memoir / nonfiction / review

Admissions: A Memoir of Surviving Boarding School by Kendra James

The first section of Admissions was great but faltered about two-thirds in. I wish she had talked about school and then had an afterward where she talked about current issues and how she got into recruiting. That was sort of sprinkled in and at times I didn’t think it made sense to juxtapose it with a story about dating or watching the WB. There were important issues and points about how schools have changed and social issues but ended up lost in the mix of some of her more fairly typical teenage experience stories.

I do feel like her parents didn’t do a good job preparing her for boarding school and would have liked to have learned more about that. Her dad also went to Taft. Why did he not prepare her for how it might be? Did he think it would be different for her than it was for him because years had passed? That would have been a natural addition to the first half of the book.

My guess is she didn’t want the focus to be on her family but some of the ways things were handled and how unprepared she was for micro and macro aggressions really had me wondering what was going on there. Was she upset that her parents made it sound like the best place ever? I sure would have been. If she didn’t want to delve into her family (understandable) than the book really needed to be more journalism or academic than a memoir. It’s hard to write about your childhood without including your parents more and when you don’t, it’s glaring. Her parents seemed interesting but they didn’t seem to parent her perhaps the way they should have.

One thought on “Admissions: A Memoir of Surviving Boarding School by Kendra James

  1. Pingback: What I Read in February | Rachel Reads Books

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