Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Blog Tour: Freshman Forty by Christine Duval - Review and G!veaway!

Today I am taking part in the Freshman Forty blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. I have my review, and an ebook giveaway!! Also, this book has been picked up by a big six publisher to be re-released this fall!!

 Purchase: Amazon | B&N

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 took won an Honorable Mention at the New York Book Festival
-Won an Honorable Mention under General Fiction for the Beach Book Festival.
*This book has been picked up by a big six publisher, so it will only be available for a limited time before it is taken down. It will be re-released this fall, but you can still get it now. I don't know for how long! Super happy for Christine!!  

My Thoughts

Going into this book, I knew that there would probably be plenty of drama. College and pregnancy has got to be ridiculously stressful. Add in hiding it from pretty much everyone makes it even more so. This book was good, I liked how it addressed a lot of issues, but unfortunately I had a hard time liking Laurel at all. She drove me absolutely crazy. I get that she was scared, but the way she went about things was just insane. I wanted to like her, but I don't think I ever did. I still did enjoy the story though, which isn't typical for me if I don't like the MC. 

Laurel has has some harsh stuff happen to her in her life. I totally get that she is a bit broken, but I just couldn't understand how she could act the way she does. When she finds out that she's pregnant, what does she do? Decide to drink that night!! Ummm not cool at all. Then, there's this guy who likes her, and she is going to sleep with him without telling him that she's pregnant. Also not cool. Oh, then the fact that she has plenty of opportunity to tell her father, but keeps making excised to why she won't. Yes, she does somewhat start taking care of herself, by seeing a doctor and going to a group therapy session, but she's eating unhealthy, and of course the stress of hiding it isn't healthy for her or the baby. She doesn't even trust her supposed best friend enough to confide in her which I just don't get.

So obviously I had a lot of issues with Laurel and how she handled things, but besides that the story was good. I liked the doctor who she sees, and I like the few friendships that she formed. I didn't agree with how her father treated her, so I see why she was reluctant to tell him about the pregnancy at first. I didn't think that he was that bad though. I think he was so caught up with his own stuff that he never really gave Laurel much of a chance though.

This was a tough story to read. Not because of my issues with Laurel, but because the subject matter. It is a very hard topic to tackle. Not only her pregnancy, but all the other issues she has in her life. I liked the people who were able to come into her life and make her see beyond all of that. I do think that a lot of her progress came a little too late, but I could see her growing as a character at the very end. This isn't your typical NA contemporary book. I liked that it was unique and I thought that the plot was very well done. Even with my dislike of Laurel, this was still a good book and I think it will do well with a lot of people. It is a series, so I will be interested to know where it goes, and plan to continue.

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.



1 ebook copy of Freshman Forty
Must be 13 years old or have parent or guardian permission

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours


  1. I don't really understand the title but the synopsis is full on dramatic and cray-cray. I'm not sure if I'd like this as I'm worried about stereotypes and all however nice to see that you still liked this. The MC comes to me as stupid though....

    Lovely review, Amy! <33

    1. I don't know. Maybe it's hard for me to understand her situation because when I was pregnant, I was already married and had a house and supportive family. I don't know how I would have gone about things had I been in her situation, though I'm sure I would have eventually told my family before it got too far.

  2. How exciting for the author to have been picked up by a Big 6!
    I have to say, this is quite refreshing when it comes to NA. Love that the author tackles something other than a damaged bad boy in her book. I don't like the sound of the main character from your review though. She sounds like she makes a lot of bad decisions, so I'm not sure this book is for me!
    Still, lovely review as always, Amy! :)

    1. I am really glad that something that is more original has been picked up. It's not your typical boy and girl romance gone wrong then gone right. In fact there is very little romance in this at all. The focus is really on Lauren, her pregnancy, and how she's handling things.

  3. Oh the drinking would prob bother me as well but you know it's odd I never read a book about pregnancy before so I'm pretty curious about this one. I also do like that it's not the same old broken characters/dark past kind of read it seems to be all you see in NA, now. Glad you enjoyed it even if Laurel didn't always mesh with you. :)

  4. I'm so excited that this Freshman Forty is different from so many books. I now that the character must've been frustrating, but she seems realistic to many people that age. Great review, Amy!

  5. hmmm I don't think I would like Laurel at all, actually I think I would end up wanting to punch her lol I'm happy that the story was enjoyable overall though, but unlikeable MC's tend to ruin the story for me.

  6. Thanks for this review. I have been curious about this book.

  7. Hmmm....thinking this one isn't for me. Great review.

  8. Sounds interesting! Thanks for the great review!

  9. This sounds really interesting! I sometimes like books with unlikable main characters, so I'm going to try this one!

  10. The last pregnancy book I read wasn't gritty enough, so I might give this one a try. Although it sounds like Laurel would be the kind of character that I just want to give a good shake!


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