OVERRIDE

Acceptance

A Novel

Susan Coll

Picador

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.

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"Mom, are you all right?" Harry whispered in her ear. "You look kind of funny." "I’m great," Grace replied, managing to pat him reassuringly on the knee. Another parent asked a question about the importance of grades versus standardized test scores, and then wondered aloud about how much weight would be given to her son’s fluency in three languages and his forthcoming summer internship at NASA. "Think of the application as a jigsaw puzzle," the tour guide said. "Grades are one piece, scores are another." He sounded bored with his own answer, as though he uttered these same
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REVIEWS

Praise for Acceptance

"Bristles with enough wit and ambition to earn honors."--Entertainment Weekly

"If your teen is among the thousands of high school seniors anxiously awaiting their college acceptance letters, Coll's witty satire of the admissions process will provide both of you with some much-needed comic relief."--Life magazine

"Hilarious and dismaying."--George F. Will, Newsweek

"Coll's tale of the harrowing days of college admission is spot-on."--People

"Skillfully executed . . . a winning social comedy . . . Captures the reasoned irrationality of teens . . . It will prove a winning combination for readers who are in the throes of the rejection letter hype."--USA Today

"Coll neatly captures the irony and humor of an era in which colleges peddle to junior high kids and Saturdays are all about SAT prep."--The Christian Science Monitor

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Susan Coll

  • 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.
  • Susan Coll © Lauren Shay Lavin
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Acceptance

A Novel

Susan Coll

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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