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Please Don't Kill the Freshman: A Memoir
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Please Don't Kill the Freshman: A Memoir

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  862 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
I wrote a story about you. Well, sort of, see, it's mostly about me. Well, entirely about me, but here's the catch: I'm you. No, really, I mean it. Not like that transcendentalism stuff we're learning in English class, but really, truly, I'm you. I know what it feels like when your heart beats so hard against your white bone ribs, when you sing in the shower with soap in y ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published July 27th 2004 by HarperTempest (first published 2001)
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Aug 02, 2007 Stefany rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teenagers, adults who think teenagers are ignorant
I find it funny how some people who review this think its supposed to make sense.

It's not.

It's a diary. Its a confession that being a teenager is difficult, and something I think that many adults seem to forget. We teenagers think life is so difficult that no one can comprehend it, except for other teenagers. And for most of my generation's parents, they tend to write us off as complaining little children who don't know what we're talking about.

This book, I think, is one of those things that let
Nov 16, 2007 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Working with Zoe Trope, publishing her chapbook version of PDKTF, and helping her get her deal with HarperCollins before she was even out of high school are probably the most exciting moments I've had as a publisher. To top it all off, Zoe remains a funny, sweet, and talented young woman. If you can find the old Future Tense pamphlet version you're lucky. There were only about 3,000 made (I'm not sure because I lost much stapling).
May 25, 2008 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: see my review because I'm exceeding the character limit over here
"teenagers who think they're better than that/people who used to be teenagers who thought they were better than that and now think they're better than teenagers"

Probably my favorite book, and that's not just a "I just finished this book and omg" thing, because I read this two years ago and have basically been reading it since then, but yeah so I just read it all the way through again and, yup, it's still my favorite. Everyone else who tries to write about being fourteen can't because they forget
This book could go on a Goodreads shelf titled: books written by authors I take Pilates with. However, since Zoe Trope hasn't yet written a second novel and there are no other authors in my Pilates class, it would be a very thin shelf. I've been interested in this book since its release several years ago (Portland setting! Written by actual high school teenager!) but have just now gotten around to reading it. It was tough going the first 50 pages. I almost stopped reading, overwhelmed by the voi ...more
Rachael Lee
Apr 23, 2009 Rachael Lee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The style of this book is the only thing that saved it from a place at the bottom with The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. I could sum this memoir up in several words and phrases: rebellion!, punk rock!, i'm so edgy! Hot Topic, and confused teenage sexuality. Or here, this is probably more accurate: angst, angst, angst.
Sep 27, 2007 Alexandra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sad 12 year olds.
So disappointing. The original chapbook (published by Kevin Sampsell of Future Tense Press) inspired me when I was fourteen (four years ago), but this extended version overstretches Trope's initial charm and takes the reader nowhere. She is talented and could have done better.
"Io sono solo un limone che oltre a una smorfia può offrire ben poco. Un giorno sarò una mela. Un giorno imparerò a essere dolce."

Zoe Trope (ovviamente pseudonimo) quando scrive ha quattordici, quindici anni. E' l'era di Bush e dell'11 Settembre 2001.
Cosa significa essere adolescenti del XXI secolo? Ci sono milioni di persone che ci hanno scritto su e hanno cercato di rispondere. Lei, no.
"Scusate se ho quindici anni" non è una provocazione, non è Melissa P., non è J.T. LeRoy, non è un memoriale

Nov 14, 2010 Sonia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Jared Della Rocca
I think I've officially arrived at the "I'm too old for..." party. Yeah, I don't understand most rap music, I forget the difference between Twilight and Teen Wolf (which one had Team Jacob?), and The Voice, American Idol, America's Got Talent---it all sounds like crap to me. Boy bands today (One Direction, ummm that's the only one I can think of) are basically the sons of boy bands of my generation (Backstreet Boys, again can't think of any others). And this book unfortunately falls into my "I'm ...more
Eli Claire
Jul 14, 2014 Eli Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel a bit silly writing a review for this book now that I know the author, but oh well. This book was my favorite in high school when I was a queer girl struggling with relationships and expectations and parents and school and generally feeling like a lot of stuff I was doing didn't matter. I read PDKTF several times when I was a teenager and it always resonated with me and I remember reading that the author lived in Portland, OR and thinking "that's so close to me!" Rereading the book as an ...more
Nov 14, 2011 Chelsea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zoe Trope's memoir is unlike any book I've read before. Her writing style is so original and different: she puts into words the feelings of angsty, confused, sensitive, sexually-confused, young teenagers, yet she does it in a way that is so endearing. All the characters in her memoir are mentioned in a list at the beginning of the book and again later when the characters change. This comes in handy as she nicknames ALL of her characters-- very quirky, fitting names that she gives these people-- ...more
Aug 03, 2012 Tima rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
I read this book the year it came out and I probably loved it then.

