Arabella's Reviews > The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids

The Overachievers by Alexandra Robbins
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's review
Aug 20, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: anthropology

Wow - this book brings the pressure facing kids so much to life that it made me feel stressed just reading it. Much of the book traces the lives of half a dozen teenagers over the course of a year, and it's interlaced with fascinating discussion about the sources and impacts of the pressure to overachieve.

I did find it hard to remember which kid was which, as several of them didn't really seem distinct enough to warrant their own focus. I am also not sure that Robbins' argument about these pressures being a recent phenomenon holds water - after all, she admits to being an "overachiever" in this way when she herself was a teenager ten years previously, and I certainly felt much of the same parental and school pressure to excel at everything all the time in order to get into the 'right' college when I was in high school... back in the deep dark days of the 1980s.

Regardless, it is an interesting and thought-provoking book that is easy to read.

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