Monday, 9 January 2017

Small Admissions [Book Review & Giveaway]

 Hello there!

Title: Small Admissions
Author: Amy Poeppel
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Published Date: 27th December 2016
Rating: 4 stars

*Thank you to the publisher for the review copy*


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Synopsis: For fans of The Nanny Diaries and Sophie Kinsella comes a whip-smart and deliciously funny debut novel about Kate, a young woman unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat world of New York City private school admissions as she attempts to understand city life, human nature, and falling in love.

Despite her innate ambition and Summa Cum Laude smarts, Kate Pearson has turned into a major slacker. After being unceremoniously dumped by her handsome, French “almost fiancé,” she abandons her grad school plans and instead spends her days lolling on the couch, watching reruns of Sex and the City, and leaving her apartment only when a dog-walking gig demands it. Her friends don’t know what to do other than pass tissues and hope for a comeback, while her practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of, from trapeze class to therapy to job interviews.

Miraculously, and for reasons no one (least of all Kate) understands, she manages to land a job in the admissions department at the prestigious Hudson Day School. In her new position, Kate learns there’s no time for self-pity or nonsense during the height of the admissions season, or what her colleagues refer to as “the dark time.” As the process revs up, Kate meets smart kids who are unlikable, likeable kids who aren’t very smart, and Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

Meanwhile, Kate’s sister and her closest friends find themselves keeping secrets, hiding boyfriends, dropping bombshells, and fighting each other on how to keep Kate on her feet. On top of it all, her cranky, oddly charming, and irritatingly handsome downstairs neighbor is more than he seems. Through every dishy, page-turning twist, it seems that one person’s happiness leads to another’s misfortune, and suddenly everyone, including Kate, is looking for a way to turn rejection on its head, using any means necessary—including the truly unexpected.


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Review: I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going in for when I decided to read and review Small Admissions. But I was pretty pleased and satisfied by the time I finished reading this book. Although it is centered around a school and the admissions process, it really is about family. Friendships, love, break ups, recovering from a funk… this book really covers it all.

What I had to like most about this novel was the brilliant character development we get to see from Kate. At the beginning, we really see her as someone who is hopeless and helpless. I have to admit – I criticized her a bit for wallowing so much when it came to a break up. A whole year is a really long time! But we steadily get to see a bit more of the bigger picture and what truly went on as we get further into the story. I started to blame Kate less and less. It helped that we were getting to see her beautiful transformation as well.


I also really liked how present the secondary characters were in this novel. We see things from all of their perspectives, and really get to see their story going in tandems with Kate, even though it might not really have to do with her story directly. I’m someone who really thinks minor characters all play their own role, and we really get to see this in the book. Because indirectly, things that the minor characters do, eventually end up effecting Kate’s journey and life in certain ways. So it was pretty nice to see that reflected in the story.

The style of writing was pretty nice and easy to read. At times some of the story is told through letters, emails and correspondence which was a nice change. I didn’t feel anything particular for that in either way. There was also quite a lot of point of view switching, which worked at times and didn’t work at others for me. I really liked to see all the different perspectives, but it was also a bit of brainwork trying to figure out whose perspective we were seeing things from after a chapter break.


I was expecting to not be able to appreciate any of the parts which had to do with the school. I know a bit about running a school because my mum is a head mistress, so I was prepared. But the author actually managed to make it interesting, and I found myself strangely invested in what was happening there. Yeah, it surprised me.

I have to admit though, in the middle the story dragged a bit. Not because it was boring, necessarily, but because I think Kate reached a plateau moment in her life and that slowed down the story. It’s the reason I couldn’t give the book five stars.


Most of all, this book make me think about what it means to leave things in life behind. Let go, move on. It made me think about rejection – in the sense of school admissions and from other people. And it also made me really think about whether there are really bad people in the world, or just bad mistakes or bad situations that some people can’t handle…

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Gif Summary:

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Giveaway: Enter to win 1 of 3 signed copies of Small Admissions. Check terms and conditions to see countries valid for entry!


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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: What do you think is a difficult topic to discuss in books?

Olivia-Savannah x

18 comments:

  1. Oh, I have an ARC of this book! I haven't read it yet, but I'm glad you liked it. :) I don't like it when the POV switches too often, but I love epistolary books and well-developed supporting characters, so I still feel good about this one. :D

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    1. I hope you'll be able to enjoy it when you read this one! It really did a good job of keeping the development going for everyone, and it was an uplifting ending ^.^

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  2. I was supposed to read this last month but my Outlander obsession didn't allow me. I've put it on my immediate TBR since It's a review book and I'm behind. I'm really glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the heads up about the wallowing over a breakup.

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    1. Can't wait to hear about your thoughts when you're finished with this one c:

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  3. While I probably would be annoyed with her at first for giving up just because of a man, I'm interested to see her journey and how she helps herself recover and get stronger so another man will not have the power over her again. Lol.

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    1. In the end, I have to admit, there is a lot more that contributes to her giving up. But the relationship really brought a lot of things to the forefront. It was a great recovery story :)

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  4. Hmmm, this is one to think about. Thanks for sharing this review!

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  5. I think this would vary and differ with each individual. For me, graphic violence would be very difficult to discuss. :/

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    1. Yes, this is something really personal...

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  6. Thanks of sharing your review of this book.

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  7. Great review Liv!

    I have no idea why... but I really like that cover! :)

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    1. It has its own attractive qualities to it ;)

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  8. I hadn't really understood the blurb until I starting reading your review... I can't believe she spent a year behaving like that because of a breakup! Wow!... Although I guess she does have a good reason for that from what you say.

    The book sounds really nice in general, reading about Kate's transformation must have been great :)

    Lipstick and Mocha

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    1. It can be a little confusing. But yes, her reason in the end is sound and valid for it!

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  9. Looks like a fun book! Thank you for the contest!

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