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Acceptance: A Novel

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Acceptance: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780374237196
ISBN10: 0374237190
Condition: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"Susan Coll's new novel about the top-tier college-admissions game tries hard and amiably, but it needs to be wait-listed behind worthier spring fiction....Carried by the bright overwriting of higher-end chick lit — coffee gets 'swilled' instead of drunk, and headaches tend toward migraines — this novel is just as caught up in the application process as AP Harry himself." Thomas Mallon, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A comic chronicle of a year in the life in the college admissions cycle.

It's spring break of junior year and the college admissions hysteria is setting in. "AP" Harry (so named for the unprecedented number of advanced placement courses he has taken) and his mother take a detour from his first choice, Harvard, to visit Yates, a liberal arts school in the Northeast that is enjoying a surge in popularity as a result of a statistical error that landed it on the top-fifty list of the U.S. News & World Report rankings. There, on Yates's dilapidated grounds, Harry runs into two of his classmates from Verona High, an elite public school in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There's Maya Kaluantharana, a gifted athlete whose mediocre SAT scores so alarm her family that they declare her learning disabled, and Taylor Rockefeller, Harry's brooding neighbor, who just wants a good look at the dormitory bathrooms.

With the human spirit of Tom Perrotta and the engaging honesty of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, Susan Coll reveals the frantic world of college admissions, where kids recalibrate their GPAs based on daily quizzes, families relocate to enhance the chance for Ivy League slots, and everyone is looking for the formula for admittance. Meanwhile, Yates admissions officer Olivia Sheraton sifts through applications looking for something — anything — to distinguish one applicant from the next. For all, the price of admission requires compromise; for a few, the ordeal blossoms into an unexpected journey of discovery.

Review:

"Coll (karlmarx.com; Rockville Pike) sends up college admissions in an overstuffed social comedy. The novel tracks three juniors-going-on-seniors as they and their families run the gauntlet of SATs, admissions essays, campus tours and rejection letters. It begins with AP Harry (named for the large number of advanced placement courses he takes) and his mother visiting Yates College, a ramshackle school enjoying popularity after U.S. News & World Report erroneously put it on its list of top schools. Also on campus are Harry's classmates Maya Kaluantharana, who'd rather swim laps than prowl library stacks, and Taylor Rockefeller, whose sole criterion for a college is having a private bathroom in her dorm room. As the months tick by and the students wait for acceptance letters, the book meanders through career maneuvering and faculty bed-hopping at Yates, a lawsuit brought against Yates, Harry's obsession with Harvard and Taylor's mother realizing the cause of her daughter's ambivalence toward college. The narrative is heavily peppered with contemporary miscellany (Hurricane Katrina, echoes of the Larry Summers controversy, Facebook, disputes about the SAT's importance), though the mentions often seem like afterthoughts. The surfeit of characters and narrative side trips creates a few pacing logjams, but Coll's deadpan wit and sympathy for her characters are more than redeeming." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A cheerfully pointed satire....While readers will root for these kids, Coll's affection for her targets does not detract from her bite." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Coll brings both warmth and a dizzy humor to her satire of the college admissions process....Coll pokes gentle fun at the insanely competitive spirit of the college application race and, through a series of zany plot turns, emphasizes that it's more about the journey than the destination." Booklist

Review:

"[H]arrowing and hilarious....YAs interested in the college selection process will find this book illuminating as they see in it their own fears acted out and resolved. It reads a bit like a Stephen King novel minus the horrific ending." School Library Journal

Review:

"Skillfully executed but narrowly conceived...a winning social comedy....Coll's book is strongest when gazing into the depths of teenage anxiety and explaining the bewildering behavior it produces." USA Today

Review:

"[H]ilarious....This extremely engaging story about the high-stakes, upper-middle-class world of college admissions...is recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"Having just sent one kid off to college and with a second now preparing to apply, I had shivers of recognition again and again as I read Acceptance. Fortunately, each shiver came along with its corresponding several smiles and chuckles. Susan Coll has written a dead-on satire that's also full of heart, which is a rare achievement." Kurt Andersen, author of Heyday

Review:

"Acceptance is A+ entertainment — witty, clever and unpretentious. Excellent reading for all, but a must read for anyone with teenage children." Anita Shreve

Review:

"I don't know why anyone would bother with those big, ugly college admissions manuals when a novel as smart and savvy as Acceptance can give us the same tips, with laughs. Susan Coll could make hell fun — and she does." Marilyn Johnson, author of The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries

Synopsis:

A comic chronicle of a year in the life in the college admissions cycle, and the frantic rush of students and parents to do something — anything — to distinguish themselves. For all, the price of admission requires compromise; for a few, the ordeal blossoms into an unexpected journey of discovery.

