Saturday, July 13, 2013

Book Review: Freshman Forty by Christine Duval

Freshman Forty

Christine Duval

185 Pages

Published February 21st, 2013

When eighteen-year-old Laurel Harris discovers she’s pregnant four weeks into the start of her freshman year at prestigious Colman College, she has all intentions of telling her father. But being away at school makes it too easy to hide. And while she can’t explain to her friends, or to herself even, the reasons why she doesn’t want the baby’s father to find out about the pregnancy, the rest of her world begins to unravel.

Freshman year is hard enough. Most girls get through by forming close friendships, finding new boys and a phone call from mom or dad on Sunday. Laurel has to navigate all of it while hiding an unplanned pregnancy from a summer fling...

An imperfect heroine plagued by bad choices and haunted by the memory of her deceased mother and grandparents, readers are sure to identify with Laurel as she navigates teen pregnancy, in secret, in a remote college setting.
Freshman Forty is a realistic look at teenage pregnancy and all the hurdles young mothers have to jump through. Though I didn't connect as much as I would have liked with the main character, Laurel, I still enjoyed reading about her struggles and eventual growth as a character. 

Laurel finds herself with a bun in the oven only a month into her Freshman year at a rigorous college. She is frightened and decides to have an abortion, but like many people decides she can't go through with it an decides to keep the baby. I can't describe how pleased I was that she came to this decision, even though her situation was a difficult one. 

Time passes on and still Laurel doesn't tell but a select few people, thinking she can hide the pregnancy from everyone, her father including, along with the father of the baby. This annoyed me a bit, and was the main reason I couldn't connect with Laurel. I felt like even for her age of 18, she was being pretty irresponsible. I think this may be normal for young moms though, I'm not sure. As someone who became a mother at 16, I can relate to her fear, but not the irresponsibility she possessed. Skipping appointments? Not using insurance even though she had it? Not telling her father? Drinking? No no no. Honestly, if I wasn't a teen mom myself I don't think this would have bothered me as much. :)

Otherwise, I really enjoyed the story. There were some pretty fun characters and Laurel ended up having a lot of support. The writing style was engaging and I read the book in about 2 hours, which is probably a new record for me. Despite my big beef with the book, being a teen mom myself and not liking stereotypes, I really loved this book and will probably read the next. After all, it ended on one hell of a cliff-hanger!

3.5/5 Stars

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