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The Big F

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Danielle effed up. Big time.

Danielle's plans for the future were all figured out... until she failed senior English and her single college acceptance was rescinded. Determined to get her life back on track, Danielle enrolls in her hometown community college with a plan: pass English and get back into Ohio State—and her mother’s good graces. Romance isn't on her radar... until she reconnects with her childhood crush and golden boy next door, Luke.

Between family drama, first love and finding her own way, Danielle can't help but feel a little overwhelmed. Thankfully she has her friendship with the snarky and frustratingly attractive Porter, her coworker at the campus bookstore, to push her to experience new things and help keep her afloat.

One thing's for sure: This time, failure's not an option.

290 pages, Paperback

First published August 29, 2017

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About the author

Maggie Ann Martin

2 books220 followers
Maggie Ann Martin hails from Des Moines, Iowa but moonlights as a New Yorker. She earned a BA in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa, the most welcoming literary community in the world. When she is not writing, you can find her binge watching TV shows or passionately fangirling over fictional characters on the Internet. Her two young adult novels, The Big F and To Be Honest are available now from Swoon Reads (Macmillan).

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 130 reviews
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books329 followers
March 27, 2023
This quick, light read reminded me a lot of a Kasie West book. Cute and easy. Danielle is supposed to be leaving for college in the fall, but when she fails a class, her admission is revoked. As she enrolls in community college, she meets new friends, gets herself into parent drama and a love triangle, and tries to figure out what it is she really wants to do next. Nice beach read for when you’re in the mood for something light!
Profile Image for Scrill.
407 reviews232 followers
July 16, 2017
ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group Swoon Reads and Netgalley for a fair review

"Being lost, being without the plan I'd armed myself with my entire life, got me out of my comfort zone in ways that challenged me and forced me to grow as a person."

Maggie Ann Martin debut? I dub thee for fans of Kasie West and Morgan Matson.

The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin was a breath of fresh air in the YA contemporary category. Instead of a story about a 16 year old falling for that one guy that sweeps her off her feet in the most unexpected ways we are given the story of post high school but not quite adult. Where YA contemporary has steadily given us that high school romance and NA/Chicklit gives us those mid-twenties/fresh out of college taking on the world through middle age stories, Martin has delivered us a refreshing story that manages to land right in the middle. While The Big F dances around the typical tropes it doesn’t exactly take the same path.

Dani is fresh out of high school and as the daughter of a college guru she is on her way to the college of her dreams or not. She’s failed her AP English class and her acceptance into the communications program has been taken away leaving her without a college plan. That is until she meets Luke, the boy next door who held her heart till he moved away when she was 11, wearing a t-shirt advertising the local community college. She finds herself enrolled into a community college as a last ditch effort to hopefully get back on track. If only she could figure out how to handle her new budding relationship, passing her classes and getting back into the good graces of her parents.

The Story-Like I said before, I loved that this didn’t follow all the typical YA contemporary tropes, but they are there, just not obnoxiously…

Firstly, lets touch on the base that she has a healthy relationship with parents that are, wait a minute, still together. There was no tragic death of one of her parents or a divorce sparking some kind of character building. Her parents were together, her family spent time together, and her brother was normal. Now, this book didn’t pretend that the world was perfect as her friends have had their own parental issues. It just wasn’t one of the defining issues for Dani. In fact, everything Dani goes through is self-inflicted and she figures it out on her own.

The boy next door trope is probably the biggest cliché in this book. Thankfully, the story doesn’t completely drive this one home, and uses it merely as a spring board for the plot. You know what the best part of this one was? It was almost more of a reach for a familiar connection rather than the one next door that is suddenly confessed to.

Lastly, the friend that sets you right trope. Dani had two friends like this. She had a friend to set her right emotionally, and a friend to check her when she was drowning academically, what a lucky girl. Even though they were there for her though, it wasn’t like her friends had to knock her silly and talk sense into her; they were just there for that extra push.

Was this the next story to make your heart break into a million pieces and then soar to the moon? No, but it’s the type of book you can enjoy over a weekend, silently cheering her on and grinning and her foolheartedness

The Characters-

Dani-Okay, I really liked her. I think my favorite part of her was that though she had her romantic tendencies she felt so tangible. She was realistic, straight forward, and had her weaknesses that didn’t put her in the damsel in distress category. Despite making some key choices that she has to fix, she is still fairly level headed. She doesn’t need people telling her what to do, just the usual pat on the back and reassuring words.

Luke-What can I say really? He is pretty much the perfect boy next door. What makes him so perfect? He is the boy we dream about when we’re 11 but realize that everyone has their flaws even if they sit on such a high pedestal.

Porter-Everyone needs that one friend that shakes things up. Porter is that friend that introduces you to new things without making you go buck wild crazy that your family is completely concerned. I feel like all the Porters of the world are underappreciated, and I thank Martin for helping the “gangly boy” stand out.

