A Reading Report

I recently finished Acceptance: A Legendary Guidance Counselor Helps Seven Kids Find the Right College--and Find Themselves by David L. Marcus.  Two stars out of five!  If I have to read high school seniors referred to as "youngsters" one more time, I may scream.

As my two-star rating suggests, per Goodreads, "it was ok."  There are definitely some positive aspects to the overall message of the college choice being more meaningful than buying a brand (or, in some cases, begging for a brand!).  But I found that several of the vignettes weren't as meaningful as the author may have supposed.  And, while I can appreciate the zeal and expertise of the primary figure, Smitty, he honestly didn't really come across as someone I would enjoy working with.

[For the many who are his fans, I'll give you minute to gather up your stones and tomatoes and shoes to throw at me...]

Smitty's clearly good at what he does, but the way the author portrays his personality didn't generate in me the response I was probably meant to have.  It's like the portrayal is begging for awe, but it's too blatant a request for me.  I can't quite tell if a different narrator would have changed my mind or if the person of Smitty just isn't my kind of person.  Perhaps a bit of both: the narrator lacks any skepticism (any faults on Smitty's part are depicted as stepping stones for future almost hero-level dedication to "the right!", if that makes sense) and Smitty himself takes actions that I view as overreaching (a couple of examples: adjusting a student's work schedule, challenging a parental decision about family vacation).

If you want to get the best part of the book, just read the appendix that offers practical, sound advice about the admissions process.