Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Privilege” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.61  ·  Rating details ·  85 ratings  ·  34 reviews
From the beloved author of When You Read This, a smart, sharply observed novel about gender and class on a contemporary Southern college campus in the spirit of The Female Persuasion and Prep.

Carter University: The Harvard of the South.

Annie Stoddard was the smartest girl in her small public high school in Georgia, but now that shes at Carter, it feels like shes got
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 10th 2020 by Harper
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Privilege, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Privilege

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  85 ratings  ·  34 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Privilege
Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)
Let's be real: the reason I'm most excited/curious about this one is that I went to Vanderbilt, often referred to as the "Harvard of the South," which is exactly how they describe the fictional university this book takes place at. And Vandy had a lot of problems that are eerily similar to the ones mentioned in the blurb, which are too often glossed over by the administration and the general public. I hope this novel can bring some of those to light.

I'm. So. Excited. (Might be a while before I
Bruna Oliveira
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for providing the digital copy in exchange for an honest opinion.

Rating: 3.5/5

In this book we three different points of view: Annie Stoddard, a nice girl who was lucky enough to get a scholarship in a prestigious school called Carter University, considered "The Harvard of the South", then Bea Powers, a biracial student who is part of Carter's Justice Scholars program, and finally, Stayja York who is not a student at Carter, but works in a coffee shop in there,
Jan 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
PRIVILEGE is a solid book about campus life, the Me Too movement, and how sexual assault in a school setting affects young women. It's handled with a lightness, though, which makes it easy to read (though perhaps that isn't always the best thing). I enjoyed the book, but there are many other books like this one that I would recommend first, unfortunately. The book, like the subject matter, can often be messy but it is still a worthwhile read especially for the characters and how the book is ...more
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second my eyes scanned the cover of this book, I was intrigued. They say Never judge a book by its cover, but dang am I glad I did, as the cover drew me in.

The story in this novel is nothing we havent heard before: privileged male breaks the law and privileged male gets a slap on the wrist, and privileged male never needs to learn his lesson bc he never understands he is doing anything wrong. The story Adkins weaves is simplistic and straightforward. The depth and weight of the story is so
Paris (parisperusing)
What a ruthless, dispiriting story about the innumerable concessions white men are given to lay claim to whatever and whoever they want. And with limitless impunity at that. I thoroughly enjoyed Privilege and Mary Adkins certainly knows how to strike an emotional chord with the way she nuances the myriad injustices her characters face sexually, emotionally, and systemically.

However, by the book's ending, I was still a bit unsatisfied with the moral direction of the one primary person of color,
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty slower starter, but it definitely went somewhere once it got going. Don't be put off by my shitty metaphor, this is worth reading
Kayla Mckinney
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
In Privilege, Mary Adkins creates a complex and thoughtful tale about how the ways in which money, talent, race, gender, and violence impact our lives. The novel focuses on the lives of several students who cross paths because of an assault. Each of these students faces relevant and timely pressures such as: trying to live up to a legacy of success, grief/mourning, the influence of powerful and unscrupulous advisors, and financial woes. The book also makes the daring choice to alternate first ...more
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Looking back, I can't help but see us as a family that sought to save one another from ourselves. We aspired to be safer than we were."

In PRIVILEGE, Mary Adkins brings the campus novel for the "me too" era. Told from three perspectives, it follows the Fall semester in which a student is accused of sexually assaulting the protagonist but, as in life, events are not as tidy as justice would like them to be.

Annie is a second year student from a small town on a music scholarship to the elite Carter
Amanda Yates
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow is all I can say. It looks like a skin deep book after the first few chapters but it is so much more. Its a true make you think, make you feel story. ...more
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review to come
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full disclosure: Mary was my husband's student at Duke, and I produced her first play in New York. She is a friend, as well as a very talented writer.

