Girls with Bright Futures

Tracy Dobmeier & Wendy Katzman

Quick Synopsis

Three moms. Three daughters. Each with a dream to attend Stanford. With one spot left at Stanford from their elusive private school, these moms do whatever it takes for their daughters to be the chosen ones. But how far will they go to ensure their daughter is admitted?

Publisher’s Synopsis

Three women, three daughters, and a promise that they’ll each get what they deserve…

College admissions season at Seattle’s Elliott Bay Academy is marked by glowing acceptances from top-tier institutions and students as impressive as their parents are ambitious. But when Stanford alerts the school it’s allotting only one spot to EBA for their incoming class, three mothers discover the competition is more cutthroat than they could have imagined.

Tech giant Alicia turns to her fortune and status to fight for her reluctant daughter’s place at the top. Kelly, a Stanford alum, leverages her PTA influence and insider knowledge to bulldoze the path for her high-strung daughter. And Maren makes three: single, broke, and ill-equipped to battle the elite school community aligning to bring her superstar down.

That’s when, days before applications are due, one of the girls suffers a near-fatal accident, one that doesn’t appear to be an accident at all.

As the community spirals out of control, three women will have to decide what lines they’re willing to cross to secure their daughters’ futures…and keep buried the secrets that threaten to destroy far more than just college dreams.

The perfect book club read with a suspense bite, Girls with Bright Futures combines the college admissions scandal with the edge of Big Little Lies, the snark of Class Mom, and the schadenfreude of watching the elite implode.

Book Review

Girls with Bright Futures is an addicting, propulsive, and jaw-dropping debut novel that tells the story of three very different families all with girls applying to Stanford. This book is fast-paced and devilishly clever. It is also the ultimate story of moms behaving badly. I could not put it down!

I was quickly pulled into the story and invested in Maren and Winnie’s lives, in particular. (This is likely because I identified most with them.) While the pressure these students were put under to attend a top school is not something I could relate to, I could easily relate to being in an elite and high pressure academic institution (hello to my aluma maters in the photo) and coming from a meger background while everyone else seemed to have the privilege of wealth. 

I really appreciated Girls with Bright Futures‘s focus on and inclusion of different socioeconomic backgrounds. It added an additional compelling layer to the story. I do not want to give any of the plot away, but I have to say that Tracy Dobmeier & Wendy Katzman perfectly handled other big issues that are presented in the narrative. It was refreshing and allowed me to connect with the characters’ experiences in an emotional manner.

I do not know why this book is not getting more attention! Girls with Bright Futures is a deeply satisfying novel that will stay with me for some time. I loved it and highly recommend it!


Overall Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Character development

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Girls with Bright Futures


Contemporary Fiction;

Publication Date
February 2, 2021


Storygraph Rating
4.04 stars

Goodreads Rating
3.96 stars

Buy Now

Note: I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher, Sourcebooks Landmark. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.

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