By Julie Buxbaum
304 pages, publication date December 1,2020
Note; I received this book directly from the publisher via Net Galley to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and I received no other compensation.
It's good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer. She's headed off to the college of her dreams. She's going to prom with the boy she's had a crush on since middle school. Her best friend always has her back, and her mom, a B-list Hollywood celebrity, may finally be on her way to the B+ list. It's good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer--at least, it was, until the FBI came knocking on her front door, guns at the ready, and her future went up in smoke. Now her mother is under arrest in a massive college admissions bribery scandal. Chloe, too, might be facing charges, and even time behind bars. The public is furious, the press is rabid, and the US attorney is out for blood.
As she loses everything she's long taken for granted, Chloe must reckon not only with the truth of what happened, but also with the examination of her own guilt. Why did her parents think the only way for her to succeed was to cheat for her? What did she know, and when did she know it? And perhaps most importantly, what does it mean to be complicit?
I was super excited to get my hands on this one! First, because I'm a
huge fan of Julie Buxbaum, and second, I've worked in college admissions
for the last fifteen years. I work at a mid-sized public university--so
it's no where near as selective as schools listed in this book, but
this book was very accurate to how selective Ivy League schools are. I
always get excited when books talk about the college admissions process.
This one was extra entertaining since Buxbaum got her idea for this
book from the college admissions scandal from a couple years back. This book was originally
supposed to be released in the spring, but the publication date got
delayed due to the pandemic.
I really enjoyed this book! Early on in the book, I was at first a bit irritated with Chloe--poor little rich girl and all that--but Buxbaum really did a fantastic job of addressing the fact that Chloe was privileged--particularly as the book went on. The book alternated time frames between Then and Now--Then being the start of her senior year and Now being when the FBI knocked on her front door and beyond. The story was engaging and keep me interested. Buxbaum did a great job of showing the stress that the college admissions process can cause for students (and their parents, clearly lol). I loved the supporting characters too--especially Shola. I think Shola was my favorite. Overall, this was a fun, entertaining read, and I gave it four stars!
Note: If you are beginning the college search process, or are a parent helping a student through the college search process: YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY SOMEONE TO HELP YOU. Yes, independent college counselors like this exist that want to charge you money. But people like me who work in college admissions are MORE THAN HAPPY to help you connect to resources FOR FREE. This is what we do. If you want help, cont act the admission counselor at the college or university you're interested in, or even email me. And while we're on the topic, NEVER pay someone to give you Financial Aid advice, either. There are Financial Aid counselors that do that, and filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is just that--FREE. OK, soap box rant over!