Acceptance by Susan Coll
A Novel

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A comic chronicle of a year in the life in the college admissions cycle.

It's spring break of junior year and the college admissions hysteria is setting in. "AP" Harry (so named for the unprecedented number of advanced placement courses he has taken) and his mother take a detour from his first choice, Harvard, to visit Yates, a liberal arts school in the Northeast that is enjoying a surge in popularity as a result of a statistical error that landed it on the top-fifty list of the U.S. News & World Report rankings. There, on Yates's dilapidated grounds, Harry runs into two of his classmates from Verona High, an elite public school in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There's Maya Kaluantharana, a gifted athlete whose mediocre SAT scores so alarm her family that they declare her learning disabled, and Taylor Rockefeller, Harry's brooding neighbor, who just wants a good look at the dormitory bathrooms.

With the human spirit of Tom Perrotta and the engaging honesty of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, Susan Coll reveals the frantic world of college admissions, where kids recalibrate their GPAs based on daily quizzes, families relocate to enhance the chance for Ivy League slots, and everyone is looking for the formula for admittance. Meanwhile, Yates admissions officer Olivia Sheraton sifts through applications looking for something--anything--to distinguish one applicant from the next. For all, the price of admission requires compromise; for a few, the ordeal blossoms into an unexpected journey of discovery.


About Susan Coll

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Susan Coll is the author of and Rockville Pike. She lives outside of Washington, D.C., with her husband, the author and journalist Steve Coll, and their three children.
Published January 20, 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 320 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Taylor’s mother, who never went to college, is desperate to have Taylor go somewhere more prestigious than Yates, but Taylor, whose relationship with her mother is prickly at best, falls in love with the school.

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Publishers Weekly

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As the months tick by and the students wait for acceptance letters, the book meanders through career maneuvering and faculty bed-hopping at Yates, a lawsuit brought against Yates, Harry's obsession with Harvard and Taylor's mother realizing the cause of her daughter's ambivalence toward college.

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Entertainment Weekly

Acceptance, Susan Coll's darkly comic novel, details the pressure surrounding the college application process in a Washington, D.C., suburb.

Mar 02 2007 | Read Full Review of Acceptance: A Novel

USA Today

Skillfully executed but narrowly conceived, Susan Coll's third novel is a winning social comedy about the overwrought college admissions struggles of privileged teenagers and their parents.Bumped into the upper tier of college rankings by a statistical error, otherwise unremarkable Yates College ...

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Still, none have the bite that might elevate Acceptance from a pleasurable read to the sharp satire it aspires to be—a novel the likes of Election, perhaps, a satiric piece with a similar high school setting, which author Tom Perrotta wrote with greater concern for his overall point than for whet...

Jun 03 2008 | Read Full Review of Acceptance: A Novel

Common Sense Media

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.Find out more Parents need to know that although this heartfelt TV movie about high school seniors dealing with the pressures of the college admissions process is geared toward teens, it has some pretty strong content, including ref...

Aug 20 2009 | Read Full Review of Acceptance: A Novel

Curled Up With a Good Kid's Book

Acceptance is the comical story of three eleventh-graders in the process of applying to colleges.

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