Rating:

small admissions book coverReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

When Kate Pearson graduated college and was all set to move in with her French boyfriend in Paris, it came as a hard shock when he decided that was the time to break things off with her. In the next months, she fell apart, spending most days on her sofa or bed, going days without showers, and generally being miserable. With the help of her sister and friend Chloe, she finally gets it together enough to land a job at one of New York City’s most prestigious private schools as an admissions officer.

Kate is, at first, quite overwhelmed by a job she’s sure she has no business doing. But meeting these families who would–and do–do anything to get their kids into the perfect school gives her a focus and keeps her busy. Soon Kate is highly invested in her job and slowly but surely getting her life back on track.

I wanted to like this book much more than I did. I have to admit, the things that upset me the most was seeing a girl who was so bright and focused fall apart in such a dramatic way over a man who clearly didn’t love her. It actually is revealed later that she didn’t love him the way she though she did either, so in the way the entire basis of the book is negated, annoyingly.

The thing I was looking forward to most was getting to know some of the parents and kids who were focused on getting into the school; we do, and some are certifiable, but there was not as much substance there as I would have hoped for.

For a college educated woman, Kate is unbelievably naive and in turn, lucky. Based on her interview, she really shouldn’t have landed the job in the first place. She did turn out to be a good fit, but show me one real world example where you can go into an interview at such a professional setting cursing, with a short skirt on, and still land a job?

Finally, there was the fact that everyone in Kate’s life thought they had to baby her, or that they were responsible for her. Tough love was really what she needed, but never what she got. She coasts by on her good looks and then only after that does she put in work.

I know it sounds like I really hated this book, but I found it just okay, overall. Kate was severely irritating but a good chunk of the book didn’t even revolve around her, so getting breaks from her point of view was great. I’m not sure that I would recommend Small Admissions, but if you do read it don’t go into it expecting anything too deep.


Carrie runs the blog Sweet Southern Home, and is a stay at home wife and mom to one little boy. When she’s not reading, she’s usually watching Netflix with her husband, playing outside with her son, or baking. Her family would describe her as sometimes annoyingly sarcastic, but mostly lovable. 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Atria / Emily Bestler Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.