Author: Julie Buxbaum
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release date: December 1, 2020
My rating: ★★★.5
Synopsis via Goodreads:
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?
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a finished copy in exchange for an honest review.
Admission tells the story of high school senior Chloe. It’s the time of the year when she has to buckle down and start thinking about college. After multiple SAT tests with scores that aren’t as good as she hoped for, Chloe is told that her dream schools aren’t achievable. Her celebrity mother decides to hire an admissions conceder to help make the process easier. When Chloe is accepted to her first choice school, she can’t believe it. Fast forward to when her mother is arrested for bribing her daughter’s way into college. How exactly did this happen? And how much did Chloe actually know??
I have gone back-and-forth with my feelings on this book. For the most part it was an enjoyable read but I never felt like I was fully invested in the story. Admission is told through dual timelines… before the arrest and everything after. I found myself way more interested in the aftermath. Those chapters I couldn’t stop reading. I was so eager to know how things were going to end up for the family.
Admission really explores privilege in all of its forms. Chloe’s family is very well off. With her mom being an actor and her dad working in finance, they have everything they need plus way more. Throughout the story Chloe is put in eye opening situations that make her realize she is very lucky to be where she is. Her character growth, while it takes time, is exactly what I was hoping to read. Taking responsibility is another major part of the story. Chloe’s mom learns the hard way that you have to own up to your mistakes. Even if the consequences are scary, you still have to do the right thing.
I absolutely loved Chloe’s sister Isla. She is such a fierce person. Unlike Chloe, she takes the time to educate herself about the case against her mom. She basically has to tell Chloe what to do in order to protect herself from facing charges. Honestly, Chloe would not make it through this book if it wasn’t for Isla. I also liked Chloe’s best friend Shola. While their friendship is super awkward, I loved that she put Chloe in her place at times. When Chloe would say or do things that were not acceptable, Shola would make sure Chloe checked her privilege and understood what she did was wrong. Isla and Shola played a huge role in Chloe’s growth.
Overall, this story is thought provoking and so timely. I applaud the author for taking on such an infuriating topic. Admission will definitely make you look at the Lori Loughlin & Felicity Huffman cases with a whole different perspective.