But, it's funny how your perspective changes once you get older, once you learn who the "anonymous" author is and that she wrote about some of your very good friends and said some very untrue things about them.

Zoe Trope (pseudonym, first name is really Zoe, last name is different but I'll grant her the privacy of keeping her anonymity) graduated the same year as many of my friends at a local Oregon high school. She was writing t
Feb 28, 2011 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I must admit I picked up this book because of the cover, and when I read the back, I was disgusted that someone three years younger than me already had a memoir published, so I read it out of a mixture of curiosity and jealousy.

At first, I had really high hopes because I often like anything high school (consider where I still spend all my weekdays) and the fact Trope used hilarious nicknames instead of people's actual names. However, this stopped amusing me when it got confusing.

There were som
King Ævil
This book is way, way outside my usual reading space. I picked it up partly because I enjoy broadening my repertoire, partly because I was curious what a successful high-school-age author has to say, and partly because the author is an Obie (and a friend of a friend).

I quite liked it, actually. The blurb on the back promised that I'd identify with the author/narrator, and indeed I did. Zoe Trope is a curious mix of the exceptional and the ordinary. Highly intelligent and amazingly sophisticated
Mar 17, 2014 Kelsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, this is either a love it or hate it book.
You can either appreciate the raw juiciness of a teenage girl's diary and looking through her complex eyes at an ordinary life and see the beauty of how she cam describe the smallest thing and how much these things can mean to a young person...
Or you can be distracted by the rawness, you can be appalled at the foul language, at the lack of organization.
Personally I found the book beautiful and empowering especially as a high school student myse
Danie P.
Jul 08, 2009 Danie P. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: y-a
Never before have I read a book where I felt like I was inside the author's head. The book reads as a stream of conscienceness dictation of Zoe Trope's thoughts. What made this book even more appealing is that after I read it I wanted to find out more about the auther (a first for me). I came to find out that she was actually a student at Oberlin college and two years younger than me! The actual content dealt with LGBT topics, highschool and finding her own niche. I highly recommend this novel t ...more
Sep 12, 2007 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this at times it was a bit pretentious (as only a teenage writer can be) but for the most part, I thought this was quietly profound. I was most grateful of the things it reminded me of from my own tumultuous adolescence: everyone feels like they're the only one going through riotous changes, and love is above all the most important thing. I hear that loud and clear, even at twenty-five. I love how BIG everything is in high school, and how it all becomes fondly smaller on the other side. ...more
When reading Please Don't Kill the Freshman, I was shocked when I came across so many cuss words. I liked the book's theme because I do believe that a teenagers life is very hard and i understand that, but I feel like the style of writing should be different. The pace of the book is ok most of the time, but i think some chapters went fast. I would recommend this book to anyone in high school and even someone who isn't the intended audience. I would recommend this book to incoming freshman or eig ...more
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Celeste Batchelor
Sep 16, 2011 Celeste Batchelor marked it as didnt-finish  ·  review of another edition
Another disgusting book given to us by our local library as a "prize" in the Teen Reading Program. Full of f-bombs, homosexuality, and promiscuous teens. Sickening.
Alex Golochowicz
In the memoir "Please Don't Kill The Freshman," by Zoe Trope you see Zoe herself writing in her diary about her constant struggle. She must figure out her sexuality, her friends, and her new book. While writing her life in a short story, she becomes fabled as a lesbian activist. Her struggle through her story is relatable to much of the lesbian community and she soon goes on tour and catches the eye of a certain girl in Seattle. Now having to deal with the constant want for her, she must also ba ...more
First Second Books
Because being in a state of teen angst and awkwardness is good for graphic novel revisions.
Sep 26, 2010 Lola rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Please Don't Kill The Freshman" is the journal of talented writer Zoe Trope during her freshman and sophomore years in high school. It was originally published as a small "chap book", but due to it's popularity and success was picked up by a large publishing company and she was asked to expand it past the original 30-something pages. It deals with some controversial issues, a chief one being the importance of discovering our sexuality during our teenage years, as well as our sexual preference. ...more
Malaya Sadler
Oct 31, 2010 Malaya Sadler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. While there is no real plot, there really isn't meant to be one. It's a memoir of Zoe Trope's freshman and sophomore years as a student in Seattle. But it's less of an eternal whine about the hardships of being fourteen, etc, and more of a rumination on the whys and hows and why not?s of life in general. PDKTF does a brilliant job of capturing the moment, of feeling an emotion and handing it to you as it is. There are no embellishments when the narrator speaks, just a differen ...more
Dec 10, 2012 Marcelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in middle school and was thoroughly amazed by the amnount of curse words in it. That part is made to intrigue young readers. I think it is because in 7th grade, the only books you really read are the ones provided by your teachers or your school's library, which could never possibly swear! "Oooohh, I feel badass, reading a book that says 'fuck' in it."