Zoe-This girl has got to be the best wing woman ever. Martin did such a good job of incorporating a supportive friend without her own issues becoming the plot of the story. Zoe isn’t some magical creature that doesn’t have any drama per se, but the book wasn’t about her and she did a stellar job as a supporting character by not stealing any drama thunder.

The Connection- Personally, I have always felt completely detached whenever I read about the following things in YA contemporaries who were obsessed with going to a university. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against this age old tradition of kids graduating high school and heading off to college. I loved that this book showed a little bit more of the alternative – the wonderful world of community college.

I consider my town a college town. Spokane has both Gonzaga and Whitworth, a remote campus for WSU downtown, EWU just a stone throw away in Cheney and two community colleges. I had the luxury of going to both community colleges over the course of five years, and while I missed the whole dorm/sorority bit, I don’t feel like I missed out on all that much as far as my education goes. I think one of my favorite parts of the book was really that Martin didn’t dog against community college, even though Dani’s mother was a consultant for college acceptance. It was refreshing to be reminded that while they don’t typically offer 4 year degrees, they are an amicable stepping stone for transferring to university for either catching up on requirements for a program or simply determining that maybe you don’t know exactly what you want to do.
Profile Image for Kris Mauna.
509 reviews49 followers
August 15, 2017
I enjoyed this book so much more than I was anticipating I would! Seriously. I'm positive it's now up in my top ten favorite YA contemporaries now!

"It's not supposed to be easy to decide what makes life worth living, especially when you have so many things to live for now."

Dani is a character everyone will be able to relate to on a certain level, whether you're still in your teens and unsure of your future or even if you're an adult that's at a crossroad in your life. She messed up big time - failing a class that eventually led to the college of her dreams to revoke her acceptance? That screams failure because what is she supposed to do now?

"Stop trying to fix this for me," I said. "I messed up, and I'm going to fix it."

The thing I admired most about Dani was the way she owned up to her mistakes. Sure, she gave herself time to feel sorry for herself, she is human after all. But in the end she came up with her own plan and got sh*t done. She didn't rely on her mom, the one person who could easily fix everything for her, but grew up fast because she had to. This made it easy to relate to her and root for her happy ending.
As her plans change, Dani begins dealing with life at college and I enjoyed this part of the story! We get sort of the in-between that we don't see too often. We're usually about to graduate with characters or we meet them when they've been in college for some time.. But it was fun reading through Dani's college experience as she went through them all.

"Sometimes your heart makes a shit show out of what you think you want."

Taking a pause on speaking about Dani's personal plot.. Let's talk about the romance because I LOVED IT!! When I think of love triangles my usual response is WHYYYYYY?! But this one worked out perfectly for Dani's story and both of the guys were great. They play certain roles in the story and IT WAS JUST PERFECT OKAY. Of course.. Porter was always my favorite since day one. He is so caring and the way he opens Dani's eyes to the side of herself that she's always had was super sweet. He helped her embrace her OWN hopes and dreams for her life. SWOOON.

Gahh, there is so much to love about this story. The family dynamics were great, I really enjoyed her relationship with her younger brother! HER BEST FRIEND IS THE ACTUAL BEST! (Can we get a book about her please?!) Everything readers love about YA contemporaries is in this book. And fans of Kasie West or Morgan Matson are sure to love this one. Maggie Ann Martin's writing felt much like theirs but definitely stood out on its own in a beautiful way. She was able to weave everything important in life into Dani's story and I loved the outcome of it all.

Overall, I highly recommend this book! If you're looking for something light to read but still want a heartwarming story then pick this up!! So swoony, great self-discovery, and lots of family and friendship moments!

* Quotes listed above are subject to change.
Profile Image for Jackie.
295 reviews262 followers
September 1, 2017
This was such a quick and easy read (it's literally SO easy to binge-read) and it was very uplifting and entertaining!

The Big F is about Danielle who was supposed to go to Ohio’s university after graduation—but she got her acceptance revoked because she failed her English class. She has failed her mother’s expectations but instead of letting that bring her down, she turns her whole life upside down and proves to everybody that she is still able to have fun and be happy with what she’s doing (even if it wasn’t her first choice).

I really like when books have an intriguing opening line that immediately draws you in and leaves you wanting more—and that was definitely the case with The Big F!

It was pretty clear what the focus of the story was going to be and I was very intrigued to find out what would happen in Danielle’s life! I really liked her character arc because it felt very realistic and I could actually relate to her. College can be such a scary thing when you first start out and it’s hard if you want to live up to your parents’ expectations (and sometimes failing to do so). I can only imagine how terrifying it must be to tell your parents you didn’t get accepted to college! That being said, it’s totally not a bad thing at all if you don’t get accepted or you don’t plan to go to college at all—Danielle definitely proves that in this novel. It was very inspiring and encouraging to read about her experiences and how she still manages to find her own way to become truly happy with what she does in the future.

Overall, The Big F is a very easy-to-read summer contemporary about college and trying to figure out your future. It shows you that looking at things from a different angle and trying out stuff you’ve never done before might not be so bad after all—and you’ll still be able to find your own way.

