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Phoebe is a first-year student at a British university, and while she’s excited for the new opportunities that come with being a freshman, she’s also excited that someone from her past is attending the same school: Luke, her long-time crush with a long-time girlfriend. Told in chapters alternately narrated by Phoebe and Luke, Freshmen follows the tumultuous, embarrassing, and often funny trials and triumphs of their first semester of university.

Though the book is slow to start, the plot picks up pace as Phoebe and Luke adjust to the novelty of university and settle into friendships and routines. Freshmen benefits from a wide cast of characters that builds a realistic social background for Phoebe and Luke’s lives and provides the ready supply of humor and quirky wisdom that keeps the novel going. The novel’s hilarious twists and turns are complemented by its realistic depiction of life in the transition period Phoebe and Luke find themselves in. Authors Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison admirably opt for displaying messy and authentic realities rather than yielding to an easier, idealized depiction of friendship, young adulthood, and love.

Chris Hayden

Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.

Reviewed By:

Author Tom Ellen • Lucy Ivison
Star Count 3.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Delacorte Press
Publish Date 2018-Jun-12
ISBN 9781524701789
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue September 2018
Category Young Adult


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