That being said, PRIVILEGE stands as a wonderful novel in its own right. Set at Carter University, the "the Harvard of the South," (which sounds just a wee bit like Duke), PRIVILEGE follows three women during the course of two semesters when their lives are upended. Annie, new and slightly socially awkward, goes to her first fraternity party, gets
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Privilege is a novel that tackles power dynamics in a fictional university through the perspectives of three young women on campus. Annie is a scholarship student who is sexually assaulted by Tyler, a privileged student from a well-connected family. Bea is a biracial scholarship student who becomes Tyler's student advocate while trying to establish her understanding of justice and identity. Stayja, an aspiring nurse, develops a relationship with Tyler while she works on campus, struggling to ...more
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This was a timely book about assault and privilege and campus culture and power dynamics. It followed three college-aged women who were all connected to the same campus - and the same boy on that campus: a musician who has two dates with a guy before reporting him for sexual assault, a well-off student interested in criminal justice who serves as the guy's student advocate for the assault case, and a non-student who works on campus and later is romantically involved with the same guy. It ...more
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Privilege starts out, as do the lives of many new college students, as bright and hopeful, with two young women looking forward to their new lives at Carter University,"The Harvard of the South." But then we get to the story of a third woman, who, instead of attending Carter, works at its student union, and the reader starts to realize there are a lot of things hidden behind the scenes of this beautiful campus. When a sexual assault gets swept under the proverbial rug, these three women ...more
Kathleen Gray
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a timely and topical novel of what can happen when there is an allegation of sexual assault on a private college campus. Narrated by three young women- Annie, Bea, and Stayja- it explores how different women can view the same charge differently. Carter is a school of privilege, as is Annie and she's the one who makes the charge against Tyler. Bea, at the school as a Justice Scholar, finds herself Tyler's advocate as the school adjudicates his case. Stayja, not a student but a barista at ...more
Rachel Sawdy
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper for an ARC of Privilege! In this book, Adkins deftly follows the lives of three women on campus and the aftermath when one accuses a man on campus of rape. The novel intertwines issues of media, campus assault, police response, privilege, and more while remaining relatively light to read.

I enjoyed the way in which the differing perspectives brought in the complexities of what happens following a rape on a college campus. There were moments where the timeline
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-mt-bookpile
Three similar-sounding POVs, two students at Carter University and one a worker there, whose lives intertwine around possible rape accusation. Some of the issues around the rape were well-handled, including the question "was this a rape?" (and if so, why a second date?); privilege and power are also depicted with a degree of skill. Where this falls down is that the university is based on a real one but is given a pseudonym, while one character goes to Miss Porter's School and gets important ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very timely novel in the age of #MeToo. I loved how the 3 different narratives were connected and how Adkins drew you into those connections.
I love her use of articles, texts, reports, etc. mixed with the prose. It adds a depth to the novel and gives the story another dimension.

Adkins has wriiten an important story dealing with sexual misconduct that presents several points of view. It shows impact on everyone involved in such cases. This book will surely generate conversation and will make
Three women find themselves on various sides of a campus rape case. Annie, Bea and Stayja see first hand where privilege on the Carter campus can get you.

Everyone is invested in different people, and you see how their perspectives are shaped by their own connections. A book on sexual assault, the #MeToo movement, campus politics, bureaucracy, and privilege.

Easy to read style, some proper harrowing moments, characters you root for.
Chris Markley
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Set on the campus of a private university this story explores the experiences of 3 women and their relationship with a man of privilege. It look at the consequences of actions and if they are different depending on your 'family. Will you be believed if you are a woman? Powerful and a topic that needs to be discussed.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for providing an ARC for my honest review.
Steve Mckinney
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was fascinated by this book from the beginning. the writing style is excellent written from the prospective of three young women. I only wish there were more books written this way. Their stories are both entertaining an eye opening. I would encourage anyone to read it as it is well worth the time.
Annie is a fascinating young woman. Thanks to goodreads and Mary Adkins
This book was just ok. A story of college, an alleged rape. The story is told in alternate voices. I was very excited to receive this book, but I had to push myself to finish it. The book drags too much. Not the best. Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for the arc of this book in return for my honest review. Receiving the book in this manner had no bearing on this review.
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
3.5 stars. If I hadnt read Chanel Millers Know My Name last year, I probably would have given this more stars. Even though I thought the author did a great job writing their stories down to every detail I couldnt connect to the characters.

Im going to go back to read her first book because I like her style.
Vicki Gollnisch
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is extremely well written. Sexual assault is very real on College campuses. I was intrigued by the characters and the different points of view. Enlightening! You will definitely be drawn in!
This book was definitely an eye-opener. It was about 3 different women, whose lives were affected by one man. It showed me how some people are treated, based on their "importance, " or lack thereof..
Trigger warning: rape
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
its our pupils that fool us,
blocking whats too bright
for our wide-eyed souls.
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous structure
Love a great campus story and this was super smart

Loved how the lives of the young women overlapped!
Mairi Byatt
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great if horrifying read, and very relevant today.
Maggie Marshall
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Believable characters within intertwined plot. Pacing good, situation compelling and relevant.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • After the Flood
  • Anna K
  • My Dark Vanessa
  • In Five Years
  • The Antidote For Everything
  • The Honey-Don't List
  • Nothing to See Here
  • Dead to Her
  • Followers
  • The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club, #1)
  • All Adults Here
  • Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women, #1)
  • Twenty-one Truths About Love
  • Real Men Knit
  • In the Dream House
  • The Hopefuls
  • The Sea of Lost Girls
  • We Wish You Luck
See similar books…

Related Articles

"Stay calm and read on" might be our collective slogan for the coming months. Since we all might need some help with that, we asked Goodreads m...
142 likes · 144 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »