by Dawn


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.

Email Author    |    Website About Dawn

When she's not reviewing books, Dawn (and her online alter ego, morninglight mama) can be found blogging at my thoughts exactly and contributing to The DC Moms.

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1 Jennifer (5 Minutes for Books) May 29, 2009 at 5:39 am

HA–when I saw the cover, I liked it! And I’m fairly guilty of judging a book by it’s cover, I must say.

2 JDSG May 29, 2009 at 6:47 am

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


visionquest2020 (at) msn (dot) com

3 MJ May 29, 2009 at 7:24 am

This sounds like a great summer read….


4 Brittany May 29, 2009 at 8:18 am

This looks really interesting!

5 Jean M. May 29, 2009 at 8:34 am

Sounds like a good read to me. Count me in for this one!

6 Kipi (In My Own Little Corner) May 29, 2009 at 8:48 am

Sounds like an interesting read!

7 Dena May 29, 2009 at 9:29 am

I would love to read this. THANKS!

8 Amy Reads Good Books May 29, 2009 at 9:43 am

Thanks for reviewing this. I clicked over to the author page and am very interested in this one!

9 Kristi May 29, 2009 at 10:03 am

Ok – I’m intrigued by the lack of information you gave! Sign me up!

10 Deanna May 29, 2009 at 10:37 am

Thanks for this review. This book sounds very intriguing. Please sign me up for the giveaway. Thanks.

11 edj May 29, 2009 at 11:02 am

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 :)

12 Kitten22 May 29, 2009 at 11:27 am

This looks great! Please enter me!


13 Melissa Sanchez May 29, 2009 at 3:15 pm

This sounds like a great book!

14 Linda May 29, 2009 at 3:29 pm

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

15 Literaturecrazy May 29, 2009 at 3:34 pm

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.


16 Chrissy May 29, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Please add me! This book sounds intriguing!

17 veedee May 29, 2009 at 3:55 pm

OK, I’m intrigued!

18 Debbie May 29, 2009 at 5:01 pm

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.

19 Annmarie W. May 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm

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!

20 Holly May 29, 2009 at 7:35 pm

This one looks terrific. I need to add it to my list.

21 Angie May 29, 2009 at 7:46 pm

I love to read and I don’t judge books by their covers. (unless they’re MEN – sorry!) ;-)

22 gaby317 May 29, 2009 at 9:01 pm

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

23 Carrie K. May 29, 2009 at 11:30 pm

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

24 Christina May 29, 2009 at 11:31 pm

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

25 Janice May 30, 2009 at 3:26 am

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

26 corinne May 30, 2009 at 9:17 am

Intriguing post. I’d love to read it.

27 susan varney May 30, 2009 at 9:24 am

i want to win thanks

28 Lesley May 30, 2009 at 9:37 am

I would love to win a copy of this one–thanks!

29 Mary Ward May 30, 2009 at 12:32 pm

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.

30 meredith May 30, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Aw, this sounds great!

31 Alicia Webster May 30, 2009 at 1:44 pm

This sounds like a book that I would really enjoy.
Alicia Webster

32 Heather M May 30, 2009 at 2:08 pm

I’d love a chance to win! Thanks

33 janeh May 30, 2009 at 2:25 pm

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

34 PatZ May 30, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Sounds like an iteresting read. I’m looking for a book to take to the beach.

35 Amber G May 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm

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

36 Sandra May 30, 2009 at 4:59 pm

I’d love to read Admission. Please enter me, thank you.

sfuhringer(at) sympatico(DOT) ca

37 Linda Peters May 30, 2009 at 6:25 pm

sounds like good summer reading, thanks

38 Ann Fantom May 30, 2009 at 6:47 pm

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

39 Janet F May 30, 2009 at 8:22 pm

I would like to enter.

Thank you!

janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

40 clemens May 30, 2009 at 8:55 pm

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

41 Karen B May 30, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Sounds like a great read – please enter me!

42 Richard Deyarmond May 30, 2009 at 11:36 pm

Could always use another good book

43 Carol Lawrence May 31, 2009 at 6:25 am

Looks like a good read,enter this bookworm in the giveaway.

44 Cynthia C May 31, 2009 at 7:46 am

I think I wuld enjoy this book. Thanks for the chance.

45 Valerie Mabrey May 31, 2009 at 9:22 am

need some summer reads and this is great

46 Jenn S. May 31, 2009 at 9:46 am

I am always looking for something to read. This book sounds like a winner.

47 Kristin Harris May 31, 2009 at 10:54 am

I love to read. This looks like the perfect book to read before bed.

48 DeeAnn S May 31, 2009 at 12:17 pm

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

49 Dani May 31, 2009 at 2:19 pm

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

50 michele anne May 31, 2009 at 2:41 pm

lookss like a good read.

51 Belinda M May 31, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Please enter me in the giveaway

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

52 Melissa P May 31, 2009 at 9:19 pm

This sounds like a great mystery!

53 Marla Taviano May 31, 2009 at 10:13 pm

I’d love to win! Thanks!

54 Susan K May 31, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Now I want to see what’s inside the cover!

55 Angela C. May 31, 2009 at 11:07 pm

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

accoupons at gmail dot com

56 Djp June 1, 2009 at 5:46 am

sign me up

57 Joanne Schultz June 1, 2009 at 9:12 am

ooh this book sounds wonderful!

Thanks for the giveaway!

58 Nicole C. June 1, 2009 at 9:32 am

I would love to read this book!!

59 Sue June 1, 2009 at 11:27 am

Looks great! Thanks for sharing~

60 cris June 1, 2009 at 11:43 am

sounds like another book of twists and turns. I would love to win!

61 Dixie June 1, 2009 at 5:07 pm

I’m intrigued. I’m always up for a good book.


62 gloria mckellar June 1, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Would love to win this to read under a tree!

63 Vicky Boackle June 1, 2009 at 9:24 pm

this looks like a great read.

64 Christi June 1, 2009 at 10:06 pm

This sounds very cool! Thanks for sharing!

65 Julie Smith June 1, 2009 at 11:49 pm

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.

66 KRistin June 2, 2009 at 12:43 am

This book sounds so mysterious. I would love the chance to read this book over the summer!

67 quiltingreader June 2, 2009 at 2:57 am

Sounds like a good book.

68 Dawn June 2, 2009 at 8:59 am

You have peaked my interest!

69 Rebecca Cox June 2, 2009 at 11:01 am

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!!!!

70 Jenny Martin June 2, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I love a great read!

71 Tarah June 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm

I would love to win this! :)

72 Susan C June 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm

I have always judged a book by it’s cover. I like the simplicity of this one!
smchester at gmail dot com

73 barbara wright June 2, 2009 at 3:25 pm

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!

74 Elizabeth Sprague June 2, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Intrigue me :)

75 Kristin June 2, 2009 at 5:03 pm

That sounds so intriguing…and, I loved the cover.

76 Diane F June 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Sounds like a good read!

77 Stacy June 2, 2009 at 10:31 pm

This sounds like a fascinating book!

78 Stacy June 2, 2009 at 10:35 pm

I subscribe via google reader

79 Catherine June 2, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Thanx for the contest

80 Michele June 3, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Sounds interesting…not normally something that I would pick up, but you’ve gotten my interest!

81 Rita June 3, 2009 at 7:33 pm

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

82 Mozi Esmes Mommy June 3, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Looks like an exciting read!

83 Sue June 3, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Looks like a great read

84 sarah June 4, 2009 at 9:48 am

enter me!

85 jan koontz June 4, 2009 at 11:21 am

i would like to read this book

86 Michael Capp June 4, 2009 at 11:43 am

I’d love to win!

87 Maria Delgado June 4, 2009 at 7:04 pm

I am in a major reading rut and would love something new to read!

88 Sherri B. June 5, 2009 at 1:21 am

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

sherri419 at gmail dot com

89 Becky June 5, 2009 at 12:36 pm

I would love to see this.

90 Carlene June 5, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Please include me in your giveaway.

91 Christina Brunetti June 5, 2009 at 7:30 pm

I would love to read this.



92 Marianna June 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Thanks for the chance to win!

93 scottsgal June 6, 2009 at 4:54 pm

sounds great enter me please

94 bridget3420 June 6, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Count me in:)

95 Angela June 7, 2009 at 10:46 am

This looks like a great summer read- one of which I’d like to have!