Full review is now up on my blog: https://toomuchofabooknerd.wordpress.... :)

*I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley and because I was part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion in any way!*
Profile Image for Mandy.
636 reviews66 followers
August 20, 2017
*I received a copy of this book because I'm part of the blog tour for it - did not change my review/opinion at all for this book!*

This year I participated in Book Madness, which was basically March Madness except with book characters. It was a tonnnnnn of fun, and it was put on by Maggie Ann Martin, who was so incredibly kind and awesome. So when I found out her book was coming out later on in the year and also this adorable sounding contemporary, I knew I had to read it. And it turned out quite good!

I loved the premise of this contemporary. I hate to say it but there is a distinct lack of community college mentions in YA. I thought it was brilliant to have them mentioned and be the focus of this story, because so many people go to them for a variety of reasons and the big university may not be an option or might not be the best affordable one for the moment. The Big F did a brilliant job showcasing a new part of the contemporary life that most YAs skip over. 

Danielle was a great main character as well. She was brave, fun, and even though she had a lot to figure out, she stayed true to who she wanted to be. She was determined, and she took her failure in stride. I really enjoyed her voice, and I think she was a great heroine.

There was an interesting group of characters as well. I did like Zoe, Luke, and Porter. I also really liked Danielle's brother, who kind of stole the show for me when he appeared. It was also interesting to see the dynamics between Danielle and her mom. I would have liked a bit more of a push and pull between them, but their interactions were definitely emotionally charged, which really added to the story. 

The romance was cute, and I will mention there is a bit of a love triangle of sorts. I definitely preferred one over the other, but both of them had pros and cons and very good characterization. 

Martin also definitely showcased her contemporary magic in this book. I loved her writing style, and she definitely has a bright future for her in YA contemporary. It was so easy to speed through this story. It hit all the right contemporary feels: the sweet ship, the emotional pull at the heartstrings, and growth in so many ways for the MC. I can't wait to see what Martin does next!

I did have some other minor gripes with the book, but they were definitely inconsequential enough. Overall, though, this was a good contemporary novel that had me intrigued and breezing through it. It had some very cute moments, and it definitely sets it apart from the other YA novels out there. It's fresh and fun, and if you're looking for a good, light contemporary, this definitely should be going on your TBR. Four crowns and an Ariel rating!
Profile Image for Lynda Dickson.
581 reviews58 followers
August 31, 2017
When Danielle doesn't get into the college of her dreams, she considers herself a failure. She enrolls in the local community college, hoping to transfer out as soon as she can. But plans change. First, she reunites with Luke, her childhood crush. Then, she gets a job at the bookstore and meets Porter, who happens to be Luke's roommate. Finally, she gets an internship with a conservationist organization and discovers her true passion. Meanwhile, she struggles to connect with her mother and clashes with her perfect cousin. Danielle has a whole lot of growing up to do, and she discovers that you can't always plan your life.

In keeping with the F theme of the book title, the chapter titles are all F words: Failure, Fate, Final, Friendship, Fluke, Fun, Future, Fire, Family, Firsts, Foreboding, Fame, Faster, Festivities, Formal, Feast, Fever, Fortune, Frustration, Fracture, and Feeling; this is a cute and clever way of presenting the major premise of each chapter. Danielle is snarky and sarcastic and the perfect foil for Porter. I also love her interactions with her fourteen-year-old brother, Noah, but the exchanges with her mother seem a bit forced and unnatural, while her father's input is practically non-existent. I could see the author expanding this book into a series, and I'd be especially interested in learning more about Noah and Danielle's best friend, Zoe.

A fun, easy read.

Warnings: heavy alcohol consumption, sexual references. Technically, this is a new adult book, as the characters are eighteen years old and attending college. However, while there is (quite) a bit of drinking, there is no coarse language, and the sex scenes are only implied, making it suitable for young adult readers.

Note: the copy I read contained some editing errors and a few poorly constructed sentences.

I received this book in return for an honest review.

Full blog post (31 August): https://booksdirectonline.blogspot.co...
Profile Image for Eileen (BookCatPin).
727 reviews192 followers
October 20, 2017
The Big F is a light and fun story with the occasional cutes and swoons. It has its frustrating moments but the focus on family and friendship were solid.

Danielle's relationship with her family was a big part The Big F. Her closeness with her brother was one of my favourite thing. They got along so well and were there for each other during the bad and good times. Danielle's mother on the other hand... I hated her. A lot. Most of the time I felt she was being unfair to her daughter. They never got into any huge arguments but they clashed a lot. Seeing as both had faults I was happy they were later able to repair their bond.

Besides Danielle's best friend Zoe, who always rooted for her, I liked the friendship she finds with her college English teacher. They don't start off on the best of terms but over time and with more interactions they developed an easy and encouraging rapport.

I was so wary of the love triangle in The Big F. I don't think this is a spoiler since the synopsis practically gives it away but I really wanted Danielle to wake up and see how Porter's the right one for her. No offense to Luke because he was a nice boy and good to her but he just didn't feel right. It was obvious Danielle was with him because of her childhood crush. She was hung up on fulfilling that dream. The romance definitely dragged but I liked the no fuss conclusion.

