Featured Review: Freshmen by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison!
About This Book:
A laugh-out-loud, realistic portrayal of a freshman year in college for fans of Broad City. Getting in is just the beginning. Phoebe can't wait to get to college. On her own, discovering new things, no curfew . . . she'll be free. And she'll be totally different: cooler, prettier, smarter . . . the perfect potential girlfriend. Convenient: the only person from her high school also going to York is her longtime crush, Luke. Luke didn't set out to redefine himself, but as soon as he arrives on campus, he finds himself dumping his long-term long-distance girlfriend. And the changes don't stop there. In fact, being on a soccer team is the only thing that stays the same. Just when things start looking up (and Phoebe and Luke start hooking up), drama looms on the horizon. Rumors swirl about the Wall of Shame, a secret text chain run by Luke's soccer team, filled with compromising photos of girls. As the women on campus determine to expose the team and shut down the account, Luke and Phoebe find themselves grappling with confusing feelings and wondering how they'll ever make it through freshman year.
*Review Contributed by Kim Baccellia, Staff Reviewer*
Luke and Phoebe both attended the same high school and now are at the same university. Phoebe has had a huge crush on Luke since the eighth grade. Luke has just broken up with his long-time girlfriend Abby. Phoebe runs into Luke after the breakup and hopes her middle school fantasies will finally come true. But they find out that college has it's own dramas.
What worked: This is a very realistic portrayal of that first year at college. Though it's set in the UK, it brought up memories of my own first year away from home. The excitement, worries, drama, and yes, even that nervous fear of no one wanting to move in with you the following year rang very true to me. The authors didn't hold anything back by showing the daily roommate conflicts that deal with just getting along with strangers to the awkwardness of running into a roommate's last night guest.
I really liked how this book shows both points of view. Luke at first comes across as that 'jock', but readers see his discomfort over the 'wall of shame', where fellow soccer players post photos of girls they'd slept with and then others rate them. I only wished he'd been strong enough to walk away from the team like a fellow soccer player did when the new players were 'forced' to get drunk as part of their initiation. I do like that the writers did show that one player did walk off and stated that there were others things to do on campus.
Luke's on again off again relationship with Abby and Phoebe's confusion on her hook-ups is something that does happen. Mean-girl antics don't stay in high school either. In this case the slut-shaming the soccer players do with girls they hook up with is one topic that oft times is pushed to the side when it's a very real occurrence.
The dialogue was punchy and at time hilarious. Also the idea of 'hooking' up is handled in such a way that does show the consequences of those actions. Never preachy, which is a huge plus.
Phoebe's desire to hook up with Luke leads her to make some not too great decisions. These affect the relationships she has with her friends. Another very true portrayal of college life. The ending sets readers up to a sequel. What will happen with Phoebe? Luke? Abby?
Realistic portrayal of two teens' first year at college that shows the joy, excitement as well as the angst. Love that more books are coming out that address college life in all it's brilliance and drama.