“...part Gossip Girl, part Dead Poets Society, and entirely addictive! A brilliant, satirical peek at the families of privilege behind the Ivy Curtain, this book made me laugh out loud.” — Kevin Kwan, New York Times bestselling author of the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy
In Early Decision, Lacy Crawford draws on 15 years of experience traveling the United States as a highly sought-after private college counselor to illuminate the madness of parents pursuing college admissions.
Working one-on-one with helicopter parents and burned-out kids, Anne “the application whisperer” can make Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford a reality. Early Decision follows five students over one autumn as Anne helps them craft their college essays, cram for the SATs, and perfect the Common Application. It seems their entire future is on the line—and it is. Though not because of Princeton and Yale. It’s because the process, warped as it is by money, connections, competition, and parental mania, threatens to crush their independence just as adulthood begins.
Whether you want to get in or just get out, with wit and heart, Early Decision explodes the secrets and scandals of the college admissions race.
This entertaining tale of upper class parents and adolescent learning curves points a keen eye at the college application process and the agony and ecstasy of getting that acceptance letter. Twenty-seven-year-old Anne with her polished Princeton background has somehow fallen into the college essay coaching business and is quite proficient. Enter Margaret and Gideon Blanchard and their daughter Sadie who has been groomed from birth to attend Duke as a legacy. Anne sets to help Sadie polish her essays and in the process they discover each other's strengths and weaknesses. Anne is dealing with an unruly upstairs neighbor who hates her dog and may be stealing her newspaper, a philandering actor boyfriend, and her own unfinished aspirations, while her students deal with their sexuality, finding their voice, and escaping their parents' expectations and jealousies. Wealth and privilege are in no way major indicators of who gets in where, and sometimes they hold the perfect student back, but with the right help and support, such as Anne supplies, those students find their way despite themselves. Sprinkled with tips for writers "it isn't so much about editing as it is about aligning execution to intention," essays in various forms of re-write, and a very satisfying twist at the end, the reader is lead through a long, dark supervised High School hallway and off to the freedom of the great lawn.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Enjoyable read for both parents and former prepsters alike!
I really wanted to like this book. It seemed like it would be funny, informative and entertaining. In truth it is none of the above. This is less of a book about kids trying to get in to stellar schools and more about the author's own insecurities and neuroses. Too bad. There's obviously talent there. It's just obscured with the author's need to impress readers with how brilliant she is - as she references her own ivy- league education on practically every page; exhausting and totally lacks focus.
Early Decision is a wonderful, entertaining read.