BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Freshman Forty by Christine Duval
by Christine Duval
New Adult Contemporary
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.
MY THOUGHTS: 4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
I don’t know if I’d classify this book as young adult or new adult…it does have a main character who’s a freshman in college and pregnant, but it’s way cleaner than other NA books I’ve read, as far as content.
I really enjoyed Freshman Forty, though, and I read it pretty quickly. Laurel is a smart and likable girl who has a good head on her shoulders, but one night leads to a pregnancy and thus her life is forever changed. Laurel is an only child and her father is sort of distant, so she hides her pregnancy the entire time.
Though I did like Laurel, there were times when I wanted to shake some sense into her. I do respect that she was able to do so much by herself, but as a woman who’s been pregnant and had a child, I know how important it is to have a support system, no matter who they are. Yes, her father may have been standoffish and she never knew quite when to tell him the truth, but I don’t think things could have really gotten any worse for her than they already were.
The book wove towards an ending that was part tearjerker, and part cliffhanger…and I’ll definitely want to be first on the list when and if another book comes out!
About the Author
Christine Duval has been writing creatively since the fourth grade when she penned her first short story entitled “London Terror,” about the murder of a cat in London. She grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and lived in Italy twice as a teenager: once when she was sixteen in Bologna and in a small town on the Adriatic Sea called Porto San Giorgio; then in Florence when she was nineteen. Her parents wondered if she’d ever come back.
College was spent in the Finger Lakes: the inspiration for Colman, Milton, and Kashong Lake in Freshman Forty. It really is cold, wet and grey there – OFTEN! But when the sun comes out, boy is it pretty.
Life eventually took her to New York’s Upper West Side, the place she’ll always consider home. Though for now she resides in New Jersey with her family and a very spoiled love bird who can’t decide if he’s a boy or she’s a girl.
Freshman Forty was originally self-published, but Christine just signed a deal to have it re-released by a publishing house this fall!