July 5, 2013

Spotlight on: Freshman Forty by Christine Duval

Book and Author details:
Freshman Forty by Christine Duval
Publication date: February 21st 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary

Purchase Link:
Price: $3.99

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.
Book Update:
Freshman Forty was originally self-published, but Christine just signed a deal to have it re-released by a publishing house this fall! Follow Christine on Twitter for updates @Christineduval1 or on her Goodreads author page.

Freshman Forty (Book #1, Freshman Forty Series)Freshman Forty by Christine Duval

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Freshman Forty is a story about a college freshman named Laurel who finds out she is pregnant four weeks into the start of the semester. She is virtually alone in life - her mom and grandparents are dead, and she is not close to her dad at all. She really hasn't made any friends in school so far, except for a guy named Mike. But she knows as soon as he finds out about her condition, he will run for the hills.

Laurel is a very strong girl. She is used to taking care of herself, looking out for herself, so that is what she continues to do. She finds herself a clinic, and then makes the decision all by herself whether or not to keep her baby. Once that decision is made, she begins making plans for everything else she needs. I felt sorry for Laurel because she is handling a very stressful situation all by herself. But I was also very proud of her. Most eighteen year olds that find themselves in this situation, I can imagine would run home to their parents and not finish college. Especially not on their own. But Laurel is determined to finish her freshman year, and have and raise the baby on her own. She doesn't let the father of her baby know that she is pregnant and she doesn't want anything from him. The father's identity is kept a secret for the majority of the book, but we are led to assume that he was a friend of Laurel's that she slept with one time right before heading to college.

I had a very personal connection to this story because Laurel's pregnancy experience very closely mirrored my own. I don't want to give any spoilers, so I will just say that from the time Laurel is taken into the hospital to deliver, I was right there with her, with tears rolling down my cheeks. It was beautifully written and captured perfectly all of the emotions a soon-to-be first time mom experiences. It is joyful and scary, exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time. Christine Duval deserves a lot of recognition for writing it so well.

Besides the main story of an unexpected teenage pregnancy, there is also a very touching story about a daughter and her father reconnecting over very exaggerated circumstances, and a daughter coming to terms with her father moving on with his own life.

Overall, this was a great book. The book ends with a cliffhanger (so be warned) and I can not wait for book two. This is one of my favorites that I have read this year, and if you haven't read it yet, you definitely should!

View all my reviews

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. Aww it's so great when you can so personally relate to the story and characters. I really want o read this one myself I think I'd definitely enjoy it. I love realistic issues brought up in books like this and it's a topic that is so very common! Glad you enjoyed it, Jessica!

  2. I really enjoyed this one as well and felt it was very realistic. I enjoyed your review and liked how you added in your own personal experience.

    BookishTrish @ Between the Lines

  3. when is book 2 coming out?? I cant wait either!


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