FRESHMAN by Michael Gerber


Age Range: 14 & up
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This acerbic parody of Ivy League education works better as burlesque than as novel. High-school senior Hart Fox has been accepted to elite Stutts—but his painfully stupid and disgustingly rich classmate, Trip Darlington, has stolen his place. Luckily for Hart, Trip’s father’s running for governor, and will restore Hart’s place at Stutts if Hart can keep Trip out of trouble until the election’s over. Hart adores Stutts, despite the irrelevance of the education and the snobbery of his fellow students. Unfortunately, Trip and his ludicrously evil father mean to destroy (or end) Hart’s life. Hart survives with the help of a wheelchair-bound genius, a vampire girlfriend and the staff of a beleaguered humor magazine. The portrayal of Stutts—a caustic, thinly veiled caricature of Yale—is biting and droll, but too-densely packed jokes disrupt the flow and narrative tension is sacrificed for farce. Nevertheless, this scathing takedown of elite colleges, if poorly paced, is consistently comical for those familiar with the system. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7868-3850-7
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2006


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