In the glossy private world of Fifth Avenue teens, some millionaire parents will do, pay, or say anything to help their children ace the SATs.
Noah rose from humble beginnings and, through pure grit and resourcefulness, got himself through Princeton. Now staggering under the weight of massive student loans and dazzled by life in the big city, Noah enters the rarefied field of SAT tutoring in Manhattan, working one-on-one with the spoiled, gorgeous children of the American aristocracy.
He takes on the considerable academic challenges that are Dylan Thayer, a dissipated high school athlete-socialite, and his waifish sister Tuscany. Dylan won't lift a finger to do anything but pick up a lacrosse stick, and Tuscany is avidly pursuing her own downfall via drugs and relationships with men more than twice her age. But their mother, a self-medicating pediatrician, has ambitious plans for them in spite of their shortcomings -- and she has plans for their SAT tutor as well.
Trying to build his own life while living on a shoestring in Harlem and flirting with his beautiful roommate keeps Noah busy enough, but the needs of the glamorous, struggling Thayer kids and the inappropriate advances of their mother prove all-consuming. As deadlines for college admissions near and the SAT tension builds, Noah finds himself presented with a Faustian bargain, and he must make a moral decision that will affect him and his students for years to come.
With echoes of The Devil Wears Prada, The Nanny Diaries, and Bright Lights, Big City, Glamorous Disasters is an incisive portrayal of a small and privileged world, a cautionary tale written by a Harvard grad who was once an SAT tutor himself -- an outsider who became a magnificently observant insider.
"[A] gossipy roman À clef...Moral ambiguity, the little-known world of SAT tutoring and pill-popping pediatrician moms make for entertaining fiction." -- Jocelyn McClurg, USA Today
"A clever debut...[Schrefer] delivers a gleefully biting and witty story." -- Emily Cook, Booklist
"Sex, drugs, and SAT scores." -- Sherryl Connelly, New York Daily News
"[An] acutely observed, smoothly written confection [that] promises to do for overprivileged high schoolers what The Devil Wears Prada did for snotty fashion editors and The Nanny Diaries for Park Avenue moms." -- Peg Tyre, Newsweek