Monday, October 19, 2009

Book Review: Freshman

Title Freshman
Author Michael Gerber
Genre YA Commercial Fiction
Rating B-

Summary Hart Fox is a high school senior with promise--promise to get into the prestigious Stutts University. He has his acceptance nearly in hand until a wealthy alumnus steals the coveted spot for his wayward son, and Hart's nemesis, Tripp Darling. Mr. Darling cuts a deal for Hart to get into Stutts also, if he'll take all of Tripp's classes for him. And when it comes to Stutts, carrying two students' academic loads is the least of Hart's worries.

First Line "Sleepy with boredom and gassy from lunch, Hart Fox sat in the hard plastic chair outside his dean's office."

Review This book was a humorous and irreverent look at college life amongst the elite from an outsider's perspective. (The author went to an Ivy League school, so I'm not sure how much of this is his revisionist's history.)

The characters in this book were over-the-top, but they were meant to be. (Hello? One is a vampire. Obvious farce.) And it worked. The caricatures all played off each other--the motivated one, the jaded one, the "President," etc.--and created a campus full of life and color.

The pacing of the book kept you reading consistently with plenty of hijinks spattered throughout to ensure that you didn't have to read too much anti-elitism without a laugh or too along the way.

Hart was a good narrator, he was never whiny, even when any normal person would have been. (Hello? He was dragged behind a hearse in an attempt to kill him. Let the complaining begin.) But he wasn't Mary Sunshine either. He saw the crap that was going on around him, but he knew that griping never really did anybody any good. He had a good (fictitious) upbringing in that regard.

All those things said, an enjoyable book that includes laughs, some thoughts on society's classes, melancholy, and friendships. Nothing ground-breaking, but still a fun read.

Recommendation This book is a mix of Looking for Alaska and Carter Finally Gets It. So if you enjoyed either of those books (like me), then you'll probably like this one as well.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

I haven't read either of those books, but I would like to try all of them. Great review.