I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Fresh by Margot Wood
Published by Harry N. Abrams on August 3, 2021
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
A hilarious and vulnerable coming-of-age story about the thrilling new experiences––and missteps––of a girl's freshman year of college
Some students enter their freshman year of college knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives. Elliot McHugh is not one of those people. But picking a major is the last thing on Elliot’s mind when she’s too busy experiencing all that college has to offer—from dancing all night at off-campus parties, to testing her RA Rose’s patience, to making new friends, to having the best sex one can have on a twin-sized dorm room bed. But she may not be ready for the fallout when reality hits. When the sex she’s having isn’t that great. When finals creep up and smack her right in the face. Or when her roommate’s boyfriend turns out to be the biggest a-hole. Elliot may make epic mistakes, but if she’s honest with herself (and with you, dear reader), she may just find the person she wants to be. And maybe even fall in love in the process . . . Well, maybe.
When I originally received this book as a digital ARC from the publisher, I was SO excited to read it, but I quickly discovered that the format wouldn’t be easy for my brain to read in digital form, thanks to footnotes that in physical book form were on the same page as the footnote number itself, but were 5-8 pages away in digital form. So I had to wait until this actually published and I could buy it before I could read it and… I’m SO mad I couldn’t read it sooner! Granted, part of that is on me, because then I was in a reading slump when it DID come out and I JUST got to it now. But holy crap, I finished this in roughly a day and I just couldn’t put it down. It was such an amazing story. The plot, the characters, the writing, the format itself… Despite my digital issues with the format, my brain LOVED the format in physical form. I’ve discovered a lot about myself over the last two years, and one thing I’m 80% certain of is that I have ADHD and I have trouble focusing on reading now. But the footnotes, the little “choose your own adventure” moments, the lists, etc… Just absolute perfection. The format made my brain so happy!
Okay that was a very rambly first paragraph for this review.. If you’re still reading, I appreciate you.
Anyway, moving on. The plot was amazing. This story was so amazingly sex positive, and it’s definitely something that YA/Upper YA/NA books need. I loved Elliot and the way she was unapologetically herself, but still owned up to her mistakes when she realized how badly she had screwed up. I loved her chaotic brain and how relatable she was. I loved living the college experience I never got to have vicariously through her. All the secondary characters felt like such real people, too.
I’ve been following Margot since she was working at Epic Reads. I still miss Tea Time, and I’m incredibly honored to have gotten to meet her at a signing many, many years ago. I was so pumped when I saw she was publishing a book, and what an incredible book it was. Simply put, I devoured it. And I encourage you all to do the same.
10/10 amazing book and can’t wait for whatever Margot comes up with next!