was a funny and light read too. I liked it. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,026 ratings  ·  1,089 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Guilty Pleasure. Those are the two words I’d use to describe this book. I stated in my brief, immediate thoughts after finishing this one how I rarely give Chick Lit 5 stars, but I stand by my opinion that this one is worth every star. It might appear similar to many other fluffy, girly, mindless reads out there; I’m not claiming this to be a deep read, but it is different in quite a few ways which I’ll tackle below. This was the perfect beach read, which is why I went ahead and devoured it now ...more
Larry H
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, so I'll round up.

Sometimes after I've read a few fairly heavy or angsty books, I need to metaphorically cleanse my literary palate by reading something a little lighter. It doesn't necessarily have to be a humor book or utter fluff, but every now and then I like to seek out books that are lighter in tone, more straight-forward, something I can enjoy without having to tax my brain or my psyche too hard.

After the last few books I've read, I turned to Amy Poeppel's
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, adult, humor
I would not be surprised if this became a best seller. Maybe not #1 of its genre, but it’s interesting and insightful, since it explores multiple subjects.

With the use of humour.

This is a book particularly for those who are amused/entertained by drama, somewhat ridiculous situations or/and women who like meddling in each other’s lives.

There is Kate, who was dumped by Robert, who is Chloe’s cousin, who is Kate’s best friend who keeps her love life a secret from everyone. Kate is going through a
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Kate Pearson quits graduate school to live in Paris with her French boyfriend, Robert. She is blindsided by Robert as he quickly breaks off the relationship and she ends up moving back to New York City. Kate spends a good part of the year living on her sister’s couch, watching television and barely functioning. Her two friends from college and her sister were doing everything they could to get Kate back on her feet. They eventually find her an apartment to sublet and a dog walking job, in the ...more
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-reads
Small Admissions is an easy read, by turns occasionally smartly observed and amusing, but also thin, never penetrating far beneath the surface layers of its characters and situations. The novel centers around Kate, pulling herself from the despondency caused by a tough break up and academic failure. Kate is the fulcrum, and we orbit around her and the lives of her sister and college friends, and as she accepts a position in admissions at Hudson Day School, the lives of the privileged New York ...more
“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.”

----Steve Maraboli

Amy Poeppel, an American author, has penned a terrific and extremely entertaining debut contemporary fiction novel, Small Admissions that revolves around a fresh young graduate, who after a messy breakup goes into the caveman zone on her couch and with her sweatpants, bags a job offer to work as an admission administrator in a posh private school, but little did this young and intelligent
Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
After her boyfriend breaks up with her, Kate is a mess. She rarely leaves the couch and is doing nothing productive with her life. Her friends are frustrated with how much she’s let herself wallow in the breakup, and want her to get her life back on track. Kate eventually manages to get herself a job interview at a prestigious private school in Manhattan for elementary school aged children.

She ends up getting hired, and her new job is working in admissions. What Kate thinks will be an easy job
Olivia-Savannah  Roach
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wasn’t 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 it all.

What I had to like most about this novel was the brilliant character development we get to see from Kate. At the beginning, we really see
Sep 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
Who the flying fuck even are these people? Everyone involved is the absolute worst or flattened by the absolute worst or precious in a nauseating absolute worst way. It’s one of those status-and-clothes-substituting-for-meaningful character-development books that I hate hate hate and have written too many essays about why I hate to subject you to them again once more but I haaaattteeeee. This doesn’t even pass for a witty satire “but oh so true!” of the Upper East Side, because the writing isn’t ...more
A fun, frothy confection and lightning-fast read, this is ChickLit at its finest. This isn't a book that will likely stick with you for the ages, but neither will you regret the time you've spent with it. And neither will you be distracted by stilted prose here; Poeppel is a fluent, witty writer whose experience as a playwright shows through her lively dialogue, which at times reminded me of an episode of Gilmore Girls mixed with HBO's Girls. The author incorporates emails, texts, and student ...more
Regina Ross
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars rounded down. I just could not get onboard with the structure of this book. It was so jumpy and disjointed, mixing style and tense. The majority was in the third person, with a secondary character having first person narration here and there. And the secondary characters seemed so obsessed with the novel's heroine (using that label makes my eyes roll), that I was almost embarrassed to be part of such a nosy and gossipy gender.