Synopsis:

A comic chronicle of a year in the life in the college admissions cycle.
 
It's spring break of junior year and the college admissions hysteria is setting in. "AP" Harry (so named for the unprecedented number of advanced placement courses he has taken) and his mother take a detour from his first choice, Harvard, to visit Yates, a liberal arts school in the Northeast that is enjoying a surge in popularity as a result of a statistical error that landed it on the top-fifty list of the U.S. News & World Report rankings. There, on Yates's dilapidated grounds, Harry runs into two of his classmates from Verona High, an elite public school in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There's Maya Kaluantharana, a gifted athlete whose mediocre SAT scores so alarm her family that they declare her learning disabled, and Taylor Rockefeller, Harry's brooding neighbor, who just wants a good look at the dormitory bathrooms.

With the human spirit of Tom Perrotta and the engaging honesty of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, Susan Coll reveals the frantic world of college admissions, where kids recalibrate their GPAs based on daily quizzes, families relocate to enhance the chance for Ivy League slots, and everyone is looking for the formula for admittance. Meanwhile, Yates admissions officer Olivia Sheraton sifts through applications looking for something--anything--to distinguish one applicant from the next. For all, the price of admission requires compromise; for a few, the ordeal blossoms into an unexpected journey of discovery.

Synopsis:

Acceptance is a satire of America's overachievers, a novel set over one year in the college application process, when students and parents surrender their evenings, their weekends, and their sanity to the race for admission. Maya, Taylor, and "AP" Harry (so named for all the advanced placement courses under his belt) are high school students in a Washington, D.C. suburb called Verona, each gunning for admission to the most prestigious colleges. Olivia is an overworked admissions officer, under siege from applications and every kind of desperate appeal. The application process threatens to overrun all of their lives, and Acceptance follows each character's struggle for their sanity against the relentless pressure of competition.

About the Author

Susan Coll is the author of karlmarx.com and Rockville Pike. She lives outside of Washington, D.C., with her husband, the author and journalist Steve Coll, and their three children.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

