Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel brings together two of my favorite themes: rich people behaving badly and an academic setting. When the book opens, Kate has dropped out of graduate school and is struggling with what to do with her life—and even getting out of bed. She manages to get a job working in the admissions department of an exclusive private school in New York City, where she has to interview and evaluate both the children applying to the school and their parents.
As you might imagine, almost all of the rich, privileged parents—and a few of the children—are terrors. Why do I like this so much? It isn’t exactly schadenfreude; except for one case, nothing bad happens to them. But it’s something similar to that, an enjoyment of watching (fictional) people with astronomical wealth being ridiculous, akin to reading celebrity gossip.