Early Decision

Early Decision by Lacy Crawford
Publication date: August 27, 2013 by William Morrow
Source: publisher for an honest review
Description from Goodreads:

In Early Decision, debut novelist Lacy Crawford draws on 15 years of experience traveling the world as a highly sought-after private college counselor to illuminate the madness of college admissions.

Working one-on-one with Tiger-mothered, burned-out kids, Anne “the application whisperer” can make Harvard a reality. Early Decision follows five students over one autumn as Anne helps them craft their college essays, cram for the SATs, and perfect the Common Application. It seems their entire future is on the line—and it is. Though not because of Princeton and Yale. It’s because the process, warped as it is by money, connections, competition, and parental mania, threatens to crush their independence just as adulthood begins.

Whether you want to get in or just get out, with wit and heart, Early Decision explodes the secrets of the college admissions race.

My Take:

Early Decision by Lacy Crawford was a fast, entertaining read. I just recently went through the whole college application process with my son and it was still fresh in my mind while reading this book. 

I found the characters to be likable, for the most part. Some of the parents could be a bit much. There is a lot of pressure put on these kids and while most of the kids in the book are wealthy and won't have any problem getting into a university, the pressure to get into an ivy seems over the top at times.

I thought that Lacy Crawford did a great job of showing how parents can forget the big picture and what they actually want for the kids - or should want for them. Sometimes in the frenzy of work and life and raising our kids we forget that it is their future we are trying to prepare them for -- not ours. 

I felt empathy for Anne as she tries to figure out her own life all the while attempting to gently guide the students in writing their many drafts of personal statements for their college admission applications. I particularly enjoyed the tips and methods Anne uses in the book to get the students to write really great essays. 

Early Decision was a joy to read and  it provided many chuckles, some cringing over parents' behavior, and even a few actual laugh out loud moments. I enjoyed the book from start to finish and read it  in about a day.  The book is filled with examples of what not to do when your child is applying to colleges and even has some helpful tips.


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