With great personal exploration, fun friendships and a cutesy romance The Big F was a good read. I'd definitely recommend girls just coming out of high school to read this one for some inspirations.
Profile Image for Suze.
1,878 reviews1,310 followers
August 28, 2017
Danielle's mother has a clear plan for her daughter and that includes the college she went to herself. She helps every other student in the area to get into the college of their choice, but her own child failed an important class and therefore her admission is rescinded. Danielle has a big problem, she doesn't only have to come up with a new strategy for her future, she will also disappoint her mother. Danielle is determined to solve her own issues and enrolls in her hometown community college to pass the course she failed. She also finds herself a job at a bookstore. There she meets Porter, her first college friend. His roommate Luke coincidentally lived next door to Danielle when they were younger and is now back in town. Danielle isn't alone and suddenly community college doesn't seem so daunting anymore.

College isn't as bad as Danielle thought. She tries to fix her own mistakes, she has the chance to find out what she's passionate about and she falls in love for the first time. She still messes up and she certainly doesn't get everything right the first time, but she is trying and finds out that success is all about the road she's on and not the destination.

The Big F is a great story. I immediately admired Danielle. She isn't afraid to look inside herself and work on her shortcomings. She doesn't pretend, she is who she is. I loved that she's determined to solve her own problems instead of counting on her mother's expertise to get her out of a messy situation. She admits her mistakes, she knows she'll mess up again and she keeps trying over and over again. That's a fantastic idea for a story. She isn't perfect and that makes her a very realistic main character. She's also easy to like and to sympathise with, which warmed my heart.

Maggie Ann Martin writes about a subject that's reality for a lot of girls Danielle's age. Not everyone's future is set and plans sometimes can't be executed because life gets in the way. I loved the way she writes about resilience, about setbacks and the beauty of being strong enough to fight your way out of a difficult situation. Danielle asks for help, she has friends who are there for her and she isn't afraid to tell people how she feels, which makes her story interesting and gives it plenty of different layers. She's a regular girl with normal problems and that makes her accessible, which is another thing I liked about The Big F. The story is never over the top and it doesn't have huge highs or lows, but it's captivating from beginning to end. Maggie Ann Martin has written a terrific enjoyable story.
Profile Image for T.J. Burns.
Author 83 books44 followers
September 10, 2017
The Big F is an intriguing story about a recent high school grad trying to find her way in the complicated maze called “her future.” It’s too easy to become caught up in following the straight and narrow road of everyone’s expectations. Then what happens if someone throws a roadblock in the way of that one narrow path? Life happens!

I really enjoyed accompanying Danielle in her attempt to push through the bushes in her off-road excursion to find another route, balancing relationships and challenges along the way. It was fun to see Danielle’s relationships with Luke and Porter develop. I was intrigued with Porter and really liked the Danielle-Porter dynamic. I felt that Danielle’s relationship with Luke quickly became flat, though I could understand the attraction – and there’s something to be said about dating a guy with the “best family in the world.”

One of my favorite parts was the redefining of a lost and neglected relationship between mother and daughter.

I loved the literary discussions, although I would have much liked to see how Danielle related her life to Henry David Thoreau’s philosophies in her final English Lit paper. I have to admit that I personally was ready to throw Walden’s Pond into the fireplace of my dorm when I was forced to read it in my Freshman Lit class in college. It bored me to tears when I was eighteen, so I could totally relate to Danielle’s assessment of poets’ using “too many words” – get to the point already, dudes! I may have to reread Thoreau, now that I am a couple years past eighteen and see if I can resonate with his ideas now…

The Big F kept my interest from beginning to end. I loved following Danielle’s excursion, as well as her attempt to break away from everyone’s expectations (even her own), and pave new ground, to find a path that is uniquely hers.

I received a copy of this book from McMillan Children's Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Shaila.
Author 5 books637 followers
February 10, 2017
The debut book by Maggie Ann Martin brought me back to the time I was 18 or 19 years old like no other book has. It's story about a girl whose carefully constructed life falls apart because of the choices she's made and has to learn to navigate the uncharted future before her--and she does it with maturity, snarkiness, and a little humor thrown in for good measure. She soon realizes how to stand up on her own, make her own decisions, and accept the consequences of whatever choices she makes.

