Small Admissions
by Amy Poeppel

Overview - People 's Book of the Week

" The Devil Wears Prada meets Primates of Park Avenue ." -- The New York Times

"Perfect for fans of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep ."-- Booklist

Top 6 Books You Need to Read-- BuzzFeed

Best Books to Give Every Book Lover on Your List-- Town and Country

One admission can change your life...forever. 

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More About Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel
People's Book of the Week

"The Devil Wears Prada meets Primates of Park Avenue." --The New York Times

"Perfect for fans of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep."--Booklist

Top 6 Books You Need to Read--BuzzFeed

Best Books to Give Every Book Lover on Your List--Town and Country

One admission can change your life...forever.

When ambitious grad student Kate Pearson's handsome French "almost fianc " ditches her, she definitely does not roll with the punches, despite the best efforts of family and friends. It seems that nothing will get Kate out of pajamas and back into the world.

Miraculously, one cringe-worthy job interview leads to a position in the admissions department at the revered Hudson Day School. Kate's instantly thrown into a highly competitive and occasionally absurd culture, where she interviews all types of children: suitable, wildly unsuitable, charming, loathsome, ingratiating, or spoiled beyond all measure. And then there are the Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

As Kate begins to learn there's no room for self-pity or nonsense during the height of admissions season or life itself, her sister and friends find themselves keeping secrets, dropping bombshells, and arguing with each other about how to keep Kate on her feet. Meanwhile, Kate seems to be doing very nicely, thank you, and is even beginning to find out that her broken heart is very much on the mend. Welcome to the world of Small Admissions.

  • ISBN-13: 9781501122521
  • ISBN-10: 1501122525
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publish Date: December 2016
  • Page Count: 368
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.35 x 1.25 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Women
Books > Fiction > Coming of Age
Books > Fiction > Literary

BookPage Reviews

A hilarious look at New York's prep school scene

What is it about books set at elite schools? The grosgrain ribbon belt-bedecked cover of Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep. The anxiety-filled Princeton offices in Jean Hanff Korelitz’s Admission. The bittersweet final days of college in Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot. These stories somehow manage to intrigue even those of us who’ve never set foot in a prep school, let alone an Ivy League college.

It’s no surprise, of course, that Amy Poeppel—author of the deliciously smart Small Admissions—went to Wellesley College and worked in admissions for what her book jacket calls “a prestigious independent school.” Her razor-sharp observations of families desperate to place their darlings in the best Manhattan schools can only come from someone who’s lived in that world.

Kate Pearson was on track to become an academic, applying to grad schools in her chosen field of anthropology. She had a gorgeous if caddish boyfriend, Robert, who was “so ridiculously French, which was somehow an asset and a defect at the same time,” Poeppel writes. 

When Robert ditches her as soon as she lands in Paris to live with him, Kate abandons her carefully planned life and takes up residence on her New York couch. Her friend Chloe, who is Robert’s cousin and introduced the pair, feels guilty. Her sister worries for Kate’s mental health and connects her with the admissions director at Hudson Day School, who is desperate to fill an admissions counselor position before the rush. Despite a catastrophically bad interview, Kate gets the job. Slowly, slowly, she reclaims her life, her friendships and her way.

Poeppel nails the naked ambition of New York power moms for whom placing their children in a prep school is as important as securing the newest Birkin bag. Small Admissions is a laugh-out-loud funny look at status and rejection in all its forms, from the classroom to the bedroom.


This article was originally published in the January 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook

BAM Customer Reviews