The book has great pointers, but it is difficult to read these sample essays and not reflect on how un-interesting your life and purpose for applying to medical school is. Some of the experiences are super random and most of the people were applying to ivy-league schools and lived the lives you would expect of extraordinary students. They gave an example of a student who was exactly like me in the chapters about writing, but then when I searched for the essay...it was not one of the model essays. None of the students seem "average" either. It seems like you have to be a 25+ year old applicant with years of life experience. As in you must have experience in finding mice in a random field and reviving them, time spent in West Africa, Brazil, France, and Asia doing medical internships, your parents must both be physicians, a physician must have saved your life or your little brothers... stories like that. It's difficult to be an average student with no heart breaking stories to tell about experiences in medicine.
As a 20 year old applying to medical school. I realize that research, getting ready to be published, high MCAT, okay grades, 1000+ hours of clinical experience, awesome recommendations, and other extra-curricular activities is not enough to get into medical school. After reading this book, I feel like I basically have to save someone's life by performing a solo heart surgery in the middle of a flash flood for a committee to even consider my application.