I think the book would have been more successful for me had
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you're in a January slump because of gray skies and rainy weather, or any other reason, get this book in any form. It will brighten your mood, make you laugh out loud, and you'll even shake your head. My library's ebook list was too long so I put a hold on the audio. Wha-la, two days later I received book and it's great! Three friends finishing college, the quiet, studious one meets the handsome, French cousin of one of the other girls, and falls hopelessly in love. So in love, she gives up ...more
Jenni Walsh
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: debutante-ball
I implore you, pour yourself a glass of wine and curl up with this book. Around 10% in is where I started snort laughing into my glass, and probably burned through hundreds of calories smiling and laughing throughout the book. The realizations of the cast of characters, as they each face their own drama, are done so well and each stream of consciousness is simply hysterical. And, my goodness does this book have rhythm. I found myself flying through the pages, reading passages aloud to my ...more
Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
This book started off a bit rocky for me. It was in thethird person which I am not that big of a fan and it was just flat out a little confusing. I am so glad I stuck with it though because I really loved it!

After a devastating break-up, Kate hasn't been able to move on or well, move off her couch. The once smart motivatedSumma Cum Laude has takento Sex and the City reruns and not much else. Her friends and family are at a loss of what to do until her sister helps her get a job in the
Theresa Alan
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Kate has been in a slump since her boyfriend unceremoniously dumped her at the airport in Paris. Instead a new life in a new country, she returns to New York and becomes one with her couch and her sweatpants.

With the encouragement of her sister, Angela, Kate manages to get a job in the admissions office of a private elementary school.

This story is told in part from her friend Chloe’s point of view, and in part through letters and emails from parents who are going out of their minds trying to
MaryannC. Book Freak
A sometimes quirky read about how a young woman named Kate emotionally checks out after being dumped by her French boyfriend and how she finds redemption as an admissions coordinator.
The Lit Bitch
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hello 2017! Even though I read this book in 2016, it’s my first official book review of 2017 and I couldn’t be happier with this new year kick off!

I don’t read a whole lot of chick lit but this book sounded so entertaining and funny that I had to give it a go. I work in education admissions so this book sounded like something I could relate to and I wasn’t wrong. It was cheeky and funny and I really enjoyed Kate as the lead character.

Even though it was told in the third person, I still felt like
Eva • All Books Considered
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted at All Books Considered: 4 STARS

This book was everything that I had hoped Vinegar Girl would be earlier this year. It is laugh-out-loud funny, witty, charming and just fun to read. I really enjoyed this one and seriously empathized with and understood Kate. She is a complex woman with many facets and I think the author did an amazing job with showing her growth. This book also had a few fun elements akin to one of my 2016 favorite, The Boy Is Back in that certain parts
Stephanie Anze
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
After a disastrous break-up Kate, the daughter of two professors, abandons her academic path and spends a year wallowing. Stuck in a deep stupor, Kate rarely leaves her pijamas or the house. When Angela, her sister, meets an overwhelmed admissions director for Hudson (a private New York school) that desperately needs to hire an assistant, she arranges an interview. To everyones surprise, Kate gets the job and is soon introduced to outstanding children and their crazy parents.

