Thursday, September 3, 2009

Admission: a review

I never thought I'd get so sucked into a book about a college admissions officer, but Jean Hanff Korelitz has come up with a very engaging novel about just that. Surprisingly, a lot of it does actually have to do with the minutiae of the job (though how realistic it actually is I won't know until my admissions officer friend reads it). But it's not just about getting into Princeton, it's also about another sort of admission. Portia Nathan, while in the busiest time of her work year, is also struggling to come to terms with her past, a past that begins to catch up with her on a visit to a new, experimental school in New Hampshire where she meets a classmate from Dartmouth. I won't give too much away about the plot, but I do recommend the book.

There were a couple of odd editing mistakes. For example, in one scene there is a meeting of admissions officers, and one person named Jordan is absent (it described why he wasn't there, which I don't remember now) but later in the seen someone addresses Jordan and she answers. So, this person wasn't there, but now is present and of a different gender. I keep noticing errors in books these days and I don't know whether editing is getting sloppy or if I'm becoming more observant. My only other criticism is that one of the sub-plots remained unresolved. I guess it wasn't especially important, but I still have questions.

Overall, I found this book very enjoyable and engrossing. It was around 450 pages and I read it in 4 days, which is very quick for me. It also made me want to be a college admissions officer, but I'm sure I'll get over it.

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