Friday, October 9, 2009

Review: Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Book Info:
Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; (April 13, 2009)
ISBN-13: 9780446540704
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: LibraryThing/Publisher for review
Rating: 4/5

For years, 38-year-old Portia Nathan has avoided the past, hiding behind her busy (and sometimes punishing) career as a Princeton University admissions officer and her dependable domestic life. Her reluctance to confront the truth is suddenly overwhelmed by the resurfacing of a life-altering decision, and Portia is faced with an extraordinary test. Just as thousands of the nation's brightest students await her decision regarding their academic admission, so too must Portia decide whether to make her own ultimate admission.

I received Admission from LibraryThing's Early Review program and was excited about reading it based on some very good reviews I'd read on other blogs. Once it arrived, though, it fell to the same unfortunate fate as so many books and languished on my shelf for way too long. Once I picked it up I got into the story quickly, and wished I'd started it sooner.

I never gave much thought to the college admission procedure, but I loved reading about it. The process is complex and wonderfully interesting. The admission officers have a tough, but very rewarding job, and I found the behind the scenes information fascinating.

Portia has her history with an old boyfriend hanging over her head, and this is hinted at throughout the book. The situation isn't revealed until about 3/4 of the way through the book, and I found it to be a little unneeded. At this point in the book I was already invested in the characters and happy with where the story was going without this 'twist'.

Overall, Admission is a fascinating story, if a little wordy. For me, the book could have been shorted considerably and not lost any of its appeal. The same arguments about which students should get into Princeton popped up multiple times, and I could have done without the third or fourth rehashing of this issue. But, even with the length, I would still recommend Admission. 4 stars


Darlene said...

This book has been languishing on my shelf for a long time as well. It sounds like I should maybe pick it up sooner than later. Nice review Melissa.

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

I read reviews of this when it first came out and it sounded like something i would want to read.
thanks for the honest review.

Marie Cloutier said...

Thanks for writing about this; I've been interested in reading it for a while. Congrats on getting it from LT but I know what you mean about it sitting on the shelf- my ER books end up sitting around for a while too!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This seems like an interesting book. I know I've seen it around previously. Thanks for the review.

Lenore Appelhans said...

Another one that has let this book languish. I see it is a chunkster though, so I will have to get to it this year so I can count it in the challenge!

Zibilee said...

This is the first time I have heard this book mentioned or read a review. I think the premise sounds very interesting and different than most of the books I have read. Great review!

Kathleen Gilligan said...

I liked this for the most part but had the problem of putting it down and then not being able to get back into it. Definitely wordy, but I overall liked it.