If you happen to be one of those people who ignore the common advice and judge a book by its cover anyway, don’t let this somewhat plain-looking cover fool you. Enclosed in between the simple layout is one complex story, centered around one complicated protagonist. Admission, by Jean Hanff Korelitz, is the story of Portia Nathan, an admissions officer at Princeton University, whose life is transformed before our very eyes as the novel progresses.

The fog that Portia has been living under for quite some time has become such a regular part of the background that when we are introduced to her at the onset of the story, she isn’t even aware of it. As the reader, we can sense a dull ache or a plodding pace of her life, although she is apparently oblivious. As the plot unfolds, we are given bits and pieces of information about the past that Portia has been actively pushing to the back recesses of her mind, and we are witness to the inevitable changes that result from some major life upheavals that come her way.

Does this all sound a little vague? Well, yes, I guess it does, but I really don’t want to give away any plot lines because I’m hoping that the intrigue will make you run out and get this book immediately! While some of the ‘mystery’ surrounding Portia’s past gets easier to figure out as the story goes on, the complete picture of her experiences doesn’t get filled in until late in the novel, and the emotions involved make the journey a challenging one for her. Portia fills the shoes of my favorite type of fictional character- conflicted, complex, and not necessarily always sure of herself. After spending so long living in that fog, Portia’s reawakening to life is refreshing even while it’s painful and difficult to watch. The admissions that Portia is confronted with– professionally and personally, in both senses of the word– make for an intriguing and intense novel.

With three kids and never enough hours in the day, Dawn wonders if it’s possible to read in her sleep. When she’s not reading or changing diapers, she’s blogging away at my thoughts exactly.

Hachette Book Group has offered 5 copies of this book (U.S. and Canadian shipping addresses). Leave a comment on this post if you’d like to be eligible to win this book.

Click on the banner above to enter our other Summer Fun Giveaways. All winners will be announced on June 11.


  1. JDSG says

    I’m all in for an intriguing and intense novel.


    visionquest2020 (at) msn (dot) com

  2. says

    Well, you did a good job. I’m really intrigued and I hope I win a copy. And, btw, I actually really like the cover! It’s pulling me in even more :)

  3. Linda says

    I love the cover. Simple and yet accountable. Please add me to the drawing. Thank you.

  4. says

    This was getting so many good reviews on and there were 44 hold requests at my library… maybe the masses are right about this one. I’m interested.


  5. says

    ooohhh, another great book giveaway. Summer reading here I come. I am going to see if my library has any of these summer giveaway books. Maybe I can read one even if I don’t win.

  6. Annmarie W. says

    I never judge a book by its cover. But I do tend to pick up those that have been reviewed…and this one sounds like a winner!

  7. says

    This sounds like it’ll be fun! I interview for my old college and boarding school and have been doing so for close to 15 years. It’ll be fascinating to see how this book looks at admissions.

    gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

  8. says

    I’d love to win this one – I’ve had it on my wish list since I first saw it in Bookmarks Magazine.

    nnjmom at yahoo dot com

  9. Christina says

    Transformation is always an intriguing and interesting topic! Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  10. Janice says

    I would love to read this book as I am the Assistant Director of Admissions at a College in Florida.

  11. Mary Ward says

    I’ve been wanting to read this. I’m catching up on my reading since my kids are now grown. It’s been worth the wait.

  12. janeh says

    I like the cover……….and I like complex characters as well… I’d love to read this book!

  13. Amber G says

    As a college freshman this fall, I am very intrigued by this book. I remember ever detail of the admissions process oh-so-well!

  14. Ann Fantom says

    This sounds like an interesting book that I’d like to read. Please enter me in your giveaway.

  15. clemens says

    i love the hachatte book company! they have some good books. but i really want to win.

  16. DeeAnn S says

    I’d love to read how Portia comes to terms with her problems and solves them. Thanks.

  17. says

    I actually like the cover and it intrigues me. Combined with your review, I want to read this book!

  18. Belinda M says

    Please enter me in the giveaway

    “Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Fun:”

  19. Angela C. says

    I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

    accoupons at gmail dot com

  20. Julie Smith says

    I think that this book would be very interesting to read. Most of us fall into a kind of dull monotony and become so used to it that we are unaware of when we stopped chasing our dreams.

  21. Rebecca Cox says

    Yes, I would have passed this one right by. Of course, I work at a university, so Porcia’s story may be very interesting for me. count me in!!!!

  22. barbara wright says

    LOL – guilty! When I’m looking for a good book, I only look at white, silver, gold, red, and black covers. I would never have given this one a second look. But it DOES sound good!

  23. says

    After dealing with academia twnety years, I am quite interested in a new perspective profesionally!

  24. Sherri B. says

    You have really got my curiosity piqued! I would love the chance to find out the mystery! Thanks!

    sherri419 at gmail dot com

  25. Carlene says

    Please include me in your giveaway.

  26. Kevin Elliott says

    Thanks for the chance, I read a little excerpt, and it seems like a cool book!

  27. Christina says

    I always like stories about transformation. Unfortunately in life this doesn’t happen as often! Thanks for the chance to win the book!

  28. Shelly T. says

    Well, you made this book sound most intriguing!
    I would love the chance to win it and read it.

  29. Pamela S says

    This sounds like a fun summer read. I hope I haven’t already entered this contest. I couldn’t find an entry but it seems familiar. Thanks.

  30. Melanie says

    I would love this!
    Im still not quite sure exactly what its about..
    but if I knew everything I wouldn’t have to read the book, right?

  31. Ellie W says

    Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me.
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

  32. Geoff K says

    Sounds like a terrific read – I love character-driven novels, and being in the academic world myself, I’m guessing I’ll find it easy to identify with the central character. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  33. AmandaG says

    I’m overdue for a good book. Thank you so very much for the opportunity to win one! :)