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Small Admissions: A Novel Hardcover – December 27, 2016
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“Trenchant, funny, and observant...as a prose artist Ms. Poeppel leaves nothing to be desired, except this desire: that she write more and more, and as well as she does in this, her assured debut.” (Hilton Als, staff writer for The New Yorker and author of WHITE GIRLS and THE WOMEN)
"A dishy, LOL delight." (Cosmopolitan)
"Both witty and wise, Small Admissions is a big-hearted, charming novel." (The Washington Post)
"Poeppel gives an in-depth look at the admissions process, with a side of secrets, bombshells, heartbreak, and hope . . . perfect for fans of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep." (Booklist)
"A riotous, overcrowded, entertaining blowout of a novel." (The Dallas Morning News)
"A smart take on private-school 'Admissions' . . . Amy Poeppel's debut novel is a book about rejection, acceptance and our ability to maneuver between the two." (USA Today)
"A witty and captivating page-turner punctuated with quirky characters and laugh-out-loud moments that are sure to appeal." (Library Journal)
"Fans of Primates of Park Avenue and Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep will get a kick out of this novel, which is also a story about how women help one another get back on their feet." (Refinery 29, Top Reads Out in December)
"An excellent debut." (Publishers Weekly)
"In this absorbing story, Amy Poeppel brings her razor-sharp observations of the postures and pretenses found in our culture, in our cities,and especially in the world of admissions. Amy’s gift for dialogue, shown through the sidesplitting banter between our appealing, young heroine and the parents and children she interviews, will delight readers. Amy Poeppel displays a well of insight, forgiveness and wit that not only marks a talented writer, but the launch of what promises to be a marvelous career.” (Diane Meier, author of THE SEASONS OF CHANCES and RITUAL AND STYLE IN A CHANGING CULTURE)
“As Jean Hanff Korelitz did for college in her novel Admission, Amy Poeppel artfully and hilariously describes the gamesmanship in the high-stakes, high-anxiety world of New York City’s private school admissions offices with spot-on dialogue and genuine insight. As the novel unfolds, the reader finds that Small Admissions lead to bigger, more important truths in the lives of the characters populating this hilarious book; I couldn’t put it down.” (David Harman, Headmaster, Poly Prep Country Day School)
“Small Admissions is quick-witted and razor-sharp. With a chorus of varied and absurd voices, you'll laugh at everyone involved while secretly fearing that you see yourself in the mix. Amy Poeppel manages to tell a story both poignant and hilarious, hinting that this wry and absorbing debut is the beginning of an exciting career.” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, Author of Maybe in Another Life)
"Small Admissions is a hilarious romp through absurdities of Manhattan prep school life. It's characters are larger than life, it's point of view delightfully farcical. You'll read it in a snap and then wish for more." (Jennifer Miller the author of THE YEAR OF THE GADFLY)
“Funny and incisive… Amy Poeppel's rollicking debut skewers the crazy world of Manhattan private schools, the extreme sport of contemporary parenting, and the ridiculous seriousness with which we embark on our adult lives. There's more here too: a thoughtful excavation of how we deal with rejections, big and small. I loved reading this book.” (Amy Shearn, author of The Mermaid of Brooklyn and How Far Is The Ocean From Here)
“A rare book that actually makes you laugh out loud. Small Admissions offers a peek into the world of New York City private school admissions, but the deadly insights hardly stop there. Family, friendships,meetings(!)—Poeppel tells gleaming, hilarious truths about them all.” (Charity Shumway, author of Ten Girls to Watch)
“This was quirky, funny and completely original. I loved it!” (Katie Fforde,author of A Vintage Wedding)
"Charming, refreshing, and brilliantly funny, Amy Poeppel's novel is a delightful surprise." (Elizabeth Brundage, author of ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR)
"Now that Small Admissions has hit shelves everywhere, you can treat yourself to its hilarity and charm . . . Filled with honesty, authenticity, and true laugh-out-loud moments." (Bustle)
"Delightful." (RT Book Reviews)
"This book perfectly captures the spirit of modern adulting—and yes, we're completely obsessed." (Brit + Co.)
