Good post. I will talk about the hysteria about minorities taking all the spots in X,Y, and Z later, but before that I'll say the Ivy Chronicles are great because they totally mock crazy white people. The insane parents who are crazed to have their kids attend the best kindergarten never seem to question the idea of legacy or sibling admissions, but god forbid minorities are allowed in. The fun part is that the author has fun satrizing instead of trying to write the story straight. The woman that cheated with the main character's husband says things like we have diversity at little lovely's school. Some have jets, and some have yachts. Oh, and there's one black girl!
Although characters of color are a bit unrealistically sweet. The Jamaican maid's son is a genius, and the only problems she has are saying 'had was' and some bad fashion choices. The lesbian mixed race couple with a disabled child are some of the few characters that act with integrity. Compare this to the over the top behavior of her white clients who do things like threaten to have her ruined, demand that she teach their tots all the answers to this test, bribe the board of directors etc,etc. Of course, this is a good literary device- the people who are supposed to have achieved on 'merit' are constantly breaking the rules, while the people perceived to have 'stolen' something are the people who have achieved.
Another interesting point is when Ivy our main character meets a cabbie who has built a school in India for girls. Based on a true story, the contrast shows just how shallow and pathetic the whole thing is. It seems that my beach reading is a bit heavy on the social commentary. Earlier I had read Suddenly Single in which a lady is annoyed by sexism. Like what the fuck? Is this some sort of British thing?