"Having just sent one kid off to college and with a second now preparing to apply, I had shivers of recognition again and again as I read Acceptance. Fortunately, each shiver came along with its corresponding several smiles and chuckles. Susan Coll has written a dead-on satire that's also full of heart, which is a rare achievement."—Kurt Andersen, author of Heyday"I don’t know why anyone would bother with those big, ugly college admissions manuals when a novel as smart and savvy as Acceptance can give us the same tips, with laughs. Susan Coll could make hell fun—and she does."—Marilyn Johnson, author of The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries
"This book follows a handful of high school students throughout the year leading up to their graduation. It is a harrowing and hilarious story told from the points of view of the teens and their families as they navigate the maze leading to the holy grail of acceptance by a major university. Coll celebrates and skewers the people and the politics waged on both sides of the application process as the students pick their dream colleges and these institutions either pick them back or toss them onto the scrap heap of second- and third-tier safety schools. The characters evolve through their trials and learn about themselves and one another and accept the loss of one dream while embracing another. They include Harry, a scarily normal overachiever; Maya, the talented but seemingly least gifted of a wealthy Indian family; and Taylor, a girl teetering on the verge of self-abuse or self-discovery. These are teens who come from fairly affluent families and schools. They are treated with respect and love by the author, and readers will return the favor. YAs interested in the college selection process will find this book illuminating as they see in it their own fears acted out and resolved. It reads a bit like a Stephen King novel minus the horrific ending."—Will Marston, Berkeley Public Library, California, School Library Journal"Applying to and getting into college has turned into a deadly serious business for some students and their parents, but Susan Coll manages to make it funny and sometimes poignantly sad in her novel. The characters she describes—AP Harry, Taylor Rockefeller and Maya Kaluantharana, neighbors in an upscale Washington suburb—each react differently to the pressure exerted by their parents, teachers, counselors, peers and, most importantly, themselves as they live through April of their junior year to March of their senior year, by which time their fate is sealed along with their acceptance/deferral/rejection letters. Harry has lived his whole life with the goal of Harvard acceptance ruling his actions; Taylor's erratic mother is more obsessed with her daughter's future than she is; and Maya, as the fourth child of overachieving parents and siblings, must figure out for herself what she really wants and whether the school she chooses or that chooses her is going to really make the difference. Coll also tells the story through the eyes of an admissions dean at a small upstate New York college and reveals the politics and pressure from her point of view as well. Anyone who has been through, or is going through, the college admission process will find this novel hilarious at points, ridiculous at others and, most importantly, true."—KLIATT
Susan Coll is the author of the novels karlmarx.com: A Love Story and Rockville Pike. She lives in Washington, D.C., and she and her husband are the parents of three college-aged children.