Early Decision: A Novel

Early Decision: A Novel

by Lacy Crawford


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...part Gossip Girl, part Dead Poets Society, and entirely addictive! A brilliant, satirical peek at the families of privilege behind the Ivy Curtain, this book made me laugh out loud.” — Kevin Kwan, New York Times bestselling author of the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy

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

Working one-on-one with helicopter parents and burned-out kids, Anne “the application whisperer” can make Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford 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 and scandals of the college admissions race.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594730446
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/26/2014
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 336,603
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

For fifteen years Lacy Crawford served as a highly discreet independent college admissions counselor to the children of powerful clients in cities such as New York, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London. Her "day jobs" included serving as senior editor of Narrative magazine and director of the Burberry Foundation. Educated at Princeton and the University of Chicago, Crawford lives in California with her husband and two children.

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Early Decision 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
camilledimaio More than 1 year ago
“Early Decision” intrigued me because my oldest daughter is a high school sophomore, and I know that the dreaded college applications are just around the corner. I expected this book to be a bit of fluff in which I might learn a thing or two about the process, and walk away entertained. Pleasantly, perhaps, the novel was much meatier than I anticipated, but like a gristly steak, I walked away not totally satisfied. The author, Lacy Crawford, spent many years counseling teens on submitting their applications, and her protagonist, Anne, does the same. The book follows her work with a handful of particular students, mostly wealthy and Ivy-League-bound. Kudos to Anne, via Lacy, for really trying to explore what gave the teens their individual voice, and for eschewing what the parents automatically expected. Beyond that, however, Anne was not a compelling character, as her relationship was weak and depressing, her interactions with her neighbors and family were thin, and she moped about the story directionless. Really, I didn’t walk away finding a reason to cheer her on. I was more enthusiastic about some of her students. Crawford did have many detailed stories to tell, but I got the impression that they were largely drawn from her real-life experiences, and that if there were a follow-up, unrelated novel, she might have challenges thinking up unique material. Add to this one chapter that was a full NINETY pages long, I can say that I’m glad I read the book, but it won't be a repeat.
sneps More than 1 year ago
As a mom of a freshman in college, I can still remember all the preparation it took and time spent to fill out college applications, scholarships, and visiting campuses. During that time, a friend mentioned hiring a person to fill out the applications for their son. It was a lot of money, and I thought it was a bit crazy. Well, apparently, that is the norm!! This book moved at a great pace and highlights different families and the challenges they face, along with the “college whisperer” to make sure the student has the best opportunity to go to the best university. This book isn’t a “how-to”, rather it shows the extents families will go for their child to remain a legacy in the family, the pressures the students face, and the way it can potentially bring a family closer, or break them further apart. I found it most interesting the relationships and family dynamics that Anne sees, as she spends more time with her students and family secrets are exposed and the pressures each one faces. It’s not a depressing book by any means, but it’s a somber look at what families expect from their children, even when their child may have a different idea of what they want for their future. I love how Anne is able to bring out the best in each of the students she works with and the trust she works hard at establishing. Anne has her own share of struggles and a relationship that is long distance, which puts pressure on her work and her own goals. Anne is a young woman, who didn’t set out to be a college coach. She taught at school and helped her students with their college essays, which slowly morphed into her coaching other kids because of the huge success she had with her former students. About a year ago, I read the book, Accelerated by Bronwen Hruska. Reading Lacy Crawford’s book made me think of the students from Accelerated, and I pictured them and their parents as the ones seeking help from Anne. I know…these books have nothing to do with the other, but I could see a natural extension of it all. Overall, I loved this book! Again, there aren’t any huge secrets that are revealed in the book. However, I loved the essays because it showed what each student was thinking, their writing ability, and how Anne was able to pull more from her students when she read the essays. I loved this book and any parent who has dealt with college admissions, has a child in school, or is simply a reader who loves books about family secrets, family relationships, and the pressure of today’s society, will all enjoy this fantastic read!