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From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes an of-the-moment novel that peeks inside the private lives of the hypercompetitive and the hyperprivileged and takes on the college admissions bribery scandal that rocked the country. It's good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer. She's headed off to the college of her dreams. She's going to prom with the boy s From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes an of-the-moment novel that peeks inside the private lives of the hypercompetitive and the hyperprivileged and takes on the college admissions bribery scandal that rocked the country. It's good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer. She's headed off to the college of her dreams. She's going to prom with the boy she's had a crush on since middle school. Her best friend always has her back, and her mom, a B-list Hollywood celebrity, may finally be on her way to the B+ list. It's good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer--at least, it was, until the FBI came knocking on her front door, guns at the ready, and her future went up in smoke. Now her mother is under arrest in a massive college admissions bribery scandal. Chloe, too, might be facing charges, and even time behind bars. The public is furious, the press is rabid, and the US attorney is out for blood. As she loses everything she's long taken for granted, Chloe must reckon not only with the truth of what happened, but also with the examination of her own guilt. Why did her parents think the only way for her to succeed was to cheat for her? What did she know, and when did she know it? And perhaps most importantly, what does it mean to be complicit?


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From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes an of-the-moment novel that peeks inside the private lives of the hypercompetitive and the hyperprivileged and takes on the college admissions bribery scandal that rocked the country. It's good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer. She's headed off to the college of her dreams. She's going to prom with the boy s From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes an of-the-moment novel that peeks inside the private lives of the hypercompetitive and the hyperprivileged and takes on the college admissions bribery scandal that rocked the country. It's good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer. She's headed off to the college of her dreams. She's going to prom with the boy she's had a crush on since middle school. Her best friend always has her back, and her mom, a B-list Hollywood celebrity, may finally be on her way to the B+ list. It's good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer--at least, it was, until the FBI came knocking on her front door, guns at the ready, and her future went up in smoke. Now her mother is under arrest in a massive college admissions bribery scandal. Chloe, too, might be facing charges, and even time behind bars. The public is furious, the press is rabid, and the US attorney is out for blood. As she loses everything she's long taken for granted, Chloe must reckon not only with the truth of what happened, but also with the examination of her own guilt. Why did her parents think the only way for her to succeed was to cheat for her? What did she know, and when did she know it? And perhaps most importantly, what does it mean to be complicit?

