Posts Tagged 'SATs'

DupliKate by Cherry Cheva

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  242

RAC Book:  Yes

Kate is highly stressed as she heads into finals week before Christmas break.  She has to finish her college essay, retake the SATs, finish building a robot for her Science final, and prepare for and take her finals.  Meanwhile, her boyfriend is getting annoyed that she hasn’t been spending as much time with him lately even though she is trying to get into Yale to be with him.  One night while on her computer, she accidentally opens a simulation program she has not looked at in years.  The next morning she wakes up to find she has a clone.  Naturally, this bothers her, but she is so busy she keeps pushing Rina aside.  As Rina tries to help Kate get everything done she begins to let her, but only with things that are not graded.  As Rina begins to take over Kate’s life she realizes that Rina’s intentions may not be completely innocent.

This light book moves quickly and will keep the interest of young students who generally like Meg Cabot or Kate Brian books.  The character of Kate does try to avoid cheating by using her clone, which is nice considering many teens would use this as an opportunity to sleep in and still get good grades.  As Kate evaluates all of the goals she has set for herself she completely turns everything upside down near the end and there is not a lot of content in the story to explain why.  All in all, it’s a very predictable read, but those who want something light should enjoy it.

Hacking Harvard by Robin Wasserman

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age level: 14 and up

# of pages: 320 p.

Three intelligent best friends enter into a bet that they can get anyone into Harvard. Max wants to do the bet for the substantial monetary prize. Eric does it to prove that the college applications system is flawed. Schwarz does it because he always does what he is told. The opposing team chooses a deadbeat slacker (Clay) from the senior class and they all get to work. First of all, they have to plan how to get Clay a great score on his SATs. Then, they need to train him for his college interview. Finally, they need to fix his current transcript. The entire time, though, as things continue to go wrong they can’t help but feel like they are being sabotaged. Plus, Eric starts to have second thoughts as he begins dating a girl who desperately wants to get into Harvard. He worries that if they do succeed in getting Clay in that will mean that one deserving person who would have gotten in will now be rejected. He begins to wonder which is more important: fairness or exposing a flawed system.

This fun story follows the many ups and downs as the characters navigate this difficult task. Obviously, this is a fictional story and in no way a how to manual for getting someone into an Ivy League school. At times the language can be a bit strong, but these are teenage boys and therefore the dialogue feels realistic. As the boys begin to think about their own futures it becomes clear that they are as confused as every other teenage student, despite their high IQs. A smart read about students who have high aspirations, but do not always know how to best use their intelligence.