Saturday, July 6, 2013

Blog Tour: Freshman Forty by Christine Duval - Review, Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Freshman Forty by Christine Duval.  The tour is hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.  You can check out the rest of the stops on the tour here.  Freshman Forty was originally self-published, but Christine just signed a deal to have it re-released by a publishing house this fall! Follow Christine on Twitter for updates @Christineduval1 or on her Goodreads author page.  My stop today features a review and a giveaway, which you can enter below.  
Freshman Forty 
by Christine Duval  
Publication date: February 21st 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Source:  eARC provided for tour.  

When eighteen-year-old Laurel Harris discovers she’s pregnant four weeks into the start of her freshman year at prestigious Colman College, she has all intentions of telling her father. But being away at school makes it too easy to hide. And while she can’t explain to her friends, or to herself even, the reasons why she doesn’t want the baby’s father to find out about the pregnancy, the rest of her world begins to unravel. 

Freshman year is hard enough. Most girls get through by forming close friendships, finding new boys and a phone call from mom or dad on Sunday. Laurel has to navigate all of it while hiding an unplanned pregnancy from a summer fling... 

An imperfect heroine plagued by bad choices and haunted by the memory of her deceased mother and grandparents, readers are sure to identify with Laurel as she navigates teen pregnancy, in secret, in a remote college setting.

-Freshman Forty took won an Honorable Mention at the New York Book Festival
-Won an Honorable Mention under General Fiction for the Beach Book Festival.
My Thoughts:  Freshman Forty is an outstanding novel that deals with a prevalent and sometimes ignored issue, which effects individuals from all walks of life.... no holds barred.....teenage pregnancy.  Being a former public health nurse, this novel was especially touching to me because I worked with pregnant girls and their babies for almost 10 years.  Teenage pregnancy is an issue that crosses over lines between race and socioeconomic status, and I applaud Christine Duval for writing a fictional novel that allows the reader to understand it from the mother's prospective.  As you can read in the synopsis, Laurel Harris has just started her freshman year of college when she finds out she is pregnant.  Yes, she made a bad choice, who hasn't.  What is important is what you choose to do after the fact, and that is what Freshman Forty is all about.  It chronicles Laurel's choices, good and bad, as she journeys through her pregnancy.  

Laurel and her father have had serious communication issues since she lost her mom, and then her grandparents.  She wants to tell her dad, but is afraid to tell her dad.  She's afraid to tell the baby's father.  She is afraid to tell her friends.  Laurel doesn't always do the right thing, but it was great watching her grow as a person, taking responsibility for herself, while learning to forgive, to let go, and to accept love and healing once again.  She tough, headstrong, manages to juggle pregnancy and school, and is very independent.  One of her greatest challenges is learning how to let someone else in and let them help, admitting to herself that she can't do it all alone.  I didn't like her dad in the beginning, but by the end of the book you get to see a new side of him, and I was very impressed.  The story itself was well written.  I would have loved to see it a little longer or with an epilogue because I am dying to know what happened after the ending, and down the road.  Freshman Forty is wonderful contemporary novel that not only is a good story that centers around an important subject, but it also addresses life issues regarding relationships, loss, and the importance of communication and honesty.  It is definitely a worthwhile read.    


Christine Duval has been writing creatively since the fourth grade when she penned her first short story entitled "London Terror," about the murder of a cat in London. She grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and lived in Italy twice as a teenager: once when she was sixteen in Bologna and in a small town on the Adriatic Sea called Porto San Giorgio; then in Florence when she was nineteen. Her parents wondered if she'd ever come back.

College was spent in the Finger Lakes: the inspiration for Colman, Milton, and Kashong Lake in Freshman Forty. It really is cold, wet and grey there - OFTEN! But when the sun comes out, boy is it pretty.

Life eventually took her to New York's Upper West Side, the place she'll always consider home. Though for now she resides in New Jersey with her family and a very spoiled love bird who can't decide if he's a boy or she's a girl.



  1. I like books that deal with this. I was a teenage mother, she is now 19 and an major in Special Education at ETSU. I will have to see if I can get this one. :) Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    1. I hope you can read it. It will go off the market for a few months since it was self-published, and then the publisher will re-release it this fall.

  2. This book was such a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed it too.

    1. Wasn't it good. I am glad you liked it to.

  3. This sounds like a good read! I like books like this too, a little gritty and raw and emotional.
    Great review!

  4. This does sound like a very good book. I'm sure many, many readers will be able to identify with Laurel's story.
    Great review, Ellen!

  5. Sounds like a fantastic book Ellen! I haven't read many books that deal with teenage pregnancy, though I know there out there, and I love how it doesn't focus on the fact that she made a mistake, but on how she deals with it moving forward. Can't wait to read this!


Thanks for your comments. I love hearing from you!

Entangled Teen Weekly

What Kind of Reviewer are You? Click on the banner to visit Ashley @ the Book Nook to find out.