While this novel is
Cindy Burnett
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED this book. Small Admissons is so clever and at times side-splittingly hysterical. As I read it and even now several weeks later, I remain amazed that this is Amy Poeppel’s debut novel. The book is that good. While I obviously loved every bit of the book, my two favorite things about it were the characters and the format. Kate, her co-workers and those she encounters on the job, and her friends and family are well-developed and highly entertaining. Having just survived the ...more
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this story! The characters and the topic were something that I could definitely relate to. It was very true about the challenges of getting into private school and how parents will stop at nothing. A lot of funny moments and an overall good read!
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hysterical. Smart. A welcome diversion. Perfect for the summer or if you're looking for something light.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a fun read with added bits of epistolary elements (my fave!). Amy Poeppel adds humor in her dialogue and scenes with such subtlety- can’t think of any other author who does it so well. Yes, some of these characters were completely off the wall, but that just made it more fun. I love stories of admissions departments and can’t wait to read her newest coming this summer.
Dec 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Kate Pearson is going through a rough time. She's been dumped by Robert, her incredibly handsome French boyfriend, and she turned down a spot in her grad school program, so instead of living a dream life in Paris, she's living on the couch, barely able to wash her own hair. Her friend Chloe feels responsible (Robert is her cousin, after all), her friend Vicki is just annoyed (Vicki has no patience for wallowing), and Kate's older sister Angela just wants to fix everything. She connects Kate to a ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free digital copy of this book from Simon&Schuster (ATRIA BOOKS) in exchange for an honest review.

Kate is in a funk after boyfriend dumps her and she's left with no love life, no job, no place to live and basically nothing is working out. Kate's sister Angela eventually pulls her together by getting her a job in the admissions office of a fancy school where Kate soon starts interacting with all manner of kids and parents and realising what she finally wants in life.

This was so
Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate it!

This was a sheer delight.

At first, I didn’t think so at all… I’ll admit. So I urge anyone reading to give this time. Don’t immediately buy into the Kinsella-adjacent marketing. For one thing, Sophie Kinsella’s books are inherently about ‘wacky’ characters (who often do deeply stupid things for which they rarely take true responsibility), and for the most part – romance. This book is not really
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm so lucky Amy Poeppel is a fellow Debutante Ball author and thus I had the opportunity to read an advanced version of Small Admissions.

Poeppel is hilarious. At first I wasn't sure what to make of the novel's characters who lead lives very different from my own (small town Colorado girl out here!), but it didn't take long for me to settle into this story which is full of characters who are as loveable as they are outlandish.

Pro tip: Don't read this book in public unless you want that awkward
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This book isn't my usual taste, but I wanted something light to read while traveling and I picked it up (also the cover is beautiful and I'm absolutely a cover-judger). Had this book been solely about the main character's experience working in admissions at a private school in New York, I would have liked it more. But the author explores more perspectives and plot lines than she needs to. I don't care about Kate's personal life, or her friends, or the breakup funk she was in before she took the ...more
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Small Admissions
Amy Poeppel

What it's all about...

This book was about Kate...and her friends...and their lives! Kate gets dumped at the airport, isn't a good fit for the career she spent her life training for and spends most of her summer living with Stella the Cat, stomping around her sublet apartment, annoying her downstairs neighbor and walking dogs badly. Her sister is frantically worried about her and manages to get her an interview at a NYC private school as an admissions person. This is
Stefan Bachmann
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was endlessly entertaining. I was expecting it to be a bit like Everybody Rise - it's set in the same milieu, sorta, is adult contemporary, is about people who are somehow never in financial difficulty (despite one of them being a dog-walker? With an apartment in Manhattan? How tho. . .) The covers even have the same color-scheme! But they're not really similar. For one, this book is built around the admissions process to an NYC private school. It's also less concerned with being ...more
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Amy Poeppel is the author of the novels MUSICAL CHAIRS (coming July 2020), LIMELIGHT, and SMALL ADMISSIONS. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she lives with her husband and three sons in New York City and Frankfurt, Germany. Her writing has appeared on The Rumpus, The Belladonna Comedy, Mock Mom, and Working Mother.
“Happiness is not a zero-sum game. It's the only case in which the resources are limitless, and in which the rich can get richer at no expense to anyone else. That day in the park, I found it remarkably easy to own my happiness and celebrate Kate's as well.
It's a strange thing, though, how rare, maybe impossible, it is to have everyone you care about thriving at the same time. For a short spell, life seems certain and stable, until something shifts and redistributes, randomly, unpredictably, and when you look around at the new landscape, you see that it's someone else's turn now. You redirect your attention to focus on the friend in need. You hope - you know - they will do the same for you, when your turn comes.”
More quotes…