Judith's Reviews > Admission

Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz
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's review
Jul 14, 2010

really liked it

I have always wondered about the people who have to make the decisions about who gets into ivy league schools. What must they be thinking? However do they make their decisions when they have so many fantastic candidates? How do they know (or even suspect) which applicants are writing their own essays and which ones have "help"? This novel, though obviously fiction, covers this territory beautifully.

The author mirrors the reflection of a whole generation of helicopter parents who start with Mozart in the womb and go all the way trying to do the exactly correct thing to facilitate their child/children's passage into adulthood including that gold ring which is acceptance at a good (if not ivy league) college. I could see myself in many of these descriptions, and this author exposes every objection you have ever thought or imagined as to the unfairness of the process. I remember hearing at one time in California that state schools had a numerical system whereby the applicants were assigned a number based on how they were raised, going from the lowest number (1) for a kid with 2 parents who both had advanced degrees up to a 50 for a kid who was an orphan, with every variation in between. The higher numbered kids were said to have top priority all other things being equal and I wondered whether my son would be better off if I divorced my husband. As it happened, my son was accepted into an ivy league school ( and my marriage still in tact ). Maybe that's why this book pulled me in so much.

I think I would have enjoyed it even if I had no children because it offers a view behind the curtain and who doesn't like that?

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