Saturday, October 24, 2015

FALL READING CHALLENGE: The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore

 photo blog-post-admission_zpsd1gykjgk.jpg

Description: Put today’s modern “has-it-all” family under the microscope in this revealing course by Meg Mitchell Moore.

 photo 61LB8dLSZRL._SX335_BO1204203200_-203x300-203x300_zpsexfegkbk.jpg

Synopsis: One of People magazine's  Great Beach Reads: "This novel about a striving, upscale California family is a bracing entertainment that zeroes in on the modern pressures put on teens--and their folks."

The Admissions
 brilliantly captures the frazzled pressure cooker of modern life as a seemingly perfect family comes undone by a few desperate measures, long-buried secrets—and college applications

The Hawthorne family has it all. Great jobs, a beautiful house in one of the most affluent areas of northern California, and three charming kids with perfectly straight teeth. And then comes their eldest daughter's senior year of high school . . .
     Firstborn Angela Hawthorne is a straight-A student and star athlete, with extracurricular activities coming out of her ears and a college application that's not going to write itself. She's set her sights on Harvard, her father's alma mater, and like a dog with a chew toy, Angela won't let up until she's basking in crimson-colored glory. Except her class rank as valedictorian is under attack, she's suddenly losing her edge at cross-country, and she can't help but daydream about the cute baseball player in English class. Of course Angela knows the time put into her schoolgirl crush would be better spent coming up with a subject for her term paper—which, along with her college essay and community service hours has a rapidly approaching deadline.
     Angela's mother, Nora, is similarly stretched to the limit, juggling parent-teacher meetings, carpool, and a real-estate career where she caters to the mega rich and super-picky buyers and sellers of the Bay Area. The youngest daughter, Maya, still can't read at the age of eight; the middle-child, Cecily, is no longer the happy-go-lucky kid she once was; and the dad, Gabe, seems oblivious to the mounting pressures at home because a devastating secret of his own might be exposed. A few ill-advised moves put the Hawthorne family on a heedless collision course that's equal parts achingly real and delightfully screwball.
     Sharp and topical, The Admissions shows that if you pull at a loose thread, even the sturdiest of lives start to unravel at the seams of high achievement.

Review: When I first read the synopsis of this book, I was torn as to whether I wanted to read it or not, as I am getting close to being "over" books about families with secrets. But I am definitely glad that I decided to give this one a chance.

This is a family that is spiraling out of control. Their everyday lives have gotten so complicated that they all seem to have lost themselves, their focus, and their ability to function as a family. No one seems to see the stress that the other family members are under, as they drown in their own, until it all comes to a head.

The characters are well defined by the author,  and the love between them is evident, in spite of their harried lives. Nora and Gabe may not always be the most attentive parents, but they obviously want the best for their girls, and want them to be happy. 

The plot is so very real--even if you've not experienced it, you can easily imagine yourself in their shoes. The author makes you feel empathy for their situations, and compassion for them as they try to make things right. The fact that we get to see things from the perspectives of various characters makes it even more engaging.

I would highly recommend this book to EVERYONE!!

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**
Rating: Four stars

About the author
 photo meg-mitchell-moore-headshot-1_zpsxufwl9rv.png
Meg Mitchell Moore is the author of The Admissions, as well as past hits like The Arrivals and So Far Away. She worked for several years as a journalist. Her work has been published in YankeeContinentalWomen’s HealthAdvertising Age and many other business and consumer magazines. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and their three children.

No comments: