464 pages; Grand Central
How does it work, anyway—that top-secret, convoluted college admissions process that turns high school students and their parents into frantic, wheedling, groveling, soul-searching desperadoes? Reading Jean Hanff Korelitz's novel Admission (Grand Central), about Portia Nathan, a soft-hearted scout for Princeton, and her fateful decisions—academic and otherwise—is like sneaking into the ivy tower and pressing your ear to the wall. An intimate tale of skewed dreams and diverted lives.
First chapter: Read an excerpt from Admission