Chloe is a high school senior living in Los Angeles. Her mother starred in two popular television shows as well as Hallmark movies. Her mother also engaged in an elaborate scheme of cheating and bribery in order to help Chloe get into college.
The narrative alternates between Then and Now, exploring the dual perspectives of the events that preceded Chloe’s mother’s arrest as well as what she and her family do after being implicated in the scandal.
Chloe is a sweet girl, but her naivete is her biggest fault. She knows that something is “off” with the changes the private admissions counselor suggests, but she accepts her parents’ explanations. She does discover more blatant evidence at one point, but it’s after the applications have been submitted, and she doesn’t speak up. I don’t mean to suggest that she shares very much of the blame for being caught up in the scandal, but she’s not entirely unaware either.
For the most part, Chloe is a likeable protagonist. She’s aware of her privilege, but she still makes a couple of insensitive comments, not realizing that things aren’t as simple as she perceives them to be. She’s a good friend, and a decent student, with a handful of extracurriculars. There’s no reason why she couldn’t get into any number of colleges on her own merits—just not her first choice school.
Admission is a completely fictional version of the real-life college admissions scandal, and that factor made the reading experience more interesting, even if it was only loosely based on facts. I don’t want to give away too much, but I will say this: just because Chloe is a sweet girl who was not a co-conspirator, she still faces consequences… which is the right message to send to readers.
I would absolutely recommend Admission. This was an exciting book to read and I found it difficult to put down. The dual timeline puts the reader into the mindset of knowing what happened, and having to go back and explore *how* it happened. I am looking forward to reading more from Buxbaum in the future.
I received a copy of this book from Random House/NetGalley