Smart And Juicy, A Compulsively Readable Novel About A Previously Happy Group Of Friends And Parents That Is Nearly Destroyed By Their Own Competitiveness When An Exclusive School For Gifted Children Opens In The CommunityThis Deliciously Sharp Novel Captures The Relentless Ambitions And Fears That Animate Parents And Their Children In Modern America, Exploring The Conflicts Between Achievement And Potential, Talent And Privilege Set In The Fictional Town Of Crystal, Colorado,The Gifted SchoolIs A Keenly Entertaining Novel That Observes The Drama Within A Community Of Friends And Parents As Good Intentions And High Ambitions Collide In A Pile Up With Long Held Secrets And Lies Seen Through The Lens Of Four Families Who Ve Been A Part Of One Another S Lives Since Their Kids Were Born Over A Decade Ago, The Story Reveals Not Only The Lengths That Some Adults Are Willing To Go To Get Ahead, But The Effect On The Group S Children, Sibling Relationships, Marriages, And Careers, As Simmering Resentments Come To A Boil And Long Buried, Explosive Secrets Surface And Detonate It S A Humorous, Keenly Observed, Timely Take On Ambitious Parents, Willful Kids, And The Pursuit Of Prestige, No Matter The Cost. i got this ARC.i am on the fence about it.convince me pros cons, impassioned speeches in either camp. I m at a loss for how to tell you about this book without telling you too much of what makes it so juicy and enjoyable I ll just sum it up as READ THIS BOOK Seriously I ll tell you just a smidge because this delicious, highly entertaining story needs to be experienced without knowing much of the plot You ve got 4 families so LOTS of characters but I had no problem getting to know each and keeping them all straight The author brilliantly layers each character and weaves them into their families and community so seamlessly that I swear I thought I was reading about real people In fact, I ve known these types of moms, dads, and kids and I thought the author could ve been talking about my community The timeliness of the exploration of privilege, race, class, academics, travel sports, social media etc could not be relevant and I devoured every single word of this fast paced, dynamic read I m floored by the intricacy of the plot and character development which read like a screenplay I m just in awe of Bruce Holsinger s writing ability I d be shocked if we didn t see this as a movie or tv series If you re looking for a compulsive summer read look no further than The Gifted School This book I did all I could to escape being an adult in the world and just disappear into this story I had to find out what was going to happen, and I knew it would not go well which was as I wanted, truth be told And how prescient that the ARC I m reading came out just before the headline grabbing story of parental interference in elite college admissions This novel is about younger late elementary age kids and their obsessed parents Set in a recognizable, but renamed, Boulder Compulsively readable as my family will attest these last few days And so well written I loved the various points of view and the occasional vlog chapters from the teenager perspective Bruce Holsinger s previous novels set in Chaucer s London were fantastic I couldn t wait to see what he would do with something so completely different Put this one on your TBR for a summer read Out in July Highly recommend It s always nice when fiction illuminates the worst in people, isn t it Rose, Samantha, Azra, and Lauren have been best friends for years, in many cases since their kids were infants The four women and their families have weathered many crises death, divorce, troubles with their children and their marriages, etc While there are certainly interesting dynamics among the four of them, there doesn t seem to be anything that can keep them apart.When word gets out that their affluent town of Crystal, Colorado is building a school for gifted children, all four women react to the news differently, especially when they learn there will be a limited number of slots available at every grade level, and decisions will be made based both on test scores and other factors.Samantha has always believed her daughter, Emma, is practically perfect in every way, so for her it s a given that Emma will be accepted Rose s daughter Emma, who is best friends with Samantha s daughter, may be smarter, but she isn t as driven or as competitive as the other Emma But what would happen if one Emma got in and the other didn t They ve been inseparable since infancy.While Azra s twin sons, Charlie and Aidan, have focused on soccer than academics, there s no reason they shouldn t be considered for the school as well, despite the misgivings of Azra s trust fund yet hippie esque ex husband Since her husband s death, Lauren has focused most of her energy on her son, Xander, who actually is gifted, but at the expense of her older daughter, Tessa, who has dealt with challenge after challenge without the support of her mother Parents always want to manage the narrative instead of letting kids write their own Following the perspectives of multiple characters, including several of the group s children, The Gifted School is a melodramatic yet insightful look at how competition and envy can bring out the worst in adults, laying bare secrets long kept hidden, in some cases pitting spouse against spouse and friend against friend The book also examines the pros and cons of schools for gifted children, the biases of testing and other admission related decisions, and the thin line between striving for equity and creating quotas for traditionally under represented populations.I expected the book to be a little campy and entertaining than it was While some twists are telegraphed early on, Bruce Holsinger did throw in one twist that upended the characters, and it really didn t feel genuine to me I thought that Holsinger makes some interesting arguments, but the majority of his characters were so unlikable it was difficult to have any sympathy for them.There s a lot going on in The Gifted School There were a lot of storylines to follow, and while I understood the points Holsinger was trying to make, I could have absolutely done without the whole storyline featuring the group s cleaning lady and her family, because it kept dragging the