It's an adorable first-love story that portrays great friendships and a lot of real-life issues that reminds us adults what it was like to find ourselves when we're utterly lost.
Profile Image for Lydia Albano.
Author 1 book53 followers
October 12, 2017
what a charming, happy, fun, perfect summer read. I love that the characters are all perfectly flawed, lovable, and contradictory, just like real people. they have conflicts and inside jokes, complicated relationships and feelings. I cried twice, too. thanks Maggie Ann Martin for exactly the kind of book I needed to read this week. team Porter from day one! 💕

coming back to say- a few months later, I actually like this book better than ever because it stuck with me; I just really like how believable Danielle is and how ordinary (and yet engrossing) her struggles are. this book reads like real life, but also sucks you in. I love it.
Profile Image for Katy Upperman.
Author 4 books306 followers
August 31, 2017
Three things I loved about THE BIG F:
1. Bridges the YA/NA gap. The Big F has the same light, hopeful feel of a lot of my favorite YAs, but its MC, Danielle, is trudging through her first year of community college. It’s nice to see this stage featured in a book.
2. Dynamic characterizations. From Danielle, to her younger brother, to her best friend, to potential love interests Luke and Porter, Maggie Ann Martin’s characters leap off the page.
3. Excellent voice. I can totally see myself hanging out with Danielle and her bestie, Zoe. They read as so authentic, and that’s thanks to this debut’s stellar voice.
Profile Image for Abbie Martin.
2 reviews38 followers
December 26, 2016
The Big F will have you laughing and wanting more. Maggie Ann Martin writes with such a voice that is distinctly her own. I recommend this to anyone looking for a 21st century coming of age novel. The Big F reflects the important things in life; love, friendship, and comedic timing.

Profile Image for Lianne Oelke.
Author 1 book167 followers
July 21, 2017
I devoured this book- it's such a perfect combo of fun and gut-feels. Danielle is such an easy character to root for!
Profile Image for Vicky Again.
587 reviews818 followers
March 14, 2018
5 stars

A heartwarming debut about family, friendship, and love, Maggie Ann Martin's The Big F tells the relatable story of a girl whose life just took a huge 360.

With a college-savvy mom and a rejection letter from her dream school, Ohio State, Danielle's plan for life takes a turn as her secret is exposed and she has to attend her local community college.

She meets her old crush & neighbor, Luke, who dazzles her with his charm, while his roommate, Porter, initially does the opposite.

Danielle's in for a journey of self-discovery that strengthens her connections with her family, friends, and most of all, herself.

I really loved reading The Big F. Like the title suggests, this is such a fun and lighthearted story that follows along with Danielle and how she works to overcome the issues as a teenager.

I related to this story a lot, especially as a teenager with college approaching rapidly. The stress Danielle is under is huge, and having a mom like hers doesn't seem to help much.

Either way, Danielle manages to work with grace. You can't help liking her since she's such a fun and relatable character. Some people might argue that there's a lack of depth in her character, but we can't expect all characters to have overly elaborate backstories. She says it herself when reconnecting with her old crush, Luke. Danielle had a good childhood and it the years were mostly school, friends, and family. Not everything in life has to be over elaborate.

I really enjoyed the entire plot. It's very classic contemporary teen fiction and reminds me a lot of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell with the freshman in college and themes of coming of age as well as some awesome literature teachers. If you liked Fangirl, I believe you'll love reading The Big F.

Martin's debut was pace very nicely and I never felt bored in the two hours I spent reading it. It wasn't awkward in transitioning and Martins prose and descriptions don't lug down the plot.

With such a lighthearted story, some people might think there's not a lot of messages in the work, but I think The Big F has its own messages, though different than other novels.

It's primarily a coming of age novel and follows along with Danielle as she forges her own path. Sometimes you just have to go where life takes you and stop thinking too much about the future.

There's a certain timeless quality to simplicity and just going back to the bare roots. I think this is what Martin managed to expertly do. The Big F wasn't overly dramatic--there weren't any serial killer ex-boyfriends or over the top love triangles. It was just Danielle, ordinary girl, trying to make something of her life and leave a legacy.

Life doesn't always end up how we want it to. Not getting into your dream college won't kill you (something I'll have to remember over the next few years). This novel is so important in showing how the ordinary can still be extraordinary.

One of the portions that I think could have used more stressed was the actual 'F' portion of the novel. Obviously, Danielle gets an F in her AP Literature class she fails, but I think this symbol could have appeared more in the novel.

All of the chapter titles start with an F-word & definition, such as "Failure." I think the F could have been a more important part of the novel, but the symbolism Martin uses already does a great job.

The romance wasn't the primary part of the novel which was refreshing. I liked seeing how Danielle interacted with the love interests (yes, plural) while still keeping a rational mind. Unlike other hormone driven teenagers, Danielle did a great job of not infuriating the reader with unwise decisions. She's one of those honest characters that make you wish you had someone like her as a best friend. 

Overall, The Big F was a fun and light story that I would definitely recommend to contemporary lovers who are looking for an easy read. This novel instills the reader with a nice sense of hope, and it definitely helped calm my nerves about the upcoming school year.

Don't forget to look out for The Big F, coming on August 29th! I know what's going onto my bookshelf next! 😉

Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan/Swoon Reads for sending me a Digital Review Copy of The Big F in exchange for an honest review!

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Vicky Who Reads
Profile Image for Michelle .
1,998 reviews226 followers
October 2, 2017
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
The Big F is author Maggie Ann Martin's debut novel, and I have to say, I loved it! The Big F is a young adult contemporary romance that is sure to put a smile on your face. This book gave me major Kasie West vibes...obviously in a great way! I honestly enjoyed everything about this book. Right from the moment I picked it up, to the very last page, I had a great time reading The Big F. Can we also talk about the awesome cover for a moment. I love it! I think it is so perfect for this story. I love the doodling on the cover as well.

