The Big F
Maggie Ann Martin
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 29th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Danielle effed up. Big time.
Danielle’s plans for the future were pretty easy to figure out… until she failed senior English and her single college application was denied. Suddenly she’s in hot water with very few options, because honestly who applies to a safety school when their mom is a semi-famous “college psychic”?!
Determined to get her life back on track, Danielle enrolls in her hometown community college with a plan: pass her English class and get back into Ohio State and her mother’s good graces. Romance isn’t on her radar… until she reconnects with her childhood crush and golden-boy-next-door, Luke.
Between family drama, first love and finding her own way, Danielle can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed. Thankfully she has her friendship with the snarky and frustratingly attractive Porter, her coworker at the campus bookstore, to push her to experience new things and help keep her afloat.
One thing’s for sure: This time, failure’s not an option.
This year I participated in Book Madness, which was basically March Madness except with book characters. It was a tonnnnnn of fun, and it was put on by Maggie Ann Martin, who was so incredibly kind and awesome. So when I found out her book was coming out later on in the year and also this adorable sounding contemporary, I knew I had to read it. And it turned out quite good!
I loved the premise of this contemporary. I hate to say it but there is a distinct lack of community college mentions in YA. I thought it was brilliant to have them mentioned and be the focus of this story, because so many people go to them for a variety of reasons and the big university may not be an option or might not be the best affordable one for the moment. The Big F did a brilliant job showcasing a new part of the contemporary life that most YAs skip over.
Danielle was a great main character as well. She was brave, fun, and even though she had a lot to figure out, she stayed true to who she wanted to be. She was determined, and she took her failure in stride. I really enjoyed her voice, and I think she was a great heroine.
There was an interesting group of characters as well. I did like Zoe, Luke, and Porter. I also really liked Danielle’s brother, who kind of stole the show for me when he appeared. It was also interesting to see the dynamics between Danielle and her mom. I would have liked a bit more of a push and pull between them, but their interactions were definitely emotionally charged, which really added to the story.
The romance was cute, and I will mention there is a bit of a love triangle of sorts. I definitely preferred one over the other, but both of them had pros and cons and very good characterization.
Martin also definitely showcased her contemporary magic in this book. I loved her writing style, and she definitely has a bright future for her in YA contemporary. It was so easy to speed through this story. It hit all the right contemporary feels: the sweet ship, the emotional pull at the heartstrings, and growth in so many ways for the MC. I can’t wait to see what Martin does next!
I did have some other minor gripes with the book, but they were definitely inconsequential enough. Overall, though, this was a good contemporary novel that had me intrigued and breezing through it. It had some very cute moments, and it definitely sets it apart from the other YA novels out there. It’s fresh and fun, and if you’re looking for a good, light contemporary, this definitely should be going on your TBR. Four crowns and an Ariel rating!
Maggie Ann Martin hails from Des Moines, Iowa but moonlights as a New Yorker. She has a shiny new BA in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa, the most welcoming literary community in the world. When she is not writing, you can find her binge watching TV shows or passionately fangirling over fictional characters on the Internet. The Big F is her debut novel.