Freshers ★★★★★

Freshers ★★★★★
Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Genre(s) | Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
Goodreads Rating | 4.22
Humpo Show Rating | 5.00
Published | 2017
Publisher | Chicken House Books

Freshers is a wonderful, funny and action-packed story concerning the first term at university for Phoebe and Luke. The antics that they get up to, the thoughts that swirl in their head, and the university experience is captured perfectly by Ellen and Ivison. The identity crisis that our two main protagonists go through portrays the manic, confusing and exciting time of a student’s life, and for many this time of change and expectation is one that defines their first year at university, for Phoebe and Luke, it is a VERY eventful first term and is full of hope, sadness and opportunity.

Phoebe and Luke went to the same school and sixth form college, yet they don’t truly meet each other until they bump into one another on the first night of Freshers. Phoebe has had a crush on Luke since Year 9, and Luke is the pretty boy footballer that begins life as a university student still in a relationship with Abbey. Little do they know that their first night of Freshers is the beginning of a crazy first term for them both.

The dual-penmanship of this novel helps to add to the authenticity of the two points-of-view that we receive from Phoebe and Luke. We are able to get a good grasp of the experience of several different types of people that attend university; from football players with their “lads, lads, lads” mantra, girls nervously trying to make friends with each other, loud and confident characters, and the non-sociable students too. By touching on all these types of people to varying degrees, the authors have managed to capture a university environment that is brilliantly realistic. I can not stress enough how realistic this depiction of university really is!!

There are so many factors that ensure it’s place as one of the best YA books ever. Not only is it one of the funniest books – The Quidditch Society friendly game was laugh-out-loud funny- but it also tackles some issues that are imperative to be talked about with people in the last teen/ early twenties bracket. Issues of the fraternity-esque LADS culture where they demean girls “for a laugh”, the difficulty of maintaining a long-distance relationship once you’ve moved hundreds of miles away, the inevitable feeling of loneliness that all students have felt at some point, and the pressure of making friends during the first week of Freshers are all discussed with wonderful clarity, experience and understanding.

I want to finish this review with a few of my favourite quotes! 🙂

No wonder I’ve never been in love, I’m too busy day-dreaming about it.

But it was like the terror of not making friends was stopping me actually making friends. Like, how can you relax and be yourself when you’re constantly wondering if every conversation might be the beginning of a life-long friendship?


Freshers is one of my favourite books of the year and it has been the first book I have read about the university experience, and having experienced the nightmare and awesomeness of Freshers Week I can say without question that both authors have absolutely nailed it! It is the perfect book for those thinking of going to uni, beginning Freshers, those who want to reminisce about uni, and those that won’t or haven’t gone to uni, but want to know about the carnage that happens in the first week/term. 

The Humpo Show | Richard

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2 thoughts on “Freshers ★★★★★

  1. Consider me sold. This book sounds like it could be a trip down memory lane. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I graduated 2 years ago but I absolutely loved my university experience. I love that this book explores a lot of different dynamics and personalities that comes with going to university. I feel like this book would make me want to go back to uni more than I already do haha.

    • Yay!
      This is such a realistic and funny depiction of the university experience. Fresher nights out, Netflix, lectures, Freshers Fair, it is such an accurate depiction. It definitely will make you want to go back, as it worked that way for me! I can’t believe mine has been just over a year- seems ages ago!!

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