Cover Image: Fresh


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Member Reviews

This was a fun, sex positive coming of age story. The main protagonist is an undeclared college student on her own for the first time and embarks on a year of self exploration. It was a fast and light hearted read.

That being said, this felt like a debut novel. There wasn't much depth to the setting or characters. Emerson could have been anywhere and everyone other than the SUPER QUIRKY protagonist felt flat. Still, the romance was cute and there's room for growth, possibly in sequels called SOPH, etc. I would recommend this to lovers of mature YA or New Adult.
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What a charming, voice-y Emma retelling! I loved watching a college-aged protagonist navigate all of the ups and downs of that first year as she tries to find herself romantically and academically. The humor and voice jumped off the page, and I found the updates to the original storyline thoughtful and (forgive me) fresh.
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I absolutely devoured this book. I have a tremendous weakness for books with flawed characters who are still deeply lovable, and Elliott is just that. Fresh is full of the kind of energetic chaos that characterizes life as a late teen. Also, it’s sex positive! It deals with complex feelings! It accurately depicts Boston’s weird love of Dunkin Donuts!

5 stars. Would read again.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced look at this book! (less)
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Definitely an older audience YA. This first year of college retelling of Jane Austen's Emma is an unapologetic look at figuring out who you are while away from your family for the first time. A good balance of allusions to Emma while still very much it's own story. Very sex positive, great queer relationships. The writing style/formatting will definitely not be for everyone, but I think the audience is out there. Give to fans of Megan McCafferty's Jessica Darling series.
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I really enjoyed this one.

One of my issues with YA is that it almost always focuses on high school and to me never seems realistic. But that is not this novel.

Margot Wood gives readers a fresh perspective of new beginnings and turning a new page.
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As many other reviewers noted, there was a strange disconnect between the tone/content of the book and the tone of the writing style it was shared in. I felt that the writing read very middle grade/ young YA which didn't really mesh well with the age of the main character and the experiences being portrayed. I wish I had enjoyed this more than I did but ultimately it was just okay.
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Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Fresh in exchange for an honest review.

I'd describe "Fresh" as what would happen if the protagonist from Dork Diaries grew up and decided to catalogue her transition into adulthood. While the in your face, extremely 4th wall and intentionally quirky writing styles can work in some spaces, it just constantly reminded me of how juvenile the thoughts and actions of our protagonist are. I'm not saying adult books can't be written in this format, but everything about Elliot and her life felt so completely middle grade that I was really put off with the amount of sexual content in this despite the fact that it never actually markets itself as middle grade so that normally shouldn't have been an issue.

The end was cute though, okay? I'm a sucker for adorable endings.
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I loved the concept of this book- an diverse, inclusive look at the first year of college. But the prose read too young for me, and I couldn't get into it. The content is very college, but the writing felt almost middle-school and the combination of the two was jarring.
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A fresh look at university life through the story of Elliot, a bisexual, privileged woman starting her first year at uni.

I would have liked to have seen a better exploration of privilege, but this was really funny and sweet, definitely an entertaining read. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher.
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i really wish i could enjoy this, but it's simply not clicking with me. i have been cringing since the first page, and while i know im not far in the book and maybe things could change: i don't feel like continuing this. 

breaking the fourth wall in a contemporary book is really annoying to me. i didn't enjoy the footnotes, especially since i was graciously given an earc so alllll the footnotes are at the end of the chapters and by the time i reach them, i forget what the hell they were refering to. 

there's also the fact that this reads a lot like a wattpad circa 2012-2016 book. and i dont have anything against those, but i'm in 2021 and i don't need cringy narnia references or white girls acting weirdly. 

all in all, i think i will give this another shot in the future, but right now is just not it for me. 

thank you for the advance reading copy!
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Let me tell you, I LOVE an Emma retelling. This one did it quite subtly which was still enjoyable. It wasn't until the Knightley name drop that I really caught on to what was going on. Overall I really enjoyed this book but there were a few things that bothered me.

