Told in alternative “then” and “now” chapters, the book shows Chloe in the “before,” seeing what’s happening, but not really knowing quite what she’s seeing and hearing. She has a best friend and a guy she likes, and things are going pretty well overall. She’s not the smartest student, but she has high hopes for college. Even though her college admission counselor at school is trying to keep her expectations level, her parents are set on her going to her school of choice.
Chloe’s mother is a well-known TV actress, and her father does pretty well himself. She lives a pretty privileged life, but she knows that she’s not her sister, who has always been the smart one. When things start going well for her in terms of college, she realizes that it all isn’t quite adding up the way it’s supposed to, and she doesn’t know what to do with that information. When she mentions anything to her parents, they tell her not to worry. Her sister, on the other hand, is concerned about how things look, despite not knowing for sure if anything is off about Chloe’s college acceptance.
When the police show up one day to arrest Chloe’s mom for a college admissions scandal, her world is rocked. People blame her. They don’t even wonder how much she knew. They just assume she’s guilty, too, because of course, the trust fund brat must have had a hand in securing her college education and taking it away from someone else, right? ‘Admission’ touches on all of these themes, making readers question their own perceptions of news stories, and the judgments they make about those involved in them, despite not knowing the involved parties personally.
Julie Buxbaum has done a fantastic job encouraging readers to question themselves and their perceptions in this volatile and honest look at a family who seemingly has it all, yet still finds themselves in the crosshairs of a scandal, despite trying to do what they feel is right. It is a provocative and worthwhile read.