SMALL ADMISSIONS by Amy Poeppel

WEALTHY, ENTITLED NEW YORK CITY PARENTS WILL DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING … WELL, IN SOME CASES, ANYTHING TO GET THEIR KIDDIES INTO THE BEST MANHATTAN PRIVATE SCHOOLS!

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BookSparks’ University Fall Reading Challenge (#FRC2016) continues on into 2017 with Amy Poeppel’s novel, SMALL ADMISSIONS (EmilyBestlerBooks). If you haven’t read it already, I’m sure you’ve heard about it and believe the chatter, it delivers.

After flying to Paris only to be dumped and learn, “eeez” over, by her gorgeous, French, “almost fiance,” Robert, Kate Pearson is a lump of crushed humanity. Back in New York City, Kate finds herself jobless, homeless and sleeping on her sister’s sofa, which she can’t seem to get off. No matter what her family and friends say or do, Kate isn’t able to reconnect with life as she knew it.

Her ever-determined, overbearing sister, Angela is set on getting her sister out of this funk, and lands Kate a job interview in the admissions office at a posh Manhattan private school. She shows up for the interview and proceeds to fulfill her self-prophesy. “I won’t mean to, but I’ll project incompetence.”

Miraculously, she is offered the position and after realizing it’s not a joke, she accepts the job at the elite Hudson Day School. Kate is immediately thrown smack into the middle of the uniquely ridiculous and highly competitive admissions process. The children range the gamut from suitable to unsuitable, charming to loathsome and the Park Avenue parents don’t understand or respond well to the word “no.”

Amy Poeppel fills SMALL ADMISSIONS with a cast of characters that pop off the page, including Kate’s BFFs, Chloe and Vicki, her eccentric parents who are archeology professors traveling the world and the circus-like atmosphere of Hudson Day School. You have to pay attention, I got mixed up a couple of times. But it’s a delightful journey, reading as Kate forges ahead into the world of the living and yes, the loving.

I suggest a chilled Savignon Blanc to drink while reading, but of course, there are you red wine fans. A nice merlot? Enjoy!

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Amy Poeppel grew up in Dallas, Texas. She graduated from Wellesley College and worked as an actress in the Boston area. While in Boston, she also got her Masters in Teaching from Simmons College.

She is married to David Poeppel, a neuroscientist at NYU and Director of the Max Planck Institute in Frankfurt, and had three sons along the way. Amy taught high school English in the Washington, DC suburbs for several years, and after moving to New York, she worked as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Trevor Day School, where she had the fulfilling experience of meeting and getting to know hundreds of applicant families.

She attended sessions at the Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit and wrote the theatrical version of Small Admissions, which was performed there as a staged reading in 2011. Because the admissions world provided so much material, she expanded the play into a novel of the same name.

Amy is currently working on a new novel and is blogging weekly for The Debutante Ball. Her writing has appeared on The Rumpus, The Higgs Weldon, In The Powder Room, and Literary Mama.

You can follow Amy on facebook, her website http://www.amypoeppel.com or on Twitter @AmyPoeppel. Thanks to BookSparks for providing a copy of SMALL ADMISSIONS for an honest review.

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