Let's start with the positives! I love that it was about a college freshman, there are not many books that are written about the 18-23 year old age range. I appreciate that. I also loved that the book was sex positive.
I liked Elliot for the most part, but sometimes she really annoyed me. I think it was the language used. I didn't vibe with it always. I do think she was the perfect flawed narrator though and I adored the footnote commentaries.

What I didn't like about the book is how it handled the SA. And yes it is addressed about why what happened did, but how other people treated Elliot didn't sit right with me.

I enjoyed this book and am so grateful I got the chance to read it. I recommend it to any college student, someone who loves Jane Austen retellings, or anyone wanting to pick a fun read.
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I would not recommend this book to be used with middle school students or teachers. The language and content is above middle school level. The storyline is not clear from the beginning and I often felt lost with events happening in the book. The footnotes add interest to the story but when reading digitally the footnotes didn't appear until the end of the chapter and I didn't like flipping back and forth to read the footnotes each time.
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Fresh is stimulating, awakening, refreshing, provocative and truly realistic approach to the complex college life, struggles of young people who try too hard to discover themselves

It’s questioning making decisions freely without being put in labels, shunning by your own social circle! 

I loved the voice of Elliott, her challenge to find a proper place at the college environment, her search for sexuality by experiencing different things which ended with slut-shaming!   

The book was genuine, harsh, bold, never sugar coating the matters young people deal with but there are so many triggering subjects and it was way too much steamy which is totally fine with me but the categorization of this story as young adult may confuse the readers’ minds because there are so many adult problems were questioned and analyzed in this story and sexual awakening was the main subject so it’s better to categorize it as adult fiction. 

  I mostly enjoyed it. It was original, unique introduction to college life with well developed characterization and satisfying LGBTQ representation which earned my four shiny stars! 

Special thanks to NetGalley and Abrams Kids for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
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THIS WAS SO CUTE! I could not put this book down, it was great. 
Fresh is honestly the perfect YA/College age book that isn’t the sugar coated version of college life we typically get in books but instead the raw experimental heavy life that actually goes on!
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First, this book should be marketed as new adult fiction instead of young adult fiction., as it deals with the basics of new adult ficiton: leaving home and developing sexuality.  In this case, the sexuality part is the whole basis of the book and is there, in your face, for almost every single page.  Sure, I love a steamy romance novel every now and then, but I wasn't expecting this book to fit into that genre.  What we have here is a college freshman who is sexually exploring (think: free love movement) the entire campus of a small college and then is angry because she is slut-shamed after sleeping with what seems like nearly everyone there.  It comes together, however, for a nice ending, but getting there was a long battle. No mention of safe sex practices, which is a bit concerning because of how freely she was giving it away. Language and mature content make this a no-go for my classroom, even though I have parents sign consent forms for reading books from my classroom library.
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Wow! This book was not at all what I expected, in fact, it was so much more. Fresh is a book that follows Elliot as she enters her freshman year of college at Emerson. Elliot encounters all kinds of people, new friendships, relationships, and so much more. She struggles with finding her place in college and goes through some hilarious, horrible, and unique experiences that lead up to her becoming a better person in the end. She even has some really fun love interests, as well, and the LGBTQ+ representation in this book is fantastic.
This book is so amazing, witty, and hilarious, making you fall in love with the narrator, Elliot, even when she makes some bad decisions her freshman year. This is a perfect light, fun, and sexy read. 
However, my only criticism is that this book is targeted as YA, and it deals a lot with mature topics such as sex, that would fit much better into the New Adult or Adult category, which is the result of my one star deduction. 
The author did a fantastic job of making the reader laugh along with Elliot's witty narration, and she even included fun little footnotes on almost every page with Elliot's thoughts. It was such a fun and enjoyable read, but keep in mind, it is definitely 18+ in terms content. 
Thank you so much to Amulet Books for this ARC! I truly enjoyed it.
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