New Release Thursday – Freshman Year by Sarah Mai



Freshman Year by Sarah Mai is a painfully real graphic memoir about the author’s first year in college. It doesn’t paint a rosy picture of college life, either, which I really appreciated given my own tumultuous freshman year way back when. I wouldn’t say I hated college at first. I liked the learning aspects of it, but the social aspects are where I really struggled. I didn’t make friends until halfway through my freshman year and spent most of my time alone. When I wasn’t in class, I was hiding out in the coffee shop on campus because I didn’t know what else to do with myself.

The point here is this: Some people adjust beautifully to college. It’s the best experience of their life! And then you get people like me, like Sarah Mai, who struggle almost immediately upon making it to those hallowed halls. Freshman Year, then, is a funny and unflinchinFreshman Year by Sarah Mai | Goodreadsg look at how difficult college life can be. It begins the day after high school graduation. Sarah and her friends have one last hurrah before they all go their separate ways. Sarah is going to college in Minnesota while her friends are doing their own thing. Sarah has her anxieties, but is convinced she can make the best out of it…Until she gets there and realizes life is about to get so much harder.

This graphic memoir tells the ups and downs of Sarah’s freshman year, from struggling with homework to getting dumped by her long distance boyfriend. Eventually, Sarah does find a group of friends and things get a little better, but the narrative never shies away the characters’ real thoughts and emotions. College is hard! Freshman year is especially hard! It’s so important to portray it as such.

In addition to the story itself, I really liked the artwork here. It’s all done in shades of blue, which helps drive home the more serious nature of the book. However, there are a lot of funny moments here that I found myself laughing out loud at. The dialogue is great, and I also liked how Mai portrayed college relationships and milestones as different for everyone.

Not everyone will have the perfect college experience, and Freshman Year is the perfect book to read if you feel like you’re struggling. It’s also a great book to give to teens who are going to college soon.

You can pick up a copy of Freshman Year at the Oreana Library today!

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