30 review for Admission

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Are you supposed to review your own book? I don't know? I'm probably supposed to play it cool, right? But here's the thing: I've never learned how to play it cool. I only know how to play it honest and a little too earnest. So the unvarnished truth: I love this book. (Also true, I might be a bit biased.) I loved writing this book. (This is a hard fact.) And, perhaps most of all, I very much hope you love this book even half as much as I do. Because if you did that would be very, very cool. Are you supposed to review your own book? I don't know? I'm probably supposed to play it cool, right? But here's the thing: I've never learned how to play it cool. I only know how to play it honest and a little too earnest. So the unvarnished truth: I love this book. (Also true, I might be a bit biased.) I loved writing this book. (This is a hard fact.) And, perhaps most of all, I very much hope you love this book even half as much as I do. Because if you did that would be very, very cool.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    This is my record time of reading: My hands were glued to my e-reader and my mind is already conquered with the family scandal. I was truly book thirsty wild literature animal and I was invested from the beginning. When I read the plot about: college admissions bribery scandal and B- lister Hollywood celebrity Joy Field’s arresting: I think I’m reading a story about Lori Loughlin’s trial case. There are too many things in the book are similar with the actress’ real life story including being B This is my record time of reading: My hands were glued to my e-reader and my mind is already conquered with the family scandal. I was truly book thirsty wild literature animal and I was invested from the beginning. When I read the plot about: college admissions bribery scandal and B- lister Hollywood celebrity Joy Field’s arresting: I think I’m reading a story about Lori Loughlin’s trial case. There are too many things in the book are similar with the actress’ real life story including being B minus Hollywood star but after her sitcom’s remaking on Netflix, she got a chance to be B plus lister. And just like Lori Loughlin: Joy gets sacked from Netflix and Hallmark. She has two daughters just like Lori and she pleaded guilty just like Lori did. ( confession: when I first read the book, Laughlin was pleading not guilty but two weeks later I finished the book: she changed her mind as her lawyers advised her which brought out more real life similarities with the book’s character) I’m not gonna tell you if Joy follow the same path: You gotta read this impressively intense, perfectly developed family drama going between now and then to tell how their life changed and how they face the consequences of the mistakes they’ve made. First of all: this book is not written to judge a wealthy family who cheat their way to reach their goals and using their white privilege notoriously to get what they never deserve. I’m one of the people who got really mad after reading the stories about the real scandal, 33 parents’ accusation of paying more than $25 million between 2011 and 2018 to William Rick Singer. As like the real scandal; our heroine Chloe Wynn Berringer’s college application essay was rewritten and her photographs were photoshopped and doctored and of course her score was inflated. So many young people work too hard to reach their dreams to get a proper education at elite colleges with little financial resources and push too hard to get a scholarship including Chloe’s best friend Shola’s story who is coming from immigrated Nigerian middle class family. The author chose a real provocative and thought-provoking subject. It’s so challenging to tell a story about one of the most unlikable family (when you consider there are so many similarities with the real life characters) but interestingly you find yourself root for the characters of the book and you start to see the events from their perspective. Chloe is mediocre, privileged girl who still doesn’t find her passion or her goal for her life surrounded by A-grader, high achiever friend Shola, intelligent and ambitious, perfectionist sister Isla and golden boy of the school Levi. When everyone around her shines with their highly impressive achievements and big life purposes, detailed future plans, she starts getting more lost and insecure. And of course she doesn’t want her family to be embarrassed by her lack of competitive skills but even though she’s working harder and do everything to get a better SAT score, she gets more panicked and her score is getting lower at her each try. When her mother finds a special consultant called himself: “doctor” and arranged some other place in West Hollywood for taking the test, she doesn’t question her motives. She knows her mother is competitive, ambitious and hard-worker women who wants best for her kid. And when the test result came showing 200 points higher than her last one she thought there might be some mistake and she tried to tell several people including school consultant but as she sees her mother’s hopeful face and listening to her friends’ motivational speeches, she stops questioning further. She suspects something fishy going around but it was too late to admit her doubts to someone when FBI bangs their door and handcuffs her mom in front of their neighbors and army of paparazzis. Throughout my reading I mostly liked Isla: one year younger sister of Chloe: the smartest, most mature and practical member of the family even though she is the youngest one and the effects of scandal in her life. Her efforts to bring the family back to face the realities and her harsh but realistic methods to help her sister were well-written. I loved the sisters’ quirky ways of communication and of course I enjoyed the conclusion of the story. Overall: I had amazing time and I enjoyed the well-developed characterization and intriguing, fast, remarkable pace of the story. I normally give four stars but I’m adding half more and rounding 4.5 to 5 because the brave subject choice and incredible story-telling skills of the author. Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s/Delacorte Press for sharing this remarkable ARC with me in exchange my honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest Like other pretentious people on the internet, one of my favorite things to do is watch TED talks. That was how I found out about Jon Ronson and his many fascinating discussions on internet shaming. The video I watched was called How one tweet can ruin your life , but he also has a book about the subject as well, and it's all about the pile-on effects of internet vigilantism and how a single misstep can result in devastating consequen Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest Like other pretentious people on the internet, one of my favorite things to do is watch TED talks. That was how I found out about Jon Ronson and his many fascinating discussions on internet shaming. The video I watched was called How one tweet can ruin your life , but he also has a book about the subject as well, and it's all about the pile-on effects of internet vigilantism and how a single misstep can result in devastating consequences for a person, even if their intentions weren't necessarily evil or bad. I thought about that video a lot while reading ADMISSION, which is a VERY direct parallel to the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal that was all over the news just last year. Our heroine, Chloe, is a rich girl who, apart from her mom's celebrity and her fabulous wealth, is painfully average and ordinary. Not exactly the type of person colleges fall over to admit in other words-- especially since, as Chloe herself whines a handful of times-- her parents aren't rich-rich, just really well off, so it's not like they can afford to donate a library wing to guarantee her admission. Her parents can do other things with their money to help, though, like private tutors, special doctor's notes to give her exemptions to take her SAT tests in private, consultants, and so much more. Chloe basically just accepts it all as her due, while whining about all the work and how she's just not smart enough, so nobody is really more surprised than she is when she scores a 1440 on the SAT and gets accepted into SCC. Because as it turns out, her parents-- but especially her mom-- did some very shady things to get that score and that admission. Things that cheated the system and probably ensured that someone who was actually deserving and did put in the extra mile work to get there didn't get accepted. And because of her mother's fame, and Chloe's own blithe, ignorant privilege, people are mad, and the other people involved in the scandal feel the need to backtrack and cover their tracks to prevent getting painted with the same brush. Her admission is revoked, her best friend and boyfriend won't talk to her and refuse to see her, she can't go to school because it is no longer safe, and people have turned her into an ugly meme online while baying for her mother to go to prison. I think it's always interesting when an author chooses to make an unsympathetic character the narrator of the book and I thought about Jon Ronson's video a lot because I think it does beg the question: how should people talk about things like this? In this book, Chloe has no idea about what her parents are doing, but she's still blind to her own privilege, griping about how her boyfriend has a touching cancer story to put in his college essay and assuming her Nigerian friend will get in anywhere she wants just because she's Black and different. She doesn't realize how offensive she's being, and everything else is so easy for her that real work just seems to send up immediate mental blocks, because it's like she's just never had to flex those muscles before, so she can't really summon up the motivation to really try. Unlike some of the people Jon Ronson talks about in his talks, I don't think Chloe is guiltless and it's really hard to muster up much pity for her because she does go about so totally up in her own universe. But she isn't an evil person and neither is her mother, and I don't think the author made too many apologies for people in these kinds of situations (which was my primary concern when I heard about this book). This book is a pretty good cautionary tale about self-entitlement and privilege, while also showing how toxic mob justice can be (even if that isn't the primary message). It doesn't have a total HEA but to be honest, that is probably best. Since Chloe is the villain of her own story, it doesn't really seem fitting for her to end the book walking off in the sunset when she's only really just started out on her own path to redemption. I'm giving this four stars because it's well written and the story is very dramatic and as hard to look away from as a train wreck, but the CONSTANT flips from "then" to "now" weren't really that well done in places, especially in the beginning, where it felt very choppy. I also didn't like the romance between Chloe and Levi much at all. I stayed away from some of this author's other works because I don't typically get on with fluffy YA romances, seeing as how I am neither a young adult or a fan of fluff, and the way their relationship was written out makes me think that's probably wise. I'll be back if she writes more timely dramas, though. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! 4 to 4.5 stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    I think that Admission missed out on a lot of opportunities to offer a complex and nuanced - and, ultimately, more interesting, in my opinion - story based on the 2019 Admissions scandal, instead becoming a fairly basic examination of rich girl privilege. There were a lot of ways the author could have approached Chloe's story. She could have explored the suffocating experience of having your parents micromanage your life, believing in your own capabilities so little that they resort to buying you I think that Admission missed out on a lot of opportunities to offer a complex and nuanced - and, ultimately, more interesting, in my opinion - story based on the 2019 Admissions scandal, instead becoming a fairly basic examination of rich girl privilege. There were a lot of ways the author could have approached Chloe's story. She could have explored the suffocating experience of having your parents micromanage your life, believing in your own capabilities so little that they resort to buying you opportunities. She could have considered the role of class mobility in Chloe's particular case-- how her mother clawed her way up from nothing, working her ass off and taking hits along the way, so that now she will do anything to give her daughter an easier life. What Buxbaum did, however, was write a fairly cliched tale of a rich white girl learning a lesson about her own privilege. A lesson that comes with the loss of her best friend-- a hardworking scholarship student who is black-- who herself feels a bit like a one-dimensional learning tool who exists only for Chloe to see the error of her ways. Such a story was not interesting to me. Chloe felt like a cardboard character. Flat, lifeless, stuck in a stupid rich girl cliche. Considering that she was by far the most developed character in the book, this didn't make it easy for me to connect emotionally with anyone. It is also not very well-paced or plotted. The "Now" of the book is far more interesting than the "Then" chapters, which feel like filler, showing Chloe chatting with friends, worrying about her future, and developing a lackluster romance with a boy at school (seriously, why is he even in there?). I guess if you are part of the 1% and have a "spare" fridge just for storing bottled water and still can't figure out why everyone hates that your parents' donations secured your place at university... then, this book might be the lesson you need. I found it didactic and, for the most part, uninteresting.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    3 stars 

 Admission is a story about a high school senior named Chloe. Chloe has a somewhat famous mother, a great dad, and is living her best life in a lot of ways. She finally has the attention of her long time crush, and she has a great best friend. If it wasn’t for the pressure of her college applications, she’d have it made. Chloe isn’t the best student, and it looks like all of her dream schools are out of reach. Her mom hires an admission coach to help her get into the college of her drea 3 stars 