The Big F is the story of Dani and Luke. Dani thought she had her future planned out, until an F got her rejected from her dream college. Can I first just say, this would have sent me into a tailspin when I was in high school, so I really related to Dani. I liked her character a lot. And I really loved Luke. I am such a sucker for a guy next door romance that I was rooting for them from the moment I read the summary. And Luke lived up to every bit of expectation I had for him. 

One of my favorite things about The Big F, is that initially Dani is painted out to be a big overachiever. Totally type A, and this is a plot line path that I have seen explored in tons of ways. But I loved the direction that Maggie Ann Martin took this story in. Dani's journey takes a detour through community college, and in this detour she really finds herself. I loved it. I loved her journey and I loved seeing this story told. I haven't see it in young adult before, which was a big plus for me. 

Not only were Dani and Luke great, I also liked the cast of secondary characters, including Dani's family. I thought it was so refreshing to see a well adjusted family dynamic represented a young adult book. (You guys know how nasty parents can be a pet peeve of mine.) But I loved how Dani's parents, brother and friends were portrayed. The Big F had excellent friendships, a great self journey for Dani and a really sweet romance. It was an overall really fun read. I cannot wait for more from Maggie Ann Martin. I am going to read her next novel for sure! The Big F was a hit with me! 

This review was originally posted on Book Briefs
Profile Image for Alex (Pucksandpaperbacks).
441 reviews155 followers
July 12, 2017
I was sent this book by the author. All opinions are my own.

Danielle has had her college plans all set for her. She would be going to Ohio State. That's what she thinks until the day she gets a letter saying her application has been revoked due to failing her AP English class. Danielle is mortified and so, she keeps this a secret for as long as she can.

Until one big dinner with her parents, and cousin she is enemies with....the truth comes out. This puts Danielle and her mother on rocky terms. Her mother, a "college physic" who helps teens figure out their major and college, is furious about the situation.

Danielle enrolls in community college to retake an English course that will help her get back into Ohio State. I absolutely loved that this was the direction she took. I am a community college student and I've never read about a character in CC, it's almost always a university/dorm situation. Danielle learns a lot and meets people during her first semester of college. I loved how ambitious she was spite the circumstances for her being at CC. She takes on a lot and made me proud! The college aspect of this story was so true. It shows that when you first arrive to college you don't know what you want to do, and that's okay. Danielle ends up taking opportunities to lead to what she wants to major in.

Danielle spends most of her time working in the bookstore at the college. I loved the scenes in the bookstore, they were fun! She had great co-workers that made the time go by fast. Even her co-worker, Porter who always has a pizza delivery up his sleeve. Porter and Danielle bond the most, and I enjoyed their conversations and the way their relationship progressed.

I really loved the friendship between Danielle and her best friend, Zoe. Zoe has an eccentric personality and is always doing something DIY (buttons, her own dress) and works as a baker at the local grocery store. She's also loyal to Danielle and honest with her. Their friendship was genuine and realistic, I loved that Zoe didn't pull the common "angry at friend for being too busy", Zoe understood.

This story has many different elements, especially a romance. Danielle ends up catching up with her old neighbor from childhood, Luke - who she's had a crush on since she was 11. I did think their relationship was quick, which is why the feeling was partially there. But, I can relate to Danielle because I've been there. I really loved Luke though, he was so cute!! However, Porter is another story. He's a broody yet sarcastic and is always wearing a leather jacket. I remember Maggie mentioning once that she had a character much like Jess from Gilmore Girls, Porter is definitely Jess' twin! I liked his fascination for notebooks where he would write observations about people. But, he was always there for Danielle when she needed him. I loved their pizza tradition. I was so into Luke and his cute gestures, that it was hard for me to see Danielle and Porter.

Danielle's character development was good, could be improved a little more but I liked seeing how Danielle went from failure to success. She became independent and overcame what she was in the beginning, a girl going to Ohio State and at the end her mind was completely changed!

A really great coming of age story, I devoured this and loved every second it had to offer. Especially each of the chapters having a word that starts with F. Of course, I highly recommend.

Profile Image for Katherine Paschal.
2,133 reviews57 followers
August 29, 2017
**4.5 Out Of 5 Stars**
Danielle had her life all figured out, but when she failed her English class, she was declined from her dream school, which just so happened to be the only school she applied to. Dreading telling her parents, she waits until her cousin aka enemy forces her hand and she spills the truth. Deciding to take her floundering future into her own hands, Danielle enrolls in the local community college where she learns lessons on how to grow up, what she wants out of life and who she really is.

​I was a big fan of the fact the main character goes to a community college. This is such a nice change of pace from all the other teen books out there where the high school student has their life all planned and gets into one of their top college choices. As someone who wanted to safe money and attended a community college first, I think it is great that this book shows that it is ok. Life doesn't have to be 100% figured out by the time you are 18, there are LOTS of other options and this was such a positive spin on what at first appeared to be the end of the world. Mad props to Maggie for creating an out of the box approach to the mainstream growing up story and showing that life has so many possibilities.

