Early Decision: A Novel transported me back to my junior and senior year in high school when I was focused on my grades, extra-curricular activities and working on my personal essay format (yes, we did focus on personal essays in high school. A LOT), all in the name of picking a college and getting into the “one,” that I wanted. Granted, my days were much different than the students in this book as I had next to no interest in the Ivy league schools, preferring instead universities that were four to six hours drive time from my parents.
In this novel, Lacy Crawford takes you on the journey of five students as they navigate the college application process, their overbearing parents, trying to make their voice heard, and in one case, struggling against all odds to get into her dream school, a place she rightfully deserves to be. In the center of these students is Anne, their college application guru and adviser, helping not just with personal essays but helping the students to realize who they really are. Of course Anne’s personal life is a bit of a mess: her cheating boyfriend lives on the West Coast while she’s in Chicago; her parents aren’t fans of her line of work; her only and best friend is her dog Mitchell and suddenly her apartment building is not a fan of her dog and she doesn’t always agree with the parents she encounters.
There were a few parts of the book that moved a little slower than I would have liked/expected but overall this was a good read, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars from me.
A little about this book from Barnes & Noble:
A delightful and salacious novel about the frightful world of high school, SATs, the college essay, and the Common Application—and how getting in is getting in the way of growing up
Anne Arlington is twenty-seven, single, and in demand: she is the independent “college whisperer” whose name is passed from parent to parent like a winning lottery ticket, the only tutor who can make a difference with the Ivy League.
Early Decision follows one application season and the five students Anne guides to their fates: Hunter, the athletic boy who never quite hits his potential, a kind, heavily defended kid who drives his mother mad; Sadie, an heiress who is perfectly controlled but at the expense of her own heart; William, whose intelligence permits him to dodge his father’s cruel conservatism but can’t solve the problem of loneliness; Alexis, a blazing overachiever whose midwestern parents have never heard of a tiger mom; and Cristina, who could write her ticket out of her enormous, failing high school, if only she knew how.
What was your college application process like? Did you have your sights set on a certain college or location?