 Admission is a story about a high school senior named Chloe. Chloe has a somewhat famous mother, a great dad, and is living her best life in a lot of ways. She finally has the attention of her long time crush, and she has a great best friend. If it wasn’t for the pressure of her college applications, she’d have it made. Chloe isn’t the best student, and it looks like all of her dream schools are out of reach. Her mom hires an admission coach to help her get into the college of her dreams. Well, it works because Chloe gets in. But then, the unthinkable happens. Her mom is arrested in a college admissions scam and Chloe’s life is over. 
This book navigates Chloe’s before life, and Chloe’s now life. It shows everything leading up to her college acceptance and we get to find out if Chloe knew what was going on all along, or if she’s as innocent as she seems. Admission was an interesting read and definitely unique from what I normally read. There were things I liked about it, but I never felt completely invested in Chloe’s story. I understood where her family was coming from and why they did the things they did, but I found it difficult to be empathetic for them. Overall, this wasn’t my favorite Julie Buxbaum book but it was still well written and I think a lot of people will love it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    A thought provoking story about privilege, complicity, and accepting responsibility. Ripped from the headlines and loosely based on the recent college admission scandal. Julie Buxbaum does a good job of humanizing the story without making excuses. As a Parent who has gone through the college admission process twice in a very competitive California environment, I found the story to be telling, compelling, and relatable. The public schools in California are extremely hard to get into if your chil A thought provoking story about privilege, complicity, and accepting responsibility. Ripped from the headlines and loosely based on the recent college admission scandal. Julie Buxbaum does a good job of humanizing the story without making excuses. As a Parent who has gone through the college admission process twice in a very competitive California environment, I found the story to be telling, compelling, and relatable. The public schools in California are extremely hard to get into if your child has a 4.0 or even a 4.4 it does not mean they are going to be a sure bet to get into any of the top colleges in the UC or CSU system. And the same is true for the private schools. It is a stressful time and as a parent you want to give your child every opportunity, and when the college admission scandal news broke it was not shocking. Unfortunate and definitely not right, but not surprising. The story is told from the perspective of high school senior Chloe. Chloe appears to have everything she wants she got into the school of her dreams, her boyfriend is the boy and she’s been crushing on forever, and she has one heck of a best friend. Then one day The FBI shows up at the crack of dawn and everything changes. It seems as though Chloe‘s mother a B-list star has paid her way into college. Now her mom might go to jail, her boyfriend has broke up with her, and her best friend won’t talk to her. not to mention she is no longer going to that school of her dreams. Sound familiar? The story bounces back-and-forth in time, before the scandal and after. Chloe was a likable character who I really felt for. She really got sucked up into her parents dreams and did not want to disappoint them. In the book she was really kept in the dark about what was going on. She did realize things weren’t really adding up, like how did she do so well on the SAT when she was certain she bombed it? And my heart broke for her when she felt as though it was all her fault because her parents thought that she was too “dumb“ to get into college. This was something these parents clearly did not think about. The person I felt the most for in the story was Isla, Chloe‘s younger sister. Isla was smart and studious and was definitely going to get into college on her own merit, but the scandal will forever impact her as well. I liked how the story unfolded, I was definitely disappointed in some characters, frustrated with others, but very impressed with some as well. Chloe did a lot of self reflecting and had a lot of growth throughout the story. I am confident that she will rise from this and come out of it a better person. I would love to see a follow up and see where Chloe and Isla are in a few years. This book in emojis 🏫 ✏️ 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧 *** Big thank you to Random House for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

  7. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    Julie Buxbaum's new YA novel, Admission , is a fictional look at the recent college admissions scandal. Chloe doesn’t love school. She enjoys spending time with her friends and all the perks of going to an exclusive private school, but schoolwork doesn’t come easy to her, and her grades and SAT scores reflect that. She doesn’t know what she wants out of life or if she even wants to go to college. Her mother is a B-list television actress and her dad is a wealthy businessman, and they want Chloe Julie Buxbaum's new YA novel, Admission , is a fictional look at the recent college admissions scandal. Chloe doesn’t love school. She enjoys spending time with her friends and all the perks of going to an exclusive private school, but schoolwork doesn’t come easy to her, and her grades and SAT scores reflect that. She doesn’t know what she wants out of life or if she even wants to go to college. Her mother is a B-list television actress and her dad is a wealthy businessman, and they want Chloe to go to a good college. So they hire a special college counselor to help Chloe with improving her test scores, strengthening her applications, etc. And when she gets in to the school of her dreams, she’s excited and relieved. But the next thing she knows, the FBI is swarming her house and arresting her mother for being part of a massive college admissions bribery scandal. This threatens Chloe and her dad, too, and there’s a chance she could even be prosecuted. Suddenly everything Chloe has held dear is in ruins. It forces her to confront her privilege, and come to terms with what she actually knew about the whole thing, and what she did about it. But more than that she needs to understand why her parents felt they needed to do this for her. Did they think she’d fail otherwise, and would that be embarrassing for them? "Under all this lies the terrible quicksand of fear. What if they are right? What if it's true that we are terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad people? If I allow myself to dip my toes into that idea, that I am not actually the hero of my own story but a villain, I quickly find myself neck deep." Even though this book has a very ripped-from-the-headlines feel I was really hooked on it. It’s crazy to read about the strings that get pulled for families with money, putting others at a disadvantage. None of the characters are particularly sympathetic but this still was an interesting story about how blind we are to our privilege. It also was entertaining to see how “the other half” lives. NetGalley and Delacorte Press provided me with a complimentary advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available! The book publishes 12/1/2020. Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Blog | Instagram | Twitter Thank you NetGalley and Delacorte Press for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine. The side door was the only way in for people like me: not smart enough to get in on their own, not quite gilded enough to buy their way in legally. Unapologetically honest. That is the best description for Admission, and the facts that Julie Buxbaum has given us: those with money want to buy their way toward the bigger and the better, and more often than not, they accomplish it. I Blog | Instagram | Twitter Thank you NetGalley and Delacorte Press for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine. The side door was the only way in for people like me: not smart enough to get in on their own, not quite gilded enough to buy their way in legally. Unapologetically honest. That is the best description for Admission, and the facts that Julie Buxbaum has given us: those with money want to buy their way toward the bigger and the better, and more often than not, they accomplish it. I don't want to do the unpleasant thing and group a whole bunch of people with 'X' common denominator into the same group, but, let's face it, this “privilege” mentality happens every single day. And though it is clearly expressed that this is a work of fiction, one can't help but recall the very famous and real case that was brought to light in 2019 involving an extremely similar college scandal. I'll be honest, I wasn't high enough on the GPA spectrum or extra-curricular activity side of school to even aspire going to a university like Yale, Princeton or Harvard (although, as an aside, I do want to visit Yale one day, because that campus is gorgeous). I did well, I was right on that 3.5 GPA line, and I'm proud of my ranking. But an Ivy League school would've laughed themselves to death if I had so much as attempted to apply to them. I did, however, know a few students in my high school that not only wanted to attend schools like these, but they were incredibly bright, talented young men and women who would've been incredible assets. A lot of them did not make it, and while back then I felt bad since their hearts were so obviously set on this, now, as an adult, I better understand the probabilities and possibilities of why they may not have succeeded in being approved for entrance. There were times when it was uncomfortable to read Admission, because the family around which it revolves is so entitled, without being aware of how much this term applies to them. They have every material thing that they could possibly want—or need—they have so many doors open to them for all the things that they could want to do in life, they have other people running around town fetching them coffee, or ice cream, or laundry. And yet, for some reason, they go to specialists so that they can make sure that they poop in optimal position. No, really. And this truly could happen out there, in the “real” world. If The Real Housewives of ANYWHERE has taught me anything, is that drama sells and if you have enough money to stop knowing what to do with it, you spend it on other people telling you how to do mundane tasks in a way that will get you best results. Cause heavens forbid we sit incorrectly on a toilet seat. In the whole of this novel, my favorite character is Isla. This young girl, one year beneath our lead Chloe, is more in contact with the reality of the world than the rest of her family, and it is so satisfying to see her throw this in their faces as the story progresses. She helps them wake up and snap the hell out of it. Isla, who comes from this wealthy family, works hard, sweats, bleeds for what she accomplishes in life; it's one of the best lessons that Chloe learns: her little sister Isla is going to get into the school of her dreams one day because she struggled for it, not because mommy and daddy were able to pay her way to it. This story is a perfect example of what happens when the silver spoon is ripped away from you and you crash to the ground: you suffer, you look like an idiot, and you answer to the law. We, as the other side of the coin, want this, we hunger for it, and sometimes we are a little crazed and violent in our relish of those who did wrong pay. It's all spelled here, clear as day. I'm just glad that those involved are aware of what they do. I'm glad that the author allows Chloe's mom—and dad—to stop being in denial as the face of this scandal, face what she did, and own up to it. The interview near the end of the novel, where she basically has a nervous breakdown on life TV and admits her culpability and apologizes, brought tears to my eyes. Yes, this is a novel of disgustingly affluent individuals who take complete advantage of their status, but it's about what it means to be a human being. And as a human being you are going to make mistakes. Bottom line, emotionally, this is a fantastic novel. Buxbaum presents us with a less than perfect group of people, who are not great to read about and make you cringe every time an elite-status-related sentence spews out of their mouths—sometimes without them even realizing it, which is somehow worse—and slowly peels away at them until we get a rawer version, stripped of all pretense. We still know that they did wrong, but somehow we appreciate it all a little more because now they have awareness. It's very real, it's very current, and it's very worth the read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about the big College Admission Scandal. Many wealthy parents, including a couple celebrities, used a “consultant” to cheat their kids into prestigious colleges. Admission is an account of a fictional family facing the fall out. However, if you’re hoping for more emotional insight than you’ve seen on the news – or that Lifetime Channel movie – then you’re going to be a little d I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about the big College Admission Scandal. Many wealthy parents, including a couple celebrities, used a “consultant” to cheat their kids into prestigious colleges. Admission is an account of a fictional family facing the fall out. However, if you’re hoping for more emotional insight than you’ve seen on the news – or that Lifetime Channel movie – then you’re going to be a little disappointed. The crimes of Chloe’s parents are taken directly out of the headlines and seems to be a combination of both Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, though I definitely felt more of a tilt towards Loughlin. The story read a lot like the Lifetime movie of the scandal, except the movie was a little more interesting. The slow pace and unlikable characters made the book a chore to get through. There is even a part early on where Chloe is in English class discussing a book and is reminded that readers don’t need to like characters in literature, which feels like a cop out for not making the characters of this book more developed or empathetic. The chapters alternate between Now and Then, with the Now chapters starting with the FBI showing up and the Then chapters starting with Chloe struggling to study for the SATs. I have to say I found the Now chapters much more interesting. Most of the Then chapters felt a little like filler that basically just highlighted all the ways that Chloe was unaware of her rich, white privilege. There are snippets of Chloe ignoring the weird things her parents were doing – telling her she has ADHD to get accommodations on the SAT, going through her phone to find a picture where she has a good tan that someone might be able to confuse for some Argentinian heritage, etc. The past chapters also chronicled her relationship with her best friend and friend-turned-boyfriend, who were both pretty underdeveloped caricatures. I think the story would have benefited by adding some other POVs. Or even making at least one of the characters a little more calculating. Here everyone knows what they’re doing isn’t on the up and up exactly, but they also don’t think it’s really that bad. The whole point of the story seems to be to cast a light on how privileged people don’t fully grasp their privilege and it’s effect on others. All explained to us by a privileged white lady… Overall, I found Admission pretty disappointing. The main character was whiny and unrelatable, there wasn’t really anything in the story that you haven’t already read in the news, and the overall moral of the story about wealthy, white privilege came across as kind of trite. Also, the cute romance I expect from a Buxbaum book was almost completely missing here. The one bright spot in the book was Chloe’s sister, Isla, who was the only character who didn’t feel like a complete cliche, even if she was a little unrealistic. Overall Rating (out of 5): 2 Stars