Anyway, it gets awfully confusing. Zoe trope uses false nicknames rather than the characters' true names, and new ones are added
Jun 12, 2012 Nathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: high schoolers or recent graduates
I finished this book yesterday, and I'm having trouble deciding what I thought of it.
On the one hand, it was interesting and kept me addicted to it for five days in which I couldn't read anything else but this book. There is no doubt that this book is a well-written, powerful memoir. But...
On the other hand, it was a ranting diary of an angry high schooler. And it is true that, having just come out of the hell that is high school, I understood where she was coming from in most of her rants. Howe
Anne Williston
Oct 03, 2013 Anne Williston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, purchased
On the average, teachers burn out within seven years. Seven years! Why do we lose hope? Could it be the lack of respect for the profession? Or maybe it is the impatient “before & after” expectation of our society that ignores the all important in-between time necessary to support learning. Zoe is very cognizant of the deficiencies of today’s high school. She records thinking, “I just wanted a teacher. Was it too much to hope for? Not a vending machine of sarcastic comments or regurgitated wo ...more
Jupiter Moreetosis
When i finished this book for the first time, I immediately flipped back to the first page and began reading it again. I read it four consecutive times. Needless to say, I loved it.

Most of the time, when I read a memoir, I feel guilty like I'm reading someone's diary, or I feel in awe of whatever great thing the author had done with his life. This one was different because instead of awe or guilt, I felt reassured.
I went to school in Mississippi and had always been considered somewhat of a par
Riley Brown
This memoir gives an interesting perspective on the life of a high school girl. Personally, I found it hard to read given the format it was written in. On top of that I didn't like the names that were picked out for the other characters because they were very hard to remember who was who. Overall though, it was an interesting book. If you like books about the drama of a girl in high school who isn't popular and has no guy friends this is the memoir for you!
Feb 08, 2008 Ola rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Lovers of angsty, poetic prose
My feelings about Please Don't Kill the Freshman are a little mixed. It was written interestingly enough, and had the potential to be an amazing novel.

This is the real diary of Zoe Trope, a high schooler struggling with the monotony of school and falling in love among other things. There are many semi-confusing rants in the diary, and Zoe seems to love using sexual references (dick, cunt, fuck, some odd fantasies.)

I'll probably need to read the book a second time around to fully confirm my feeli
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Zoe Trope was born in 1986. She graduated from high school in Oregon in 2003. That same year, HarperCollins published her high school memoir, Please Don't Kill the Freshman. Since then, she has written for magazines, newspapers, and anthologies.

She graduated from Oberlin College in 2008 with a Bachelors in Art History and completed her Masters in Library Science in 2010. Zoe is a reference librari
More about Zoe Trope...

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“apathy is a disease and some days i long for it.” 31 likes
“Don’t you love my idealism? My hypocrisy? My willingness to sound as loving and naive as possible? At least I know that I don’t know anything at all. I can admit it. Can you? Can you look yourself in the mirror in the morning and admit that you are no different from every other bundle of bones on this planet? And maybe the only things that make you different are your hands, the way you touch things, and what happens to them.” 23 likes
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