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Acceptance by Susan Coll


by Susan Coll

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129793,299 (3.19)14
  1. 00
    Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  2. 00
    The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids by Alexandra Robbins (DDay)
    DDay: Non-fiction look at overacheiver high school students applying for college in Montgomery County, Maryland

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This book started out like gang busters. I was completely sucked in and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. But somewhere around the halfway mark it just slowed down and petered out. I don't really understand why it happened - given the way that it is written is naturally geared towards a crescendo as the acceptance letters near - but nevertheless it just went limp for me.

It was a fine read - I wouldn't go out of my way to read it though. ( )
  alanna1122 | Aug 10, 2010 |
Reviewed by Mrs. Foley
Follows the lives of three high school juniors--Taylor, Maya, and Harry--as they apply to a number of colleges and cope with the pressures of their teachers and parents, and an admissions advisor, Olivia, who struggles to sift through applications after her university was accidentally placed ona list of the top fifty schools in the country. - from library catalog record

I read this for our facutly book club meeting. Our theme was humor and although I would call this satirical, I hesitate to say it is humorous (at least by most people's definition). I did enjoy reading it eventually...it took awhile for me to get interested. Anyone dealing with students who are trying to get into the "Ivies" for college or students who overstress about college acceptance might want to read it. Then again...maybe not!

Review from School Library Journal:
This book follows a handful of high school students throughout the year leading up to their graduation. It is a harrowing and hilarious story told from the points of view of the teens and their families as they navigate the maze leading to the holy grail of acceptance by a major university. Coll celebrates and skewers the people and the politics waged on both sides of the application process as the students pick their dream colleges and these institutions either pick them back or toss them onto the scrap heap of second- and third-tier safety schools. The characters evolve through their trials and learn about themselves and one another and accept the loss of one dream while embracing another. They include Harry, a scarily normal overachiever; Maya, the talented but seemingly least gifted of a wealthy Indian family; and Taylor, a girl teetering on the verge of self-abuse or self-discovery. These are teens who come from fairly affluent families and schools. They are treated with respect and love by the author, and readers will return the favor. YAs interested in the college selection process will find this book illuminating as they see in it their own fears acted out and resolved. It reads a bit like a Stephen King novel minus the horrific ending. ( )
  hickmanmc | Mar 12, 2010 |
Although college is many, many years behind me, when I came across an old review of this book I was enchanted with the character AP Harry. I immediately went to my kindle and purchased Admission (oops). I was several chapters in (and completely engrossed) before the I realized AP Harry would not be making an appearance.

Frankly, Admission with its focus on Yale admission officer Portia is the better book. Acceptance is engrossing in many ways, but ultimately fails because it focuses on far too many characters.

You have the afore mentioned AP Harry and his concerned mother Grace. Emotional trainwreck Taylor and her pushy mother Nina. Sweet and confused Maya with her unrealistic parents. And Olivia a college admissions officer at Yates a college that all three students briefly visit, but only two apply to (and only one really even cared about).

The inclusion of Olivia and the unrealistic straights the university suddenly finds itself in (sued by a native american tribe and suddenly without litigation insurance due to a vacation by a senile lawyer) detracted seriously from the novel.

I'm also am not a fan of "cutting" as the new teenage angst and whenever I see it am reminded of painfully bad fanfiction. I loved however the whole mail thing, more so because my own mail service is unreliable at best. ( )
  woodsathome | Sep 21, 2009 |
I guess this was funny... in a completely stressful way. I thought it was interesting to see the college admission process through so many points of view and it made me realize that 1) I'm really glad not to be in high school anymore; 2) while I was worried about where to go to college, there were other people worrying on my behalf; and 3) the cycle continues when you have kids of your own. ( )
  libraryLHR | Jul 5, 2008 |
Although it got off to a clunky start, I loved this book...it brought me back to the college admissions process (14 or 15 years ago, eek!) which, oddly enough, I thoroughly enjoyed at the time. It makes a great subject for a satire, especially with the growing competitiveness and insanity of the application process. At first, the characters seemed like types (a problem I also had with Tom Perrotta's The Abstinence Teacher, a similar book in style and subject matter), then they became more developed and rounded, and I thought the blurb on the back of the book -- "A satire with heart" -- was true.

Characters included Olivia Sheraton (an ice-queen admissions officer who melts a little bit by the end), AP Harry (the miraculously obsessive student bent on getting into Harvard), Maya (the genial and attractive Indian swimmer, probably the most well-adjusted of them all), and Taylor (The Bell Jar-loving, vaguely Goth mail hoarder). ( )
  bearette24 | Jan 19, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374237190, Hardcover)

A comic chronicle of a year in the life in the college admissions cycle.
It's spring break of junior year and the college admissions hysteria is setting in. "AP" Harry (so named for the unprecedented number of advanced placement courses he has taken) and his mother take a detour from his first choice, Harvard, to visit Yates, a liberal arts school in the Northeast that is enjoying a surge in popularity as a result of a statistical error that landed it on the top-fifty list of the U.S. News & World Report rankings. There, on Yates's dilapidated grounds, Harry runs into two of his classmates from Verona High, an elite public school in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There's Maya Kaluantharana, a gifted athlete whose mediocre SAT scores so alarm her family that they declare her learning disabled, and Taylor Rockefeller, Harry's brooding neighbor, who just wants a good look at the dormitory bathrooms.

With the human spirit of Tom Perrotta and the engaging honesty of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, Susan Coll reveals the frantic world of college admissions, where kids recalibrate their GPAs based on daily quizzes, families relocate to enhance the chance for Ivy League slots, and everyone is looking for the formula for admittance. Meanwhile, Yates admissions officer Olivia Sheraton sifts through applications looking for something--anything--to distinguish one applicant from the next. For all, the price of admission requires compromise; for a few, the ordeal blossoms into an unexpected journey of discovery.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:41 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"As Acceptance opens, "AP Harry" (so named for the unprecedented number of AP courses he's taken) and his mother take a detour from his first choice, Harvard, to visit Yates University, a small liberal arts school that's enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to a statistical error that landed it on U.S. News & World Report's list of top colleges. There, on Yates's dilapidated grounds, Harry runs into two of his classmates from Verona High, an elite public school in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Maya Kaluantharana is a gifted athlete whose mediocre SAT scores so alarm her family that they declare her learning disabled. Taylor Rockefeller, Harry's brooding neighbor, just wants a good look at the dormitory bathrooms. Together, the three students (and their parents) will weather the storms of senior year."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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