In Pledged, Alexandra Robbins followed four college girls to produce a riveting narrative that read like fiction. Now, in The Overachievers, Robbins uses the same captivating style to explore how our high-stakes educational culture has spiraled out of control. During the year of her ten-year reunion, Robbins goes back to her high school, where she follows heart-tuggingly likeable students including "AP" Frank, who grapples with horrifying parental pressure to succeed; Audrey, whose panicked perfectionism overshadows her life; Sam, who worries his years of overachieving will be wasted if he doesn't attend a name-brand college; Taylor, whose ambition threatens her popular girl status; and The Stealth Overachiever, a mystery junior who flies under the radar.
Robbins tackles teen issues such as intense stress, the student and teacher cheating epidemic, sports rage, parental guilt, the black market for study drugs, and a college admissions process so cutthroat that students are driven to suicide and depression because of a B.
With a compelling mix of fast-paced narrative and fascinating investigative journalism, The Overachievers aims both to calm the admissions frenzy and to expose its escalating dangers.
Robbins follows seven real people grappling with the uncertainties of high school social life, including:
The Loner, who has withdrawn from classmates since they persuaded her to unwittingly join her own hate club The Popular Bitch, a cheerleading captain both seduced by and trapped within her clique's perceived prestige The Nerd, whose differences cause students to laugh at him and his mother to needle him for not being "normal" The New Girl, determined to stay positive as classmates harass her for her mannerisms and target her because of her race The Gamer, an underachiever in danger of not graduating, despite his intellect and his yearning to connect with other students The Weird Girl, who battles discrimination and gossipy politics in school but leads a joyous life outside of it The Band Geek, who is alternately branded too serious and too emo, yet annually runs for class presidentIn the middle of the year, Robbins surprises her subjects with a secret challenge--experiments that force them to change how classmates see them.
Robbins intertwines these narratives--often triumphant, occasionally heartbreaking, and always captivating--with essays exploring subjects like the secrets of popularity, being excluded doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you, why outsiders succeed, how schools make the social scene worse--and how to fix it.
The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth is not just essential reading for students, teachers, parents, and anyone who deals with teenagers, but for all of us, because at some point in our lives we've all been on the outside looking in.
Nurses is the compelling story of the year in the life of four nurses, and the drama, unsung heroism, and unique sisterhood of nursing—one of the world’s most important professions (nurses save lives every day), and one of the world’s most dangerous, filled with violence, trauma, and PTSD.
In following four nurses, Alexandra Robbins creates sympathetic characters while diving deep into their world of controlled chaos. It’s a world of hazing—“nurses eat their young.” Sex—not exactly like on TV, but surprising just the same. Drug abuse—disproportionately a problem among the best and the brightest, and a constant temptation. And bullying—by peers, by patients, by hospital bureaucrats, and especially by doctors, an epidemic described as lurking in the “shadowy, dark corners of our profession.”
The result is a page-turning, shocking look at our health-care system.
"Alexandra Robbins rips into the secret, sordid underbelly of sororities."--Vanity Fair
Updated ten years after it is original publication, Pledged by Alexandra Robbins is as timely today as it was when first published. With salacious breaking news about fraternities and sororities shocking the general public (and members themselves) Pledged exposes what really goes on behind the facades of some of these Greek organizations. Robbins, an investigative journalist, went undercover as a sorority sister; her expose is a breathtaking narrative of tumultuous breakups, fights, drunk driving, stalkers, cover-ups, predation by faculty and staff, theft, rape, and an abundance of drugs and alcohol, and much, much more.
Quarterlife Crisis is the first book to document this phenomenon and offer insightful advice on smoothly navigating the challenging transition from childhood to adulthood, from school to the world beyond. It includes the personal stories of more than one hundred twentysomethings who describe their struggles to carve out personal identities; to cope with their fears of failure; to face making choices rather than avoiding them; and to balance all the demanding aspects of personal and professional life. From "What do all my doubts mean?" to "How do I know if the decisions I'm making are right?" this book compellingly addresses the hardest questions facing young adults today.
In 2001, the groundbreaking book Quarterlife Crisis® addressed the unique and unsettling trials of entering modern adulthood. For the first time, it identified how twentysomethings were lost and confused, and lamented the absence of a guide-a roadmap with solutions for how to emerge from the crisis successful, happy, and sane.
Now, the author of Quarterlife Crisis® delivers that roadmap. Alexandra Robbins goes beyond defining the problem of the quarterlife crisis and puts readers on the path to conquering it. She asks-and answers-the tough, soul-searching questions that keep young adults awake at night:
- How do I weigh doing what I love versus making money?
- Will I ever find my "soul mate"?
- Why is it so hard to make friends?
- Why are my twenties so different from what I expected?
With new voices as well as follow-up interviews with some of the original Quarterlife Crisis® twentysomethings, Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis® is the new go-to guide for people who want it all...but just aren't sure what that is yet.