Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin - ESSENTIAL


Martin, Maggie Ann. The Big F.  280 pages.  Swoon Reads (Feiwel and Friends), 2017.  $10.99.  Violence: G, Language: PG-13 (49 swears, 2 F’s), Sexual Content: PG-13 (intense kissing, innuendo, sexual talk). 
Danielle’s mom is a college psychic.  She helps students find the right school and the right major.  And she’s got Danielle’s life all scoped out, except Danielle failed her English class and her acceptance to Ohio State was revoked.  Danielle couldn’t tell her mom and during a family dinner with her hated cousin, it all comes out.  Her mom wants to call admissions, but Danielle is determined to fix it herself.  Especially after she sees Luke Upton in town, he was her crush when she was eleven-years-old and he’s back in town.  Danielle enrolls at the local community college and gets a job at a bookstore, where she meets Porter.  Everything is going her way.  Her best friend, Zoe, is super supportive.  Luke is now her boyfriend.  She’s in an English class to make up the high school class that she failed.  She’s all set to be re-admitted to Ohio State.  But is this the life she really wants?  She finds herself drawn inexplicably to Porter.  She receives an internship at Green Transitions and discovers a love for environmental science.  Danielle begins to think that maybe the life her mother has planned for her, isn’t the life she wants after all. 

Author Maggie Ann Martin does an excellent job of “Documenting the college experience,” and “attempting to solve clichéd riddles of new adulthood” (page 102).  Danielle is a highly relatable character with a lot of personal growth and a charming voice.  Teens and New Adults will both be able to identify with Danielle’s life-choice dilemma.  Who does she really want to be?  And how will she get there?  The romance in the story is delightful and often unexpected.  Porter is not the typical hero, he’s more complex.  One of my favorite scenes is when he shows up to her speech in a T-shirt that says, “My Underwear.”  Even though Danielle got an ‘F’ in English, I would give this book an ‘A.’
HS-ADVISABLE.  Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS. 

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