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jen Ryland

    I love Julie Buxbaum's books - they are entertaining but also have great characterization and emotion. I think she could take pretty much any situation and find the humanity in it. Did this book make me feel uncomfortable in the way that I think it should have? I'm still not sure. Admission is a book about the college admissions scandal that broke in the spring of 2019. The story that the book tells feels ripped from the headlines down to the tiniest details. Chloe's (the main character's) mom wa I love Julie Buxbaum's books - they are entertaining but also have great characterization and emotion. I think she could take pretty much any situation and find the humanity in it. Did this book make me feel uncomfortable in the way that I think it should have? I'm still not sure. Admission is a book about the college admissions scandal that broke in the spring of 2019. The story that the book tells feels ripped from the headlines down to the tiniest details. Chloe's (the main character's) mom was a Felicity Huffman/Lori Loughlin amalgam and the book's storyline seemed to be drawn from those two cases. If you followed those stories (and I did!) I think you'll find this one very familiar. Admission begins with the FBI coming to arrest Chloe's mother, which got things off to a dramatic start. But then the book started using a now/then (before the arrest and after) timeline I struggled with. Watching "then" Chloe worry about her college applications and her dating life when you knew what else she was up to felt a bit weird. I'm not sure the "then" chapters added much to the story except to emphasize how happy Chloe was before she and her parents got caught. Chloe clearly DID know that her college admissions results weren't fairly earned and that what she and her family were doing was wrong. But she - and they - did it anyway. Watching her suffer the personal consequences of her actions, I wasn't sure how this book was trying to make me to feel. Glad that her life was being ruined? Empathetic that her life was being ruined? Outraged at the way entitled celebrities gamed the system? Guilty that the book made me feel empathetic toward her (I honestly didn't feel that empathetic, except that she was young, and just an accomplice in a scheme of her parents'.) Reading Admission also made me realize how much has changed in the world between March 2019 (when the scandal broke) and December 2020. In some ways worrying about college admissions felt like a weird relic from a past life. I guess I'm glad that, in 2020, these are no longer the characters who deserve our empathy and a platform. Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Let's be friends on Bookstagram! Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Admission was an interesting book. I wont lie to you at one point I was a bit bored with everything. Especially when it came to the little flashbacks because this point.. all of Chloe's "friends" ghosted the shit out of her or left her completely alone. So yeah, I didn't really care about her crush and how things were kind of going her way.. when they really weren't. Other than that, Chloe was an okay character. Not the brig I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Admission was an interesting book. I wont lie to you at one point I was a bit bored with everything. Especially when it came to the little flashbacks because this point.. all of Chloe's "friends" ghosted the shit out of her or left her completely alone. So yeah, I didn't really care about her crush and how things were kind of going her way.. when they really weren't. Other than that, Chloe was an okay character. Not the brightest person out there but it also didn't feel like she even tried at school. I get that studying is hard and not everyone can do it correctly but that's why the world has tutors and studying habits. Also her dream college where all she wanted to do was going to parties, meet people, and possibly lose her virginity aren't great reasons to go to any college. At some point, Chloe started to think something was wrong. Especially when it came to her SAT scores. It also didn't help that her parents were acting weird and suspicious throughout most of the book. Heck, I even agreed with how Shola was feeling/acting when everyone was acting over-privileged. Yet, I don't agree with how Shola handled their friendship. Again, here friends weren't the best because of how they handled things. Yeah, her parents screwed up - a lot of parents did. It sucks.. but they shouldn't place the blame on her. The whole thing was kind of sucky and I felt bad for Chloe. In the end, it was an okay book with a bittersweet ending.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ink&Paper

