On the surface, I don’t have a lot in common with Kate Pearson, the main character in SMALL ADMISSIONS. She’s a New Yorker; I’m a Colorado mountain girl. She went to a prestigious university; I went to a military academy. She fell in the love with a Frenchman; I’m not positive I could find France on a map (Kidding, of course. I mean….mostly).
I might lead a very different life than the characters in SMALL ADMISSIONS – for instance I don’t know a single thing about the brutal and ludicrous world of New York private school admissions – but the mark of a great novel is when it touches upon universal feelings and journeys. And that’s exactly what Small Admissions did for me.
When Kate’s boyfriend breaks up with her and when she’s fired from her first job, her life falls to pieces. Nothing is as she expected. And that’s how life went in my young adulthood too. (Raise a hand if you are with us!) I thought I had the world figured out and my path paved ahead of me perfectly, but none of the plans I had worked out. In my early 20’s, I found myself as directionless and unsure as Kate. We both turned to sweatpants and couches and forgot about the merits of showering.
But as it was for Kate, it’s the people in my life who helped me get through. I had a sister who propped me up as much as Kate’s. A friend recommended me for a job. I built a life at a new university and fell in love with the friends I made there.
Ultimately, SMALL ADMISSIONS reflected my own journey. Kate’s story reminded me how turns of fate sometimes lead us to a life more fitting and wonderful than one we ever could have planned for ourselves.
But here’s the other thing about SMALL ADMISSIONS: it’s hilarious. Truly. At one point, I was reading it in my chiropractor’s office and laughed in the waiting room. Whoops! That awkward moment when you are the crazy girl giggling in a doctor’s office and everyone turns to look. Oh well! Totally worth it.
Oh, and, by the way, my favorite characters are Kate’s parents. I loved them and their weirdness so, so much.
Amy has a certain way of seeing life for all of its humor, and that shines through the writing. If you are feeling down about 2016, or Carrie Fisher, or the fallout from a certain election, or because you haven’t seen the sun in weeks, SMALL ADMISSIONS will be the perfect remedy.
Congratulations, Amy!!! <3
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