10 must-read new YA book releases to make your December merry

Warmaidens by Kelly Coon. Image Courtesy Penguin Random House
Warmaidens by Kelly Coon. Image Courtesy Penguin Random House /
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Admission –  Julie Buxbaum

The latest book from the author of Tell Me Three ThingsAdmission is a story that’s basically been ripped straight from the headlines but manages to feel fresh and thrilling along the way.

The story follows seventeen-year-old Chloe Berringer, the wealthy, privileged daughter of a B-list TV star. Though she attends a posh private school, she’s not a particularly good student and is shocked to discover not only that her parents doctored the application that got her into her dream school, but that her mother may go to jail for doing so.

Though the book clearly draws inspiration from the recent college admissions scandals involving such famous faces as Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, the characters in Admission are apparently not meant to provide direct parallels with any real-life figures. The story, instead, is concerned with larger issues of class, complicity, and privilege, as Chloe wrestles with the guilt of what her parents did, endures brutal social media shaming, and tries to mend her relationship with her best friend, who happens to be a girl on scholarship.

The official synopsis desribes the story in more detail.

"It’s good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer. She’s headed off to the college of her dreams. She’s going to prom with the boy she’s had a crush on since middle school. Her best friend always has her back, and her mom, a B-list Hollywood celebrity, may finally be on her way to the B+ list. It’s good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer–at least, it was, until the FBI came knocking on her front door, guns at the ready, and her future went up in smoke. Now her mother is under arrest in a massive college admissions bribery scandal. Chloe, too, might be facing charges, and even time behind bars. The public is furious, the press is rabid, and the US attorney is out for blood. As she loses everything she’s long taken for granted, Chloe must reckon not only with the truth of what happened, but also with the examination of her own guilt. Why did her parents think the only way for her to succeed was to cheat for her? What did she know, and when did she know it? And perhaps most importantly, what does it mean to be complicit?"

Admission is available on December 1.