    Money makes you weak because it tricks you into thinking you’re strong Sometimes authors surprise you. I had labeled Julie Buxbaum as someone who wrote cute YA contemporaries, but with her new release, that mindset has been totally eerased from my mind. Admission is definitely not a cute YA novel, it delves into topics that need to be adressed Chloe Berringer often complains that her life lacks colour, there are no adventures in her life and nothing out of the ordinary. But when the FBI knocks Money makes you weak because it tricks you into thinking you’re strong Sometimes authors surprise you. I had labeled Julie Buxbaum as someone who wrote cute YA contemporaries, but with her new release, that mindset has been totally eerased from my mind. Admission is definitely not a cute YA novel, it delves into topics that need to be adressed Chloe Berringer often complains that her life lacks colour, there are no adventures in her life and nothing out of the ordinary. But when the FBI knocks on her door in the morning, her wish for something new in life quickly diminishes. When the headlines in popular news channels proclaim the crimes that her mother committed, all she wants to do is lay low. But wherever she turns, she’s greeted with “JOY FIELD, SITCOM STAR, ARRESTED ON MULTIPLE FRAUD CHARGES IN COUNTRYWIDE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL.” Chloe’s college application was rewritten, her scores were inflated and her ethnicity changed, just so that she could get into whichever school she needs. The important thing that needs to be understood is that a white author has penned this novel, and it is not about the privileges that whites have over others, instead it focuses on how all those privileges make you blind and force you to do things that are immoral. Chloe is portrayed as someone who had ADHD in her applications and given extra time on her SATs. Even though she knows that all her conducts are wrong, she decides to play the silent spectator. Guilt and shame are gnawing her heart out and she is also faced with the realization that her best friend Shola who is black had to work so hard to ensure a spot in college, while Chloe had an upper hand. This novel can be really upsetting if you are not reading it the way it should be read. Yes it is about people with financial privileges bribing to make their way in, but it has deeper meanings. (I’m not spelling them out, because it is evident in the novel when you read it and reflect upon it. It is about how parents think they are doing the right thing for their children, but in reality they aren’t. Bribery, scandal, lies, white superiority, money and muscle power form the heart of this novel, ripped from the headlines of the Varsity Blues Scandal of 2019 (I know this is a short review and DEFINITELY not my best work, it's just that I have a lot of work to do, and had to type this up in a jiffy. Please try to understand...)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kari Ann Sweeney

    I have read and loved all of Julie Buxbaum's YA novels and her latest, ADMISSION, is no exception. It is a thought provoking fictionalization based on the recent college admissions scandal. It is timely and relevant while still being compulsively readable. The story is structured with an alternating pre and post scandal timeline. This format worked well in unraveling what it means to be complicit. It doesn't sugar coat the consequences or fallout. At the same time the story implores you to resis I have read and loved all of Julie Buxbaum's YA novels and her latest, ADMISSION, is no exception. It is a thought provoking fictionalization based on the recent college admissions scandal. It is timely and relevant while still being compulsively readable. The story is structured with an alternating pre and post scandal timeline. This format worked well in unraveling what it means to be complicit. It doesn't sugar coat the consequences or fallout. At the same time the story implores you to resist reducing Chloe to a catch all meme and see her as a person. While I don't have much empathy, Buxbaum was able to humanize the characters- even the parents. It was beautifully balanced with heft and humor. As a parent of teenagers, I appreciated that the story was told from the students perspective. I loved watching Chloe's self-awareness evolve. In particular, her realizations of privilege and not making excuses for her role in the scandal. I'll be gently pressing this into the hands of my teenagers. I love when a book can entertain and inform without being heavy handed. Merged review: I have read and loved all of Julie Buxbaum's YA novels and her latest, ADMISSION, is no exception. It is a thought provoking fictionalization based on the recent college admissions scandal. It is timely and relevant while still being compulsively readable. The story is structured with an alternating pre and post scandal timeline. This format worked well in unraveling what it means to be complicit. It doesn't sugar coat the consequences or fallout. At the same time the story implores you to resist reducing Chloe to a catch all meme and see her as a person. While I don't have much empathy, Buxbaum was able to humanize the characters- even the parents. It was beautifully balanced with heft and humor. As a parent of teenagers, I appreciated that the story was told from the students perspective. I loved watching Chloe's self-awareness evolve. In particular, her realizations of privilege and not making excuses for her role in the scandal. I'll be gently pressing this into the hands of my teenagers. I love when a book can entertain and inform without being heavy handed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Five GLORIOUS stars. I loved this so much! Julie Buxbaum is a YA Queen, and her latest installment did not disappoint. She dove into the story of the college admissions scandal and somehow made it a coming-of-age family drama that sucked me in from the first page and didn’t let go until I had flown through the whole thing. The alternating timelines between pre- and post-scandal was a really nice plot device that kept the story moving, and really gave her the opportunity to show our characters’ g Five GLORIOUS stars. I loved this so much! Julie Buxbaum is a YA Queen, and her latest installment did not disappoint. She dove into the story of the college admissions scandal and somehow made it a coming-of-age family drama that sucked me in from the first page and didn’t let go until I had flown through the whole thing. The alternating timelines between pre- and post-scandal was a really nice plot device that kept the story moving, and really gave her the opportunity to show our characters’ growth. All of my thanks to Netgalley for the chance to read an early copy– I can imagine you’re going to be seeing this one everywhere once it releases! Merged review: Five GLORIOUS stars. I loved this so much! Julie Buxbaum is a YA Queen, and her latest installment did not disappoint. She dove into the story of the college admissions scandal and somehow made it a coming-of-age family drama that sucked me in from the first page and didn’t let go until I had flown through the whole thing. The alternating timelines between pre- and post-scandal was a really nice plot device that kept the story moving, and really gave her the opportunity to show our characters’ growth. All of my thanks to Netgalley for the chance to read an early copy– I can imagine you’re going to be seeing this one everywhere once it releases!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kirsti

