Fresh by Margot Wood – REVIEW

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. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Abrams.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

“When you start your freshman year, your slate is clean. Whoever you were in high school, whatever drama you were caught up in – none of that matters. You can reset, if you want to.”

Fresh was the college coming-of-age story we’ve all been waiting for. It was funny, messy, authentic and relatable. Elliot was an endearing main character; a snarky bisexual chaos demon with ADHD and the ability to make questionable life choices. The book is written in the first person with an intimate, diary-like feel – it felt like your slightly tipsy best friend was spilling all their secrets without a filter. There are even sarcastic footnotes that made me love Elliot even more.

“I didn’t choose the slug life, the slug life chose me.”

Fresh is a sex-positive book and there are frequent sexual references thanks to Elliot’s constant horniness. I loved how unashamed Elliot was of her decisions but I also appreciated her facing up to the unintended consequences of many of these decisions and trying to become a better person. The first semester is a whirlwind of bad life choices and it was exhausting at times but the second semester supplied a much mellower storyline that allowed for character growth and development.

“I want you beyond reason and with my whole heart.”

I loved the cast of characters so much and getting to know the people in Elliot’s life. It’s easy to go wild when you first leave home but much harder to find some sort of equilibrium. And it’s impossible without supportive friends and family. Elliot reminds us that it’s never too later to make amends and own your mistakes and to always be the person you want to be unapologetically and without reservation.

(Goodreads | Amazon UK | Book Depository | Bookshop.org)

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