Please Don't Kill the Freshman
Zoe Trope
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Buy *Please Don't Kill the Freshman: A Memoir* online

Please Don't Kill the Freshman: A Memoir

Zoe Trope
September 2003
rated 2 of 5 possible stars

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I wonder if I still have the journals I kept in high school, in which I poured out my heart about all the really important things in my life. You know: boys, school, the never-ending angst of being a teenager. If they are still around, I bet they read a lot like Please Don't Kill the Freshman, a memoir by a real high school student who uses the name "Zoe Trope." The book recounts her experiences as a teenager and all that entails: teachers and parents who don't understand, the delicate social balance of high school, and the pain of figuring out who you are, emotionally, intellectually and sexually.

Like Zoe's, I'm sure my writings were full of passion and emotion and the urgency of being young. And my journals probably aren't worthy of publication, either.

Please Don't Kill the Freshman is the work of a bright, impassioned young woman with a lot of thoughts and feelings she yearns to express. But, like all young people, she gives every moment of life the same crushing weight. She over-analyzes everything and, while that's important to growth, it makes for pretentious, often off-putting reading.

It's often difficult to read, what with the elaborate nicknames she makes up for the people at her school and the way characters pop up and disappear, seemingly at random. Granted, high school often feels that way (usually because we're so wrapped up in our own issues that everyone else in our lives seems like a minor supporting player), but I never felt any real connection between Zoe and the other people in her life, even those she professes to love.

The overall effect is emotionally distant and impenetrable. None of this is to say that a teenager can't write a good book (some, in fact, have), but that, in trying so hard to say something important about high school life, this book says very little indeed.

© 2003 by Amanda Cuda for Curled Up With a Good Book

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