cwells, April 4, 2007 (view all comments by cwells)
In her third novel, Acceptance, Susan Coll once again gives a master class in the deftest comedic story-telling. In a tale packed with wry observations and cringe-making set pieces, this is a comedy of the college admissions process that will give parents of younger children nightmares about what the future holds for them and their offspring.
The applying kids Harry, Taylor and Maya are each carefully constructed characters with their own, not necessarily predictable, problems. From the broad range of parents, Grace is probably the nearest to the “everymom”, valiantly trying not get swamped by the whole process. In counterbalance to these is the wonderfully cynical Olivia, who provides sober reflection on the entire education system which a lot of world-weary adults will recognize.
In the hands of a lesser writer these characters might have come across as less than perfect, but in Coll’s hands they take on a depth that adds pathos to the crackling humor. Definitely another novel by Coll to be savored and enjoyed.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374237196
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Coll, Susan
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
General
Subject:
Universities and colleges
Subject:
Admission
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Humorous fiction
Subject:
Universities and colleges -- Admission.
Subject:
Humorous
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
March 2007
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
7.85 x 5.86 x 0.86 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Acceptance: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374237196 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Coll (karlmarx.com; Rockville Pike) sends up college admissions in an overstuffed social comedy. The novel tracks three juniors-going-on-seniors as they and their families run the gauntlet of SATs, admissions essays, campus tours and rejection letters. It begins with AP Harry (named for the large number of advanced placement courses he takes) and his mother visiting Yates College, a ramshackle school enjoying popularity after U.S. News & World Report erroneously put it on its list of top schools. Also on campus are Harry's classmates Maya Kaluantharana, who'd rather swim laps than prowl library stacks, and Taylor Rockefeller, whose sole criterion for a college is having a private bathroom in her dorm room. As the months tick by and the students wait for acceptance letters, the book meanders through career maneuvering and faculty bed-hopping at Yates, a lawsuit brought against Yates, Harry's obsession with Harvard and Taylor's mother realizing the cause of her daughter's ambivalence toward college. The narrative is heavily peppered with contemporary miscellany (Hurricane Katrina, echoes of the Larry Summers controversy, Facebook, disputes about the SAT's importance), though the mentions often seem like afterthoughts. The surfeit of characters and narrative side trips creates a few pacing logjams, but Coll's deadpan wit and sympathy for her characters are more than redeeming." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Susan Coll's new novel about the top-tier college-admissions game tries hard and amiably, but it needs to be wait-listed behind worthier spring fiction....Carried by the bright overwriting of higher-end chick lit — coffee gets 'swilled' instead of drunk, and headaches tend toward migraines — this novel is just as caught up in the application process as AP Harry himself." (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
"Review" by , "A cheerfully pointed satire....While readers will root for these kids, Coll's affection for her targets does not detract from her bite."
"Review" by , "Coll brings both warmth and a dizzy humor to her satire of the college admissions process....Coll pokes gentle fun at the insanely competitive spirit of the college application race and, through a series of zany plot turns, emphasizes that it's more about the journey than the destination."
"Review" by , "[H]arrowing and hilarious....YAs interested in the college selection process will find this book illuminating as they see in it their own fears acted out and resolved. It reads a bit like a Stephen King novel minus the horrific ending."
"Review" by , "Skillfully executed but narrowly conceived...a winning social comedy....Coll's book is strongest when gazing into the depths of teenage anxiety and explaining the bewildering behavior it produces."
"Review" by , "[H]ilarious....This extremely engaging story about the high-stakes, upper-middle-class world of college admissions...is recommended."
"Review" by , "Having just sent one kid off to college and with a second now preparing to apply, I had shivers of recognition again and again as I read Acceptance. Fortunately, each shiver came along with its corresponding several smiles and chuckles. Susan Coll has written a dead-on satire that's also full of heart, which is a rare achievement."
"Review" by , "Acceptance is A+ entertainment — witty, clever and unpretentious. Excellent reading for all, but a must read for anyone with teenage children."
"Review" by , "I don't know why anyone would bother with those big, ugly college admissions manuals when a novel as smart and savvy as Acceptance can give us the same tips, with laughs. Susan Coll could make hell fun — and she does." Marilyn Johnson, author of The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries
"Synopsis" by , A comic chronicle of a year in the life in the college admissions cycle, and the frantic rush of students and parents to do something — anything — to distinguish themselves. For all, the price of admission requires compromise; for a few, the ordeal blossoms into an unexpected journey of discovery.
"Synopsis" by ,
A comic chronicle of a year in the life in the college admissions cycle.
 
It's spring break of junior year and the college admissions hysteria is setting in. "AP" Harry (so named for the unprecedented number of advanced placement courses he has taken) and his mother take a detour from his first choice, Harvard, to visit Yates, a liberal arts school in the Northeast that is enjoying a surge in popularity as a result of a statistical error that landed it on the top-fifty list of the U.S. News & World Report rankings. There, on Yates's dilapidated grounds, Harry runs into two of his classmates from Verona High, an elite public school in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There's Maya Kaluantharana, a gifted athlete whose mediocre SAT scores so alarm her family that they declare her learning disabled, and Taylor Rockefeller, Harry's brooding neighbor, who just wants a good look at the dormitory bathrooms.

With the human spirit of Tom Perrotta and the engaging honesty of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, Susan Coll reveals the frantic world of college admissions, where kids recalibrate their GPAs based on daily quizzes, families relocate to enhance the chance for Ivy League slots, and everyone is looking for the formula for admittance. Meanwhile, Yates admissions officer Olivia Sheraton sifts through applications looking for something--anything--to distinguish one applicant from the next. For all, the price of admission requires compromise; for a few, the ordeal blossoms into an unexpected journey of discovery.

"Synopsis" by ,

Acceptance is a satire of America's overachievers, a novel set over one year in the college application process, when students and parents surrender their evenings, their weekends, and their sanity to the race for admission. Maya, Taylor, and "AP" Harry (so named for all the advanced placement courses under his belt) are high school students in a Washington, D.C. suburb called Verona, each gunning for admission to the most prestigious colleges. Olivia is an overworked admissions officer, under siege from applications and every kind of desperate appeal. The application process threatens to overrun all of their lives, and Acceptance follows each character's struggle for their sanity against the relentless pressure of competition.

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