This story was about Danielle's journey to becoming more than she was, every awkward encounter along the way helped to shape her path, including the guys she interacted with. Beware, there is a love triangle here. One boy just so happens to be Danielle's childhood fantasy come to life, yet they have basically have nothing in common and barely interact, they kind of just fell into a relationship- I personally feel he was more of an idea to her than a real person. And the other, well, Porter was one of my favorite people in the book in general. He was so fleshed out and developed as a character, he challenged Danielle to be better, to think about what she wanted and helped her figure out how to get it. I rooted hard for him and every time they could have the possibility of getting together I wanted to cheer. Stupid stubborn people who refused to talk or see the truth right in front of them!

The relationship dynamics between all the characters were really what made the story for me. We have the best friend Zoe who has her own life going on but still was able to support Danielle when she needed it and give her an ear to vent (I would love a story about Zoe!). There was the younger aspiring actor brother who was another close friend and confidant to Danielle. There was the tension filled relationship with her mother, making every interaction a challenge or battle. The ever so easy, yet boring relationship between her and Luke. And the teasing, provoking interactions with Porter. Everything came together to create the story and show the growth that Danielle went through in the story.

​I thought this was such a cute feel good story and I enjoyed every minute Danielle's awkward, clumsy journey. There were moments where I wanted to shake sense into Danielle, but she needed to find her own way and she did. I highly recommend this story for anyone looking for a cute fast growing-up/romance with an endearing group of people.

I received this title in return for my honest review. Visit my blog at https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/ to participate in the tour for the book!
Profile Image for Leanne.
566 reviews
July 17, 2017
A perfect coming of age YA story, reminiscent of the books I read as a teen, focusing on family, friends, and love. Delightfully charming and witty.
Profile Image for KarenJo Custodio.
342 reviews15 followers
September 1, 2017
5 Big Fantastic Stars

OHMAHGOSH this book��� I breezed through this one in less than 24 hours and absolutely loved every moment. The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin is such a heartwarming story about self-discovery, family, friendship, and love. It’s completely adorable, sweet, and just the perfect summer read that will leave a smile on your face.

The romance in this book so stinkin’ cute and I could not get enough. There’s plenty of sweet moments, spine tingling kisses, and boy drama to last your for days. Also, there's a love triangle... and for the most part I really don't like them. BUT this one just worked and it was absolutely swoony and perfect in every way. Not to mention there were definitely A LOT OF FEELS with both of the guys. Luke and Porter are such great love interests. They both played a specific role in Danielle’s life that affected her in different ways but no less important than the other. I’m obviously not going to spoil anything more, but I walked away feeling satisfied with how both relationships played out.

The characters are complex and flawed, but fabulous in their own ways. I could totally see myself hanging out with them and sharing a pizza or two.

• Danielle messed up big time, but she eventually owns up to it and makes a plan. I love that she takes responsibility and doesn’t ask anyone for help even if she could. She still makes mistakes here and there – she is human after all. But she is trying to learn, to grow, and to figure out what she really wants.

• Zoe is just the BEST best friend anyone can have and I completely adore her. She’s always there to tell you how it is and still be supportive as ever. Seriously, everyone needs a Zoe.

• Luke is the handsome boy next door and childhood crush you dream about being your boyfriend. He’s athletic, outgoing, and fun, but you realize he isn’t as perfect as you imagine him to be and that’s okay.

• And then there's Porter... He’s kind of a mystery, so you’re immediately drawn to him. He pushes your buttons quite a bit, but then he’s also really nice, super sweet, funny and so charming that you can’t help but fall head over heels for him.

There are so many things I love about this book – terrific writing, realistic characters, great family dynamics, awesome friendships, and sweet romance. But what I love most is the coming of age aspect and the many life lessons Martin weaves throughout the story. Failure doesn’t mean the end of everything. Life may not always go according to plan, but that’s okay. You can always create new goals, new plans, and new paths.

If you’re looking for a light, funny, and endearing YA contemporary, then I highly recommend you pick this up!

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

To read more of my reviews visit Sincerely Karen Jo
Profile Image for Taylor Hayes.
125 reviews1 follower
August 28, 2017

I loved this so much. I was not sure what to expect going in. I thought we would be following a downward spiral of Danielle but what I got was so much better. This was such a great coming of age story. I loved watching Danielle grow into the person she wanted to be. Learning to trust herself and not bend to the whims of others.

The male leads where amazing. They both had different things going for them. Luke with his connection to her past. He also trying to figure out who is in this world. Along the way we see his family and learn the expectations on him.

Porter. I LOVED HIM. He was so unapologetically him throughout the whole story. I loved the way he kept notes in his notepads. It gave him this amazingly real way to see the world. I loved that he found a way to remember even the small things life had to offer.

