I read Personal Statement by debut author Jason Odell Williams and thought two things: I'm really glad I'm not trying to get into Harvard, and this guy's writing reminds of John Green's writing.
Yeah, I just said that.
The premise of Personal Statement doesn't give much opportunity to experience the same extreme emotions that the premise of a John Green book does, but the style of writing, the humor, and the authenticity of the characters are all in the same vein.
This is high praise (just in case you can't see where I'm going with this).
Personal Statement follows four very different characters as they attempt to participate in some ultimate volunteering with their only intent being to beef up their chances at getting into the university of their dreams (or their parent's dreams). Their paths intersect, a crazy party breaks out, they have a few "whoops" moments, and their self-centered volunteering experiences end up being soul searching, life changing moments for every one of them.
The characters are so well done and spot on. I seriously laughed out loud multiple times. Like, for realz.
I'm not in love with this story. I'm mostly impressed with Jason's writing. If the characters in this story would have stopped at Chipotle to eat on their way to volunteering, then I would have probably been in love with this story.
I give Personal Statement a solid 5 out of 7 college applications.
This isn't a story that will transport you into another world. But, it's a great read with original, well-written characters, and a very refreshingly different four person POV that keeps the reading smooth and enjoyable.
Well done, Jason!!