story away from its core.Holsinger is a talented writer, and his storytelling definitely kept me reading Those of you who enjoy stories of people acting horribly to each other to advance their children s best interests or perhaps their own might enjoy The Gifted School a bit than I did.See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at You can follow me on Instagram at LOVED this book It s like watching a train wreck in slow motion It reminds me of BIG LITTLE LIES parents behaving badly in believable, horrifying, yet shockingly relatable ways So so so good. Why I love it by Brianna GoodmanGreat books are about a lot of things love, loss, transformation But you know what else they re about Badly behaved parents We ve got law breaking parents, like the aspiring murderers in For Better and Worse We ve got dishonest parents, like the ones caught up in the trial portrayed in Miracle Creek And now we ve got the parents of The Gifted School, a story of lying, cheating, and often downright dirty parents who will do whatever it takes to make their kids succeed.You may find these characters unlikable, but know that they act with mostly good intentions The Gifted School follows five families whose lives are upended when the mysterious Crystal Academy opens in their yuppie Colorado town Despite knowing little about the curriculum or teachers, or administration these families vie to send their children to the highly selective school Soon friends turn against friends, siblings against siblings, and the once peaceful community becomes a hotbed of lies and cutthroat competition.This book has the gossipy, nosy neighbor feel of Desperate Housewives or Big Little Lies, only these parents are keeping secrets about test scores not murder It s a fun summer read about the absurd world of elite grade school education that also hits at a deeper truth After all, it was only a few months ago that a host of real life parents were caught cheating their kids ways into college The Gifted School will make you snicker You might find it absurd But you might also be left to wonder If this were my reality, would I behave any better Read at This book is solidly on my best of 2019 book list The novel starts out at a decent clip, but looking back, that was the steady climb up the first big hill of one heck of a roller coaster GET THIS BOOK NOW, Y ALL It comes out tomorrow big thanks to the publisher for sending me an early copy , so order it, pick it up at your local indie book shop, put it on your library holds listjust get your hands on it Although this novel is being constantly compared to Big Little Lies I myself called it a mashup between BLL and Little Fires Everywhere in the beginning , this book is better Yes, I said that IT S BETTER.The characters are brilliantly written flawed, dimensional, incredibly relatable, authentic and the story is absolutely propulsive I literally could not rip my eyeballs away from it Highly, highly recommended All the stars Description In an affluent Colorado town, they are opening up a magnet school for the gifted talented students in the surrounding 4 counties Four mothers four best friends are all vying for the coveted spots in the school.and all hell breaks loose Thoughts 1 When I first heard of this book, it was described as Big Little Lies with standardized testsand I was like, Hell Yes To be honest, that description couldn t be accurate 2 The four main families that this book concentrates on are just perfection.in the worst sense of the word They are sneaky and conniving and kind and nuts and deceiving and spoiled and pathetic But what else do you become when desperation and competition are drowning you 3 The story is told from various perspectiveswhich I love in a book I think the author chose the right characters in this way A mother, a father, a grandmother, and two children I liked that it just wasn t from the four mothers viewpoints.4 The ending was, not necessarily disappointing, but for me slightly unrealistic A little too wrapped up in a nice bow kind of ending But really, I didn t mind that The book was a page turner And I needed a page turner kind of book Rating Similar Recommended Reads Big Little Lies duh Little Fires EverywhereAsk Again, YesThe Husband s Secret Four months after that sensational news story about the college admissions scandal comes this hefty novel by Bruce Holsinger about a group of wealthy parents who cheat, lie and bribe to get their kids into an exclusive school One wants to say that The Gifted School is preternaturally timely, but it feels, instead, like a faint imitation a story dripped from the headlines.But there s plenty of wry humor in Holsinger s portrayal of this dysfunction group of friends, especially the moral gymnastics that liberal parents perform to preserve the purity of their ideals Everybody loves diversity until it comes to school admissions then accusations of elitism, affirmative action, privilege hoarding and political correctness start flying around like vampire bats To read the rest of this novel, go to The Washington Post https www.washingtonpost.com entert Take 4 competitive mothers Stir in a cutthroat community of affluent individuals Add a new public school geared toward the gifted with stringent cutoff requirements What do you get Combustion Incredibly prescient, this novel follows 4 mothers and fathers as they savagely vie for spots in a new gifted magnet school for middle and upper schools to be opened in the fall Parents end up lying, cheating, bribing and destroying their lives and the lives of their children as they fall prey to the belief that this school will bring their children superior advantages in life It is an examination of parenting, false beliefs, and the lengths that parents will succumb to achieve success for their kids This book has been labeled as entertaining but I despised the characters so much that I had a hard time mustering any sympathy for them Indeed that is the power of Holsinger s work, but I could not find anything socially redeemable even with the climax of the story when lessons are learned the hard way My bet is that it will be really uncomfortable for some parents to read this and recognize a bit of themselves in these characters.
- 450 pages
- The Gifted School
- Bruce Holsinger
- 10 March 2017 Bruce Holsinger