Admission ~ Jean Hanff Korelitz

  • Title: Admission
  • Author: Jean Hanff Korelitz
  • Genre: Literary Fiction
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Source: Public Library
  • Reviewed by: Valerie
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  “Admissions. Admission. Aren’t there two sides to the word? And two opposing sides… It’s what we let in, but it’s also what we let out.”

For years, 38-year-old Portia Nathan has avoided the past, hiding behind her busy (and sometimes punishing) career as a Princeton University admissions officer and her dependable domestic life. Her reluctance to confront the truth is suddenly overwhelmed by the resurfacing of a life-altering decision, and Portia is faced with an extraordinary test. Just as thousands of the nation’s brightest students await her decision regarding their academic admission, so too must Portia decide whether to make her own ultimate admission.

Admission is at once a fascinating look at the complex college admissions process and an emotional examination of what happens when the secrets of the past return and shake a woman’s life to its core.

*Potential Spoilers*

Review:  I am a huge Tina Fey fan and I love book to movie adaptations.  When I found out the Tina would be starring in an adaptation of a book called Admission, I had no idea what the book was about, but I hurried off to the library to check it out anyway.

Admission is a book with a good story to tell and solid, if at times, tedious writing. It centers on Portia, a Princeton Admissions Officer who is aloof to the point of dysfunctional, trying to hide her insecurities and inner most secrets. During the course of the book, she is dealing with another busy season of vetting Princeton hopefuls, meanwhile her carefully cultivated lifestyles starts to crumble.

While it was predictable, the story itself was fresh and interesting. There may be others in existence, but this is the first time I’ve encountered a book set among college admissions staff. I found the process of admissions fascinating for about the first third of book (if that), before it grew tiresome. I ended up skimming those sections from that point on. We get it, there are a lot of kids and parents who pin there hope on Princeton. It is not just about academics. There is no golden ticket. Yadda yadda.

I felt bad for Portia and her trials and tribulations, but at the same time I wanted to shake her yell at her to take life by the horns. As dysfunctional as she was, I figured there must have been some large tragedy in her background.  Nope, not  really. She just over-reacted to a few big bumps in life’s highway.

I am not sure that I would actually recommend this book to anyone. It really was too slow-paced for my taste. It would probably generate good book club discussion, but I am not sure how many of my book club people would make it through the entire book.

As for the movie, if the previews are any indication this will be a VERY loose adaptation.  I would classify the book as the drama, whereas the movie is being sold as a comedy.  Regardless, it stars my girl, Tina, so you know I’ll be there to see it!

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