Book Review: Admission

Author: Jean Hanff Korelitz
Genre: Fiction
Number of Pages: 464
Where I Got It: Own it

First line: "The flight from Newark to Hartford took no more than fifty-eight minutes, but she still managed to get her heart broken three times."

Portia Nathan is an admissions officer at Princeton who lives a quiet, ordinary life with her partner of 16 years Mark. She travels to different schools on the East coast, pitching Princeton to students and then sorting through thousands of applications to choose the best of the best. Then she runs into John, a man who remembers her  from when they both attended Dartmouth, and their meeting forces Portia to revisit a part of her past that she has buried deeply.

I kind of hated this book.

The parts where the admissions process is described was really fascinating.  To get an inside look at this exclusive process and the thoughts that go through someone in Portia's position was really interesting and even motivates me to read more about that.

Then there was the rest of the book. Just when I thought we were getting into something good, it fizzled out. There was too much self-reflection and inner monologue.  Too much of Portia analyzing the system of admissions, the system of admissions at Princeton, the meeting with John, the repercussions of that meeting... the overanalysis just seemed to make the story drag so much.

The final big reveal was a letdown as well - a bit too unbelievable for my taste. Overall, I just didn't enjoy this book.

Final Rating: 2 out of 5

Coming Up Next: Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
Blending fact with fiction, Melanie Benjamin weaves together the story of who is Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Born into a Victorian family of privilege, free-spirited Alice catches the attention of family friend Dodgson and serves as the muse for both his photography and writing. Their bond, however, is misunderstood by Alice's family, and though she is forced to sever their friendship, she is forever haunted by their connection as her life becomes something of a chain of heartbreaks. As an adult, Alice tries to escape her past, but it is only when she finally embraces it that she truly finds the happiness that eluded her. Focusing on three eras in Alice's life, Benjamin offers a finely wrought portrait of Alice that seamlessly blends fact with fiction.

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