At an exclusive private school in Seattle, three senior girls vie for one spot at Stanford University, and their mothers will do (almost) anything to ensure their own daughter is the one chosen.

I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did, but the authors built a delicate house of cards and then skillfully took it apart, piece-by-piece. Each revealed card bringing a new plot twist or action (usually by the moms, but occasionally a dad) that left me thinking, "You've got to be kidding" or "People actually do this?" I soon found myself unable to stop reading. 

As a mom with a son in graduate school and a daughter in college, I've recently been through the college application process. I'm thankful our experience was nothing like the ones portrayed in this book and though I know it's fiction, at times it felt all too real. It made me think about the pressure we put on our kids and how what we think we're doing for their own good, might be the worst thing we could do.


It was difficult for me to put this book down once I started it.  Every time I thought I had something figured out, the author switched things up and I'd have to rethink everything. It's hard to say much on what this book is about because I think it's best to let all the details surprise you as you read.

I'm a diehard Happily Ever After kind of woman. If it doesn't have a happy ending, I don't want to read it.  Let's face it, there are enough sad endings in the world. Why do I want to spend my free time reading one? (As an aside, I totally blame this on an Amish "romance" I read thirty years ago where the author killed off the hero in the next to last chapter. It left me scarred for life).

I say all that because as we got closer and closer to the end, I became more and more worried about the ending. And while I have been known to read the ending first, I didn't in this case (probably because I read it too fast) and I'm so glad. Schwab is a masterful storyteller. You're in good hands.