Early Decision by Lacy Crawford
Wm. Morrow, 2013
Source? TLC Book Tours
**FTC Disclosure - The publisher provided a complimentary copy to me in exchange for an honest review. The review below and the opinions therein are my own and offered without bias.
Title? literally and figuratively perfect
Cover? the hallowed, narrow walls through which only a select few are allowed
Why? I'm an educator, and I love colleges...if I had time, I'd take college courses just for fun. Yeah, I know I'm weird.
What Now? I'd like to read more about this process...how the prep school students make the jump from high school to college.
Ah, the schools. Their names were spoken like jewels: emerald and ruby, Middlebury and Brown. Each child brought home a list divided into three groups, from the least likely to offer admission to the most. Some parents considered it an opening bid. Others collapsed. College counselors had past years' statistics to guide them, and hunches, and at the very best prep schools they had years of experience placing kids exactly where they thought those kids belonged. (29)
The text was from Sadie.
NOT APPLYING TO DUKE ANYMORE. JUST THOUGHT U SHOULD KNOW.
Anne stood for a moment in the phone's blue glow. Christ. It was past eleven. The girl would be awake, sitting in her third-floor - or was it fourth? - bedroom, or playroom, or television room, brooding and plotting to trash her life. (92)
Blanchard interrupted her. "Then you will have to reassure her that her qualifications are sound," he said. "And help her to understand that life hands all of us a few curveballs. It's how we handle them that reveals our character."
"I doubt that will be news to her," Anne said. (141)
Hunter's resume' reminded Anne of the chalked outline of a homicide victim: perfectly correct, but without anyone inside. Mrs. Pfaff had managed to kill every interest he revealed. Her Midas-by-proxy was among the most devastating examples of crap parenting Anne had ever seen. No wonder the mustangs. (162)
Anne is a college counselor to the ultra rich. Herself a graduate of Princeton, she helps prep school seniors fashion the best application essays possible to be assured entrance into the Ivy Tower. And, then, there are the parents...
What I Liked
Anne - smart as a whip but torn choosing between doing what's best for her and what's expected of her.
Christina - no dummy this one...I loved that she was NOT a "victim" and refused, albeit quietly, to be walked over.
The students - even those who were hard to like at times. They're all just kids. As silver spooned as it seems their lives are, they're still just kids.
An inside look at the way of the wealthy when it comes to college education. I'm a state school gal myself, so this process was not something I have any background for...or should I say for which I haven't any background ;)
What I Didn't Like
The essays - I must say that I have a huge bias here...I'm a composition professor mid-semester who is overwhelmed with student essays...just about the VERY last thing I want to do right now is read more student work, no matter how good it is. I think only another comp teacher could understand this.
Gideon Blanchard - what an ass.
Martin - Good riddance boyfriend from hell.
There were times I felt terribly irritated at the ways our educational system still seems to honor the haves while immediately keeping out the have-nots. The have-nots have to be pretty special to break out of their class and its expectations...which I couldn't help but wonder if maybe that's at least part of the reason why breaking out of class structure is so very difficult in the U.S.
If you're an educator, if you've ever walked the grounds at Harvard, or if you've ever wondered what life might have been like as one of the chosen few at Brown, you'll enjoy Early Decision.
Other Stops on the Tour
Tuesday, August 27th: BookNAround
Thursday, August 29th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, September 2nd: Booksie’s Blog
Tuesday, September 3rd: Alison’s Book Marks
Thursday, September 5th: The Well-Read Redhead
Monday, September 9th: Doing Dewey
Monday, September 16th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Monday, September 30th: Sweet Southern Home
TBD: Peppermint PhD
TBD: Dreaming in Books