    This was a fun one. I love reading about scandals, especially when they involve rich people being stupid. So when I found out that a well-regarded YA author had written a fictionalized version of the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal, I decided to give it a try. Buxbaum has taken many elements from the Lori Laughlin part of the scandal: the mom is a beloved B-list actress, and the older daughter loves makeup and parties and isn't that interested in school. But she has woven in details fro This was a fun one. I love reading about scandals, especially when they involve rich people being stupid. So when I found out that a well-regarded YA author had written a fictionalized version of the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal, I decided to give it a try. Buxbaum has taken many elements from the Lori Laughlin part of the scandal: the mom is a beloved B-list actress, and the older daughter loves makeup and parties and isn't that interested in school. But she has woven in details from other Varsity Blues investigations: the dad is an investment banker, and one sibling is clearly more intelligent and perceptive than the other. This novel proceeds at a steady clip. Most of it alternates between pre-raid and post-raid events. It's tough to make this character appalling yet sympathetic, foolish in many ways but understanding in others. The breaks in the timeline help with this to an extent. I kept thinking, "If she's so meh, why is this Harvard-bound boy interested in her?" It made me think of the barb in Wolf Hall or maybe Bring Up the Bodies:—"He thinks she's stupid. He finds it restful." Overall, entertaining and somewhat thought-provoking.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    Its gonna be a no from me. I had a tough time getting into this story. I thought that Chloe was naive to the point of frustration so it made it hard for me to feel sorry for her even though nothing happening was entirely her fault. But her entitled parents and wishy-washy friends left a sea of unlikeable characters and no one for me to latch onto. The story was okay and fun in 'ripped-from-the-headlines' sort of way, but I fear that I'm liking each of Julie Buxbaum's books less and less. Its gonna be a no from me. I had a tough time getting into this story. I thought that Chloe was naive to the point of frustration so it made it hard for me to feel sorry for her even though nothing happening was entirely her fault. But her entitled parents and wishy-washy friends left a sea of unlikeable characters and no one for me to latch onto. The story was okay and fun in 'ripped-from-the-headlines' sort of way, but I fear that I'm liking each of Julie Buxbaum's books less and less.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    I was really hesitant to pick this up. Why would I want to read a story about white privilege and entitlement inspired by the college admissions scandal? Am I supposed to feel sorry for them? Yeah, cry me a fucking river. But I loved the last book I read by Julie Buxbaum so I took a chance and put my trust in the author. And she didn’t let me down. This absolutely IS a story of white privilege and entitlement. But it’s also a story about family, insecurity, mistakes, consequences and being a par I was really hesitant to pick this up. Why would I want to read a story about white privilege and entitlement inspired by the college admissions scandal? Am I supposed to feel sorry for them? Yeah, cry me a fucking river. But I loved the last book I read by Julie Buxbaum so I took a chance and put my trust in the author. And she didn’t let me down. This absolutely IS a story of white privilege and entitlement. But it’s also a story about family, insecurity, mistakes, consequences and being a parent. It’s a story of loneliness and friendship. It’s a human story. And I couldn’t put it down.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    dnf page 125 (~40%) --- I really wanted to like this one! I am a huge fan of college admissions in general, and I found the USC admissions scandal to be really interesting. I thought that this book would offer a unique spin on that, but I don't think it was for me. Please note that I only read about 40% of this book, so my opinions do not reflect the rest of it. However, I do feel as if I did read enough to develop an opinion about the beginning and overall trajectory of the novel. The entire firs dnf page 125 (~40%) --- I really wanted to like this one! I am a huge fan of college admissions in general, and I found the USC admissions scandal to be really interesting. I thought that this book would offer a unique spin on that, but I don't think it was for me. Please note that I only read about 40% of this book, so my opinions do not reflect the rest of it. However, I do feel as if I did read enough to develop an opinion about the beginning and overall trajectory of the novel. The entire first 125 pages, nearly echoes the entire real-life admissions scandal, so it was a little boring to hear a story so similar to what I was already familiar with. The entire plot is about the MC's parents being charged for artificially raising her SAT score & by getting her into a college by bribing a coach, which is *extremely* similar to the real thing that happened with Loughlin and USC. I was just hoping for a twist on that story in some way, rather than a near direct copy of it. I wasn't particularly a fan of the characters either. I suppose I only read the first 100 pages, so they definitely could have changed for the better. I felt that the main character, Chloe, was too shallow and underdeveloped. She felt too cliche, fitting the "average oblivious rich-kid who likes to party and doesn't know anything outside of her own little bubble" stereotype. Additionally, Chloe was a little too naive for my own tastes, and I felt that too much of the story focused on her getting dragged along by her parents while not understanding a single thing about what was happening. The main love interest and romance wasn't my favorite either. I will give him the benefit of the doubt, since I don't think I've read enough to make any judgements, but it still doesn't take away from the fact that I didn't like him either. Like Chloe, he felt a little too shallow and boring. Overall, I had high hopes for this book, but it fell flat. While it might be the right book for others, it unfortunately wasn't for me. --- Note that I did receive this book from the publisher for free, in exchange for a photo on my bookstagram, instagram.com/universewithinpages. I was not asked to read or write a review for this book, and all opinions are my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Krysti

    This book gives great insight into the ways privilege impacts the education system and how it further perpetuates racial and financial inequality in our country. I enjoyed the reflection on the college admissions scandal and the way the author tackled some very important social issues head-on. While Buxbaum does a great job using her characters to illustrate that by willfully ignoring our privilege, we are part of the problem, I could not emotionally connect or root for any of them. I found mysel This book gives great insight into the ways privilege impacts the education system and how it further perpetuates racial and financial inequality in our country. I enjoyed the reflection on the college admissions scandal and the way the author tackled some very important social issues head-on. While Buxbaum does a great job using her characters to illustrate that by willfully ignoring our privilege, we are part of the problem, I could not emotionally connect or root for any of them. I found myself not caring what happened to them and quite disengaged with the story. To be fair, it would be very challenging to include this type of social commentary while also giving readers characters they would feel empathy toward. Ultimately, I’d still recommend reading this book for the messages it contains despite the fact that I found the story itself a bit lackluster. It’s an important read that does encourage needed introspection.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Grey

    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. This one was interesting for me, being as though I've just recently gone through the college admissions process with my own daughter. Ms. Buxbaum obviously received inspiration from the recent admissions scandal that rocked the USA, and flipped it in a YA fiction that probably has more than a little basis in fact. I don't normally do YA, I'm a pretty big fan of romance and this was definitely a different read for me. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. This one was interesting for me, being as though I've just recently gone through the college admissions process with my own daughter. Ms. Buxbaum obviously received inspiration from the recent admissions scandal that rocked the USA, and flipped it in a YA fiction that probably has more than a little basis in fact. I don't normally do YA, I'm a pretty big fan of romance and this was definitely a different read for me. However, I enjoyed it all the same, the characters weren't all likeable and it felt more real for it. I was held in this interesting state of feeling sorry for the main character of Chloe, while trying to figure if she was complicit in her ordeal...or just privileged and entitled. The author has a well-flowing nature to her writing style that enabled me to pretty much fly right through the book in an afternoon. Well done. 4 stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Renee (itsbooktalk)

    Admission was the perfect book to jumpstart my reading and when I saw @justjuliawhelan was the narrator it was a no brainer to decide to listen to this one. ⁣ ⁣ This is a fictional account of the college admission scandal involving Lori Loughlin and others and the family at the center of this story will definitely remind you of the Loughlin’s. I was immediately pulled into the drama of Chloe Wynn Beringer, the teenage daughter caught up in the whirlwind scandal when her parents are accused of frau Admission was the perfect book to jumpstart my reading and when I saw @justjuliawhelan was the narrator it was a no brainer to decide to listen to this one. ⁣ ⁣ This is a fictional account of the college admission scandal involving Lori Loughlin and others and the family at the center of this story will definitely remind you of the Loughlin’s. I was immediately pulled into the drama of Chloe Wynn Beringer, the teenage daughter caught up in the whirlwind scandal when her parents are accused of fraud etc involving her admission to SSC in southern Cali. ⁣ ⁣ The story is told from Chloe’s perspective and alternates between “then” and “now.” The author nailed teenage angst with all the friend, parental, and love drama, along with a blistering examination of race and class privilege. Bauxbaum brilliantly showcases the snowplow parenting we see today and I was here for all of it! I flew through this audio in 2 days. I enjoyed the ending and found it to be on point with the story. This would make a great book club pick, I loved it! 5⭐️s for the story & audio narration ⁣ ⁣

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lori Palmer (Palmer's Page Turners)

