Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel

What They Say.....For fans of The Nanny Diaries and Sophie Kinsella comes a whip-smart and deliciously funny debut novel about Kate, a young woman unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat world of New York City private school admissions as she attempts to understand city life, human nature, and falling in love.

Despite her innate ambition and Summa Cum Laude smarts, Kate Pearson has turned into a major slacker. After being unceremoniously dumped by her handsome, French “almost fiancĂ©,” she abandons her grad school plans and instead spends her days lolling on the couch, watching reruns of Sex and the City, and leaving her apartment only when a dog-walking gig demands it. Her friends don’t know what to do other than pass tissues and hope for a comeback, while her practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of, from trapeze class to therapy to job interviews.

Miraculously, and for reasons no one (least of all Kate) understands, she manages to land a job in the admissions department at the prestigious Hudson Day School. In her new position, Kate learns there’s no time for self-pity or nonsense during the height of the admissions season, or what her colleagues refer to as “the dark time.” As the process revs up, Kate meets smart kids who are unlikable, likeable kids who aren’t very smart, and Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

Meanwhile, Kate’s sister and her closest friends find themselves keeping secrets, hiding boyfriends, dropping bombshells, and fighting each other on how to keep Kate on her feet. On top of it all, her cranky, oddly charming, and irritatingly handsome downstairs neighbor is more than he seems. Through every dishy, page-turning twist, it seems that one person’s happiness leads to another’s misfortune, and suddenly everyone, including Kate, is looking for a way to turn rejection on its head, using any means necessary—including the truly unexpected.

What I Say.....Kate is reeling from the breakup from hell, left at the airport in Paris for a French boyfriend who "changed his mind" after she packed up and left her life and her graduate studies behind to pursue love.

Kate's decision and subsequent breakdown impact all of the women in her life.  Her sister, and her two best friends have different ways of dealing with the changes in Kate that range from tolerance to fixing to phantom online dating in Kate's place.

Kate's sister helps her land a job as an admissions counselor at a prestigious private school, and slowly begins to come back to life.  In the midst of her long hours, she starts chatting with the neighbor that lives downstairs.  

This was a fun book to read, and I liked Kate's journey, along with her friends and sister.  I did feel like her friend who began to date her ex was pretty disloyal - a real friend wouldn't do that, or be so spiteful about it in the beginning - but in the end she got what she deserved too.

The funny thing was, all of these women were running around worrying about Kate; where she should work, who she should date, and Kate never really seemed to return the interest.  She didn't seem to care about them too much at all.  In spite of all their hard work, they didn't realize that the only thing she needed was time - time to reflect on why she made the major life change she did, and acceptance of the real reason behind that decision.  

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