Monday, September 16, 2013

Early Decision, by Lacy Crawford

Anne has an interesting job; she helps children from wealthy families get into college.  She helps groom them, polish their essays, and match them with suitable and realistic college choices.  She makes sure all applications are submitted on time, and then waits for the praise when the acceptance letters roll in.  But this can be a very delicate business, balancing the desires of the child with the desires of the bill paying parents.  Along the way, Anne realizes she had provided guidance to everyone but herself.

This book was a tough one to review.  On the one hand, I enjoyed the author;s writing style.  My own experience working in the field of higher education leads me to believe this is a frighteningly accurate portrayal of what the elite kids go through.  Often times the writing was wry and witty, heartbreaking and poignant, and overall the book serves as a decent introduction to life in the real world for teens.

However, I thought that the book smacked of white privilege and cynical snobbery.  The kids in the book, for the most part, are kind of one dimensional, and, along with their parents, sort of unlikable.  The majority of college students in the country do not deal with these situations, so it makes it hard for the everyday reader to relate.  I thought most of the characters were whiny, spoiled, and vapid.  The one "real" character is more of a caricature, someone on the opposite extreme; poor, minority, immigrant.  Do I know that these situations exist for elite families?  Sure.  But in no way do I have sympathy for these entitled offspring.

I think this author shows a lot of promise; the subject matter just struck a sour chord with me.

I received a review copy courtesy of TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. See the rest of the tour here.

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