The New Yorker
"This delightfully acerbic sendup of the college admissions process is set in a tony suburb of Washington, DC. A group of overachieving students (a "cluster of brainpower...packed so tight, it was like the inner loop of the Beltway at rush hour") fight for what seems an ever-narrowing pool of Ivy League spots (the only ones that matter), state-university scholarships (for the rare student who is financially challenged), and liberal-arts places ("safeties"). The view from the other side of the desk is provided by a character in the admissions department of a newly popular college in upstate New York, which is trawling for kids whose parents can pay for new campus facilities. Coll is alert to the comedy--and the pathos--of a system that leads high-school seniors to solicit recommendation letters from their pediatricians."
"Hilarious." -George Will
"If your teen is among the thousands of high school seniors anxiously awaiting their college acceptance letters, Coll's witty satire of the admission process will provide both of you with some much-needed comic relief."
"Pay attention, students. This will be on the final. Name the smartest, funniest novel in the growing genre of 'app lit,' books about the college admission process. Is it a) Academy X; b) Jane Austen in Scarsdale; or c) Acceptance? You chose c? Go to the head of the class. . . . Grade A." (Three and a half stars.)
"Coll's tale of the harrowing days of college admission is spot-on. She pokes fun at obsessed teens--like her hero, AP ('Advanced Placement') Harry--and the whimsical process of getting in."
"Coll's darkly comic novel details the pressure surrounding the college application process in a Washington, DC suburb. Following parents, teens, and university staff, Coll puts an Election-like spin on this highly competitive milieu: The teens are all way more mature than their adult counterparts. The standout is Taylor Rockefeller, a mail-stealing, self-mutilating senior saddled with a snobby, racist mother (at one point, she whines, 'There should be affirmative action for disadvantaged Rockefellers'). . . . Acceptance still bristles with enough wit and ambition to earn honors. B+"
"The mother of 'three college-aged and about-to-apply-to-college children,' novelist Susan Coll has followed the motto 'Write what you know' with sympathy toward college applicants everywhere and a satirical eye toward the insanely competitive game. This tale is so instructive that high school guidance counselors should be handing it out."
"Acceptance is a good read for students (or parents) completing or embarking on the college admissions journey, regardless of the book's jabs at the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings. And it's a good reminder that college applications are a serious, if overanalyzed, fact of life."
"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
"ACCEPTANCE is A+ entertainment--witty, clever and unpretentious. Excellent reading for all, but a MUST READ for anyone with teenage children." --Anita Shreve