I took a break from my serious reading. I recently finished the audio book version of Early Decision: Based on a True Frenzy by Lacy Crawford. I'm somewhat baffled by the high ratings on Amazon! If you're looking for a novel that gives a myopic view of independent college consulting and the application process, search no further! If that's not what you're looking for, I do not recommend this book.
The characters will not resonate with most readers. The premise is that a 27-year-old (there's no way to forget her age with this book repeating it so often!) woman named Anne has fallen into college consulting. She primarily focuses on essay editing based on her background in English education. Three of the five students in the book are elite, upper-class Chicago kids, one is a poverty-class immigrant student (well, daughter of immigrants) who also happens to be extremely bright, and one is a wildly intelligent girl who really doesn't need any help with her applications. There is no middle here. Nearly all of the parents are insane, and some of them seem more like caricatures than real people.
I am frustrated at the lack of satisfaction Anne has with her work, with which I cannot identify at all. She's quite whiny and spineless, and her thought that what she is doing is not significant enough for a life's work is extremely frustrating to me. The premise of Anne and her typical clientele also perpetuates the idea that independent educational consultants are only for the rich. This is patently untrue. In the IECA State of the Profession 2015 survey, it was found that only 28 percent of students using IECs came from upper class families.
Bottom line: if you want to find a fictionalized version of the college admissions process, maybe look elsewhere.