96 Daniel M June 7, 2009 at 1:17 pm

sounds great, i like mysteries

97 Kim June 7, 2009 at 2:04 pm

love it! enter me pls

98 Kim June 7, 2009 at 2:04 pm


99 Kim June 7, 2009 at 2:05 pm


100 May Schultz June 7, 2009 at 5:59 pm

I really would like to win this book.

101 DEBIJOT June 7, 2009 at 9:17 pm

I would love to read this book. Thanks

102 Kevin Elliott June 8, 2009 at 12:24 am

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

103 gaby317 June 8, 2009 at 8:17 am

count me in please!

gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

104 Heather H June 8, 2009 at 11:28 am

Sounds like an interesting read.

105 Beth June 8, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I’d love to have this book. Thanks for the chance.

106 Andria June 8, 2009 at 1:37 pm

I would love a chance to win. Thank you.

107 Christina June 8, 2009 at 1:52 pm

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

108 Christina June 8, 2009 at 1:52 pm

I’m a proud subscriber to Five Minutes For Mom!

109 Sheila R June 8, 2009 at 7:41 pm

This looks like a great book.

110 Susan Smith June 8, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Looks like a good book

111 Kathy D June 8, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Would love for a great summer read…..

112 Christine Walker June 8, 2009 at 10:46 pm

This looks good. I need a new book to get into.

113 Suzy Levin June 8, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Please enter me in this great giveaway for Admission! Thanks!

114 Shelly T. June 9, 2009 at 2:23 am

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

115 Erma H June 9, 2009 at 6:24 am

I would love to win this, thanks.

116 Pamela S June 9, 2009 at 11:52 am

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.

117 Tammy June 9, 2009 at 1:47 pm

This sounds like a very interesting read

118 Denise June 9, 2009 at 2:43 pm

This sounds like a good read!

119 ALISSA June 9, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Sounds interesting. I would love to read it.

120 Marie June 9, 2009 at 3:13 pm

I would love to read this, it looks great!

121 John Carr June 9, 2009 at 4:39 pm

I don’t read but my wife would like it.

122 Melanie June 9, 2009 at 7:24 pm

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?

123 Ellie W June 9, 2009 at 7:43 pm

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

124 Angela June 9, 2009 at 8:01 pm

I would love to have this!

125 Jennifer Hedden June 9, 2009 at 10:10 pm

enter me

126 Chrysa June 9, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

127 angie June 10, 2009 at 12:25 am

This sounds like a great book.

128 Geoff K June 10, 2009 at 12:45 am

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!

129 Jessica June 10, 2009 at 1:23 am

Sounds intriguing. I need some new books and this one sounds like it will kee me busy reading.

130 AmandaG June 10, 2009 at 2:08 am

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

131 Jennifer Jozwiak June 10, 2009 at 2:51 am

I read a good review of this book so I hope I win!

132 Rachel Robertson June 10, 2009 at 4:10 am

This sounds like a book which really leaves you feeling good.

133 Molly Capel June 10, 2009 at 4:14 am

I would love to read this book!

134 Martha J June 10, 2009 at 6:29 am

I would love to read Admission! Thanks!

135 Sheila H June 10, 2009 at 6:45 am

Sounds good, thanks for the chance!

136 Steve M. June 10, 2009 at 7:12 am

Admit me…to this contest!

137 Robin Wilson June 10, 2009 at 8:24 am

I would love to read this book!

138 Ann June 10, 2009 at 8:41 am

I’m very much interested in reading this!!

139 Veronica Garrett June 10, 2009 at 10:29 am

I would love to win this book. It sounds very interesting.

140 kathy pease June 10, 2009 at 11:54 am

Thanks for the GREAT giveaway
please count me in :)

141 R Hicks June 10, 2009 at 11:59 am

Sounds like a book I would enjoy a lot

142 Brittany Rebello June 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Id like to read it

143 Tammy June 10, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Thanks for the chance – sounds like an interesting book.

144 Lori Walker June 10, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Please enter me!

145 Lily Kwan June 10, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Please enter me into the contest. Thanks!

146 Sandy M June 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Sounds like a great read for summer. Enter me please.

147 Joyce Jacobs June 10, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I’d really love to read this. Thanks!

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