"Every once in a while, you just come across a book that is so good you want to shout it out to other readers . . . . Poeppel has found the perfect balance between humorous and insightful in the scenarios she writes about. In addition, the characters are wonderful--so multi-faceted and varied." (Heroes and Heartbreakers, Bloggers Recommend: Best Reads of November 2016)
"There are hilariously dysfunctional parents, kids whose folks don't have a clue what they can do and what they can't, and in the midst of it all, relationships among Kate's nearest and dearest become unstuck and reconfigured in ways that mirror those Kate works with, and even Kate herself. I can't tell you any more, because it would ruin it for you, but this snarky romp is not to be missed. It's cunning, wickedly bold humor at its finest." (Seattle Book Mama)
"Deliciously smart . . . A laugh-out-loud funny look at status and rejection in all its forms, from the classroom to the bedroom." (BookPage)
"Charming, appealing, and delightful." (Heroes and Heartbreakers Blog)
"This witty and charming debut stole our hearts this year, and we can't wait to see what Amy Poeppel gifts the literary world with next." (WorkingMother.com)
"We've got a school, in New York City, with quirky kids and Park Avenue parents. That description rings a whole lot of bells for me!" (Plan to Happy)
About the Author
Amy Poeppel is a graduate of Wellesley College. She lives with her husband and three sons in New York City, where she worked in the admissions department of a prestigious independent school. She workshopped a theatrical version of Small Admissions at the Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit. She later expanded it into this novel.
Top customer reviews
Kate, an aspiring anthropologist, undergoes a really bad breakup and takes to her couch for months. Her friends, Vicki and Chloe, along with her sister, Angela, are at their wits end with Kate, who on top of everything loses her job.
Angela pulls some strings, and Kate finds herself as the assistant director of admissions at Hudson Day School. Her interview for a job for which she has no qualifications is an unmitigated disaster, but Hudson Day is desperate. And thus Kate's journey into the machinations of prep school admissions begins.
Amy Poeppel skillfully develops every character, including Kate's and Angela's quirky academic parents. And what an talent for wit she has! She sets the stage for the story with a hilarious family gathering that had me laughing out loud. She often describes her characters with sweetness that is not cloying.
Amy Poeppel also understands friendship because ultimately that is the subject of the book. Chloe, the nurturer, Kate, the survivor, and take-no-prisoners Vicki/Victoria: three disparate personalities, whose friendship is tested. Will the friendship survive?
Small Admissions is a cross between The Devil Wears Prada and Prep. But, make no mistake: this story was written by Amy Poeppel. I look forward to her next book!
This book captivated me with its delightful witty prose, quirky characters that made me laugh out loud, and at times want to silently scream at all of them, in a way which I could relate to. Kate has been in a devastating meltdown since she was dumped by her boyfriend Robert at the airport on the way to France. She has literally been tied to her couch in a deep depression and all of her friends, Chloe, Vicki and her sister Angela have been trying to fix her, each with different motives. There are many levels of secrets each dealing with their own history or feelings with Robert. Surprising to everyone Kate finally lands a job as an admissions counselor at a prestigious prep school. Her outspoken ways, her genuine caring for the kids she interviews, shows her innate ability to read personalities and handle difficult children, spoiled parents and adults. The letters, e-mails and interviews Kate is handling are priceless and so true to human behavior. Her friends and sister doubt that she is happy they are relentless in still trying to help Kate whom they feel has not gotten over Robert. Kate dismisses their pleas, and is forging her own ways to fight her rejection by Robert, and find acceptance of her self and others. I absolutely loved this book, it is a stunning debut and I highly recommend it! I can't wait to read more of Amy Poeppel's books! (less) 
I found this a bit disjointed at times because it was not clear which character was sending the e-mails. Maybe this was just something jumbled in the Kindle version. It eventually came together.
The only thing that distracted me, at first, was why Chloe's character had to be in first person. I kept thinking it would become clear in the end but there was no explanation. Perhaps because she sees things as they relate to herself. Anyway I didn't let it bother me for long because the book was so good. I'd like to read more by Amy Poeppel.