    I was super excited to get my hands on this one! First, because I'm a huge fan of Julie Buxbaum, and second, I've worked in college admissions for the last fifteen years. I work at a mid-sized public university--so it's no where near as selective as schools listed in this book, but this book was very accurate to how selective Ivy League schools are. I always get excited when books talk about the college admissions process. This one was extra entertaining since Buxbaum got her idea for this book I was super excited to get my hands on this one! First, because I'm a huge fan of Julie Buxbaum, and second, I've worked in college admissions for the last fifteen years. I work at a mid-sized public university--so it's no where near as selective as schools listed in this book, but this book was very accurate to how selective Ivy League schools are. I always get excited when books talk about the college admissions process. This one was extra entertaining since Buxbaum got her idea for this book from the college admissions scandal. This book was originally supposed to be released in the spring, but the publication date got delayed due to the pandemic. I really enjoyed this book! Early on in the book, I was at first a bit irritated with Chloe--poor little rich girl and all that--but Buxbaum really did a fantastic job of addressing the fact that Chloe was privileged--particularly as the book went on. The book alternated time frames between Then and Now--Then being the start of her senior year and Now being when the FBI knocked on her front door and beyond. The story was engaging and keep me interested. Buxbaum did a great job of showing the stress that the college admissions process can cause for students (and their parents, clearly lol). I loved the supporting characters too--especially Shola. I think Shola was my favorite. Overall, this was a fun, entertaining read, and I gave it four stars! Note: If you are beginning the college search process, or are a parent helping a student through the college search process: YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY SOMEONE TO HELP YOU. Yes, independent college counselors like this exist that want to charge you money. But people like me who work in college admissions are MORE THAN HAPPY to help you connect to resources FOR FREE. This is what we do. If you want help, cont act the admission counselor at the college or university you're interested in, or even email me. And while we're on the topic, NEVER pay someone to give you Financial Aid advice, either. There are Financial Aid counselors that do that, and filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is just that--FREE. OK, soap box rant over! Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of this book in exchange for my review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Fizah(Books tales by me)

    Actual Rating 2.5 “People forget that about novels. It’s not our job to like our main character. It’s our job to try to understand them. Let’s be honest, most people are deeply unlikeable.” It was one of my anticipated book of the year. I mean look at the cover and synopsis. Chloe is a high school senior and daughter of a B list Hollywood celebrity. Her best friend is struggling financially so she is looking for a school which will give her full scholarship, and she really deserves it. Chloe’s othe Actual Rating 2.5 “People forget that about novels. It’s not our job to like our main character. It’s our job to try to understand them. Let’s be honest, most people are deeply unlikeable.” It was one of my anticipated book of the year. I mean look at the cover and synopsis. Chloe is a high school senior and daughter of a B list Hollywood celebrity. Her best friend is struggling financially so she is looking for a school which will give her full scholarship, and she really deserves it. Chloe’s other best friend and long time crush is working hard for Harvard. Chloe isn’t really smart but wants to go to SCC-her dream school. “I wonder if that’s one definition of growing up—replacing your parents’ voices in your head with your own. I wonder if I’ll one day get there.” Her mother wants nothing but the happiness of her daughter, Chloe got a private tutor and now a private consultant who is helping her with everything. But whatever he is doing, doesn’t feel right. The story is told in Now and Then parts. Her mother is arrested in a college admission scam and everything is changed. I really loved the idea of the book and the way the author portrayed everything was so realistic. My favourite thing is definitely the family bond. We don’t get to read many family-related books in YA, but it was definitely one that’s why it was easy to connect with. I found a few things so repetitive and the story was unnecessary stretched. “An important part of growing up is letting yourself see the world around you as it truly is, even if you don’t like what you see or your own complicity in it.”

  24. 4 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    ***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of ADMISSION by Julie Buxbaum in exchange for my honest review.*** 5 HUMUNGOUS STARS achieved without any felonious cheating or bribery What if you were an average high school senior among the elite? What if your younger sister, best friend and your not-so-secret crush were brainiacs who barely had to study? What if you knew you weren’t good enough? Chloe believes her low self-esteem is warranted. After her actress mom is arrested for f ***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of ADMISSION by Julie Buxbaum in exchange for my honest review.*** 5 HUMUNGOUS STARS achieved without any felonious cheating or bribery What if you were an average high school senior among the elite? What if your younger sister, best friend and your not-so-secret crush were brainiacs who barely had to study? What if you knew you weren’t good enough? Chloe believes her low self-esteem is warranted. After her actress mom is arrested for fixing her SAT results and college admission, now the world knows too. Chloe blames herself for her mom needing to go to such extreme and illegal measures. If she were smarter, her mom wouldn’t have felt the need. Julie Buxbaum’s ripped-from-the-headlines fictional story ADMISSION, aside from being compulsively readable, gave me an entirely different perspective on the real life scandal playing out in the news. Initially, I saw the true story as one of privilege and entitlement, spoiled kids who never had to work for anything. ADMISSION is not that story. Chloe’s privileged life is not her fault. While not the best student, she’s not a slacker. She loves her volunteer work because unlike school, reading to kids comes easier to her and she excels. Loving school isn’t difficult when learning comes easy with the added perks of constant external validation. Those kudos are not Chloe’s experience. Her mom may seem like the villain, for cheating on Chloe’s behalf, especially when we see poor minority mothers sentenced to years in prison for enrolling their children in better public school districts by falsifying residency. Beneath both of these crimes, love of children motivated poor decision making. Before reading ADMISSION, I judged Felicity Huffman harshly. I didn’t consider a wide variety of possible reasons. I didn’t know one of her daughters had a learning difference, which affected her standardized test taking and grades. I didn’t know Felicity’s daughter’s level of suffering from her mother’s lack of faith in her, self-blame and the possible lifelong damage to their relationship. Federal prosecutors better ask jurors if they’ve read ADMISSION during voir dire or else acquittal will be guaranteed at trial. Through complex characters and beautiful storytelling Buxbaum caused me to open my mind, google and develop empathy and a broader perspective. I never felt as if Buxbaum was lesson teaching or spoon feeding me opinions. I was fully immersed in Chloe’s journey, experiencing her feelings and going through her trials and triumphs. Buxbaum’s books get better and better. She’s a must-preorder writer for me. My strongest recommendations for ADMISSION. ETA: the audiobook is wonderful too

  25. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    What does it mean to be complicit? This is basically the story of Lori Loughlin and the admissions scandal - a B-list, Hallmark and sitcom actress, her successful husband, and their 2 daughters gearing up for the college admissions process. I had not fully realized how competitive all college admissions - not just the Ivy Leagues - had become in recent years until the real admissions scandal mentioned USC more than once. USC here is very thinly veiled as UCC, right down to the colors of the schoo What does it mean to be complicit? This is basically the story of Lori Loughlin and the admissions scandal - a B-list, Hallmark and sitcom actress, her successful husband, and their 2 daughters gearing up for the college admissions process. I had not fully realized how competitive all college admissions - not just the Ivy Leagues - had become in recent years until the real admissions scandal mentioned USC more than once. USC here is very thinly veiled as UCC, right down to the colors of the school and the name of the athletic teams. In the center we have Chloe, a high school senior at a very competitive private school where everyone has gone college crazy. Chloe cares about the typical teenage things - her boyfriend, her best friend, what she is going to wear to prom. She idles toward the bottom half of her class and academically, she coasts. She reads Spark Notes and not the book; she studies but not before taking a dip in the pool. Chloe definitely does not start off as likable as Buxbaum's previous female protagonists (bonus points for having references to Hope and Jessie!). And while she does not quite end up as likable as them either, she does make strides - she tries harder, she starts to take responsibility. The real heroine here is Isla, Chloe's younger sister who DOES read, who DOES study, and who DOES have the grades and scores to go to a top college on her own. Growing up in the same household, with the same parents - how could Chloe be quite so gullible - and quite so complicit? I read this in a day and as usual, I love Buxbaum's writing style. It did not make me more sympathetic to the people embroiled in the admissions scandal. It did however make me wonder about Isla's story - I would love to read about what happens to her in the world moving forward. Thank you Netgalley for this preview!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura Dvorak