If you love a good coming of age rom com this is so for you. Five big freaking stars for this amazing debut novel!
Profile Image for Marie.
471 reviews178 followers
March 10, 2018
A really cute, really fun read. A bit predictable, but I didn't even mind, some characters were just too cute. <3 Also, I was thrilled to read a book set in college, because we rarely ever see that and yes for the confusion and not-knowing-what-the-heck you're supposed to do with your life, yet trying to figure it out.
The biggest thanks to the amazing Jackie for the giveaway that allowed me to read this wonderful book :)
Full review will be coming soon on the blog, Drizzle & Hurricane Books. :)
Profile Image for Tiffany Pitcock.
Author 1 book131 followers
May 15, 2017
I absolutely adore this book. Danielle is likable and so SO relatable. Porter is definitely one of my top book boyfriends. It was a quick, fun, and funny read.
Profile Image for Grace.
51 reviews2 followers
August 31, 2017
I don't know how Maggie Martin managed to capture every feeling I've ever had as an 18-year-old, but she did. From the inner awkward thoughts we manage to filter, the horribly embarrassing things that still manage to sneak through, the frustrations with parents, to finally the insecurities we have with just life in general.

Maggie manages to capture the beginning of adulthood due to the very relatable main character, Danielle. She has all of these relatable thoughts and a hilarious humor that had me laughing out loud. I felt like I would be best friends with Danielle in real life!

The overarching plot of Dani not getting accepted into her planned college created smaller plots that I thought really added depth to her as a character and the realness of her life. We as readers get to see her really grow, even from chapter to chapter as she becomes responsible for herself in the way that only college allows us.

This is a total "coming of age" book in my opinion, and it's like nothing I've ever read before. A girl who is setting off on her journey on the wrong foot, learning how to be a college student, working, figuring out boys, and figuring out herself. What more could a girl ask for?

I recommend this book to people who want to their relive college years or to have someone to experience college with. There's best friends, younger brother actors, psychic mothers, boys, and lots of pizza and coffee.
Profile Image for PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps .
2,286 reviews216 followers
February 20, 2018
After Danielle fails a class, her acceptance to Ohio State is rescinded. She begins classes at community college, encountering her old neighbor and first crush Luke. They begin dating, but his roommate Porter has a crush on Danielle and she might just like him back.

When Maggie Ann Martin wrote THE BIG F, I bet she didn’t think the F word I’d think of would be Forgettable. I enjoyed Danielle’s journey to discover her passion much more than the romance.

I can’t put my finger on anything specifically terrible about the story. The writing was fine, at times humorous and clever, at times boring. THE BIG F is a book go borrow, not purchase.
Profile Image for Hana Bilqisthi.
Author 4 books255 followers
August 14, 2017
Say hello to one of my fav book this year : The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin
I finished this book in one sitting last Sunday. I love everything about this book: the cover, the writing, the plot and the characters. The book made me happy and left wanting more I really recommended you to add it on your TBR. The Big F will be released on 29th August 2017. 
Thank you Macmillankidsbooks, Swoonreads, and Netgalley for giving me e-ARC
Profile Image for Michele Cisneros.
111 reviews12 followers
September 2, 2017
This review is based on an ARC I received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts on this book are my own.

Danielle or Dani thinks that her future is set but then she fails her AP Lit class and all her plans start to fall apart. She gets her admission revoked from the only college she applied to and now she doesn’t know what to do with her future. Her friend, Zoe, tells her she should going to the local community college with her and later that night she runs into an old friend, the boy next door who she used to have a massive crush on. He’s wearing a shirt representing the same community college her friend was telling her about and from there her new path starts to unfold. Dani enrolls at the local community college in an effort to become who she thinks she is meant to be. Once there she experiences friendships and moments that will forever change her and along the way she discovers a lot about herself.

This book wasn’t entirely what I expected, in a good way. I thought this book was simply going to be a second chance romance type of book but it was much more than that. It really went into a lot of things that you feel around the age of 18, fresh into adulthood. When you are an adult but still feel like you’re being treated like a child, when you second guess things you do. This book realistically portrays that moment when you feel like you’ve disappointed you’re parents and you don’t know what to do about it and are overwhelmed with it. I did feel this book was a little bit predictable but honestly I’m really good at predicting books (like really good) so don’t let that hold to much weight. As a debut author I think Maggie Ann Martin did a really good job at building the characters and making the relationships in this book seem realistic.
Profile Image for Sara.
850 reviews61 followers
July 23, 2017
Dani Cavanaugh’s mom has planned out her whole future for her. As a college psychic, her mom works with high school seniors to help them find the ideal program and school for their interests. For Dani, a major in communications at Ohio State was the plan. Not in the plan was Dani failing her senior year English class and getting her OSU admission revoked. Dani’s determined to get her life back on track, so she enrolls at her local community college with plans to transfer to OSU next semester. But what happens when she realizes that her big life plan might not be what she wants anymore?

I first found out about this book through That Artsy Reader Girl’s 2017 Debut Author Challenge. Imagine my surprise when I found it on Netgalley and then was actually approved for an ARC! This turned out to be one of my favorite debuts of 