    This one was a big swing and a miss for me. ADMISSION by Julie Buxbaum is a ripped-from-the-headlines fictionalization of the college admissions scandal. Chloe Berringer is an average student at a ritzy private high school in LA, and is the first to admit her academics and extracurriculars are nothing special. Her B-list celebrity mom (who reads very much like a cross between Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin) hires a college counselor, and the rest unfolds exactly as you've seen in the news. T This one was a big swing and a miss for me. ADMISSION by Julie Buxbaum is a ripped-from-the-headlines fictionalization of the college admissions scandal. Chloe Berringer is an average student at a ritzy private high school in LA, and is the first to admit her academics and extracurriculars are nothing special. Her B-list celebrity mom (who reads very much like a cross between Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin) hires a college counselor, and the rest unfolds exactly as you've seen in the news. The novel is clear that while Chloe had a few inklings her college applications might not be totally above board, her obliviousness prevents her from being complicit in the scam. I've enjoyed Buxbaum's previous novels, but she is not the YA author I look to for the most incisive social commentary, so I wondered how Buxbaum would deal with this topic. I struggled with this book because it felt like she had trouble separating her opinion from Chloe's, even though she characterized Chloe as too oblivious to recognize the privileged life she leads. Any time Chloe, as narrator, went into an explanation of how RAICES would have been a better charity for her parents to donate to, it's hard to believe she would even know what RAICES is. Additionally, Chloe's best friend, Shola, is given the unfortunate role of being the black friend who has to explain how privilege works. I could feel Shola's exhaustion every time she spoke, and maybe that was the point, but it felt like a sloppy way to complicate Chloe's world view. I blazed through this book in just a couple sittings, so if you're looking for something to read during a layover (...or quarantine...) this could be fun. Otherwise, there is so much more YA that explores privilege with much more nuance. Thank you to NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for this review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Thank you to NetGalley, Delacorte Press and Julie Buxbaum for a copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review. How far would you go for your kids? In this novel, Julie Buxbaum creates a fictional story based on the college admission scandal that hit the news recently. It's pretty obvious that it was inspired by Lori Loughlin and her family. It was interesting to see the fall out from the child's perspective and left me with a lot to think about. There's a lot to unpack in this story - white Thank you to NetGalley, Delacorte Press and Julie Buxbaum for a copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review. How far would you go for your kids? In this novel, Julie Buxbaum creates a fictional story based on the college admission scandal that hit the news recently. It's pretty obvious that it was inspired by Lori Loughlin and her family. It was interesting to see the fall out from the child's perspective and left me with a lot to think about. There's a lot to unpack in this story - white privileges, social classes, drug addiction, ethical dilemmas and legal consequences. I love Julie Buxbaum's writing and she does such a fantastic job writing YA novels and capturing the struggles of high school students but I think this plot is too close to what's already out there in the news. It's just lacking the usual charm that I love about her novels. 3/5 stars.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christi Flaker

    Ripped from the headlines...Lori L---I mean Joy Fields is a middling to low B lister who reached stardom on an old sitcom, maintained fame through Hallmark movies and is moving back into the light (maybe getting to B+ level) with an upcoming reboot of the sitcom on Netflix. Her daughter, Chloe is a senior at an elite private high school and is in the bottom half of her class. She is looking at college options and feeling a sense of shortcoming compared to her best friend and boyfriend. Her paren Ripped from the headlines...Lori L---I mean Joy Fields is a middling to low B lister who reached stardom on an old sitcom, maintained fame through Hallmark movies and is moving back into the light (maybe getting to B+ level) with an upcoming reboot of the sitcom on Netflix. Her daughter, Chloe is a senior at an elite private high school and is in the bottom half of her class. She is looking at college options and feeling a sense of shortcoming compared to her best friend and boyfriend. Her parents on the other hand are all in that she is going to make it to SSC, her dream school as well as a far reach school. The book alternates between "then" and "now". Then is the start of Chloe's college application days and the now begins with the FBI knocking early one morning to arrest Joy for federal crimes. The book takes a look at privilege and coming to terms with the privileges one holds in life. Chloe is frequently putting her foot in her mouth to her best friend who is a highly intelligent girl from an immigrant Nigerian family who attends her school on scholarship. Throughout the book its almost like she starts seeing the immense privilege in her life that somehow she has never fully realized as, for the most part, she is a self-centered teen. The book also takes a look at culpability. If we aggressively try to maintain our ignorance where does that put us on the scale of right versus wrong. When must we face the music? My favorite character in the book has to be Isla. Isla is Chloe's no nonsense, intelligent, ambitious, younger sister. She is a breathe of common sense amongst the noise in the book. Overall the book was a quick read that kept me engaged throughout. It isn't heavy, yet it gives you opportunities to think deeper about where you stand on certain issues. It most definitely got me fired up again about the real-life admission scandal and the immense privilege that is abused in so many ways throughout our society.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Drewthereader20

    Wow! I started this book multiple times and never actually finished it until I got it checked out from my public library and was really shocked by it! Admission by Julie Buxbaum is her newest novel that came out this month and I fell in love with her books this past year. I first read Tell Me Three Things last year and then ever since then I bought all of her books and loved each and everyone of them. No doubt I loved this Admission. This if u can't tell by the cover and summary is about a coll Wow! I started this book multiple times and never actually finished it until I got it checked out from my public library and was really shocked by it! Admission by Julie Buxbaum is her newest novel that came out this month and I fell in love with her books this past year. I first read Tell Me Three Things last year and then ever since then I bought all of her books and loved each and everyone of them. No doubt I loved this Admission. This if u can't tell by the cover and summary is about a college scandel that happened rececntly and despite me knowning nothing about this one I loved the short chapters in here. All these pop culture refernces. This is another contemporary novel I read this month that had a family mattered in here and I love a family ceneter story! Chole was a really good character and one that didn't annoy me at all. She was brave when no one else in the family was and she went through a lot because her mom put a fake letter into her dream college and then shit happens from there! If u liked Julie's other book u should totally read this one because this one is my newest favorite by her! If u can't tell I give this book a 5/5 stars and will totally be buying this book for me in the New Year's!(:

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    2.5 stars. I want to begin by saying this is very readable with a strong voice and a great narrative structure; Buxbaum does an excellent job of weaving the two timelines together to expertly reveal information. She does this in a way that keeps the story immediate even when you already know the ending (to a certain extent). That being said, this just wasn't my jam. I wanted it to be saying something more interesting about privilege, college, and class mobility than it ultimately does. I also fe 2.5 stars. I want to begin by saying this is very readable with a strong voice and a great narrative structure; Buxbaum does an excellent job of weaving the two timelines together to expertly reveal information. She does this in a way that keeps the story immediate even when you already know the ending (to a certain extent). That being said, this just wasn't my jam. I wanted it to be saying something more interesting about privilege, college, and class mobility than it ultimately does. I also feel like keeping it so close to Lori Loughlin's story (daughter of a B list celebrity) ended up being distracting since we all know how that shook out. Finally, Chloe is such a bland character. Buxbaum works really hard to make her just unethical enough that we see the error of her ways, while innocuous enough that we could forgive her in the end. This tension ends up destroying anything unique about her, leaving her to just be a little meh. I think the story told from her sister Isla's perspective would have been much more interesting. I do think teens will read it and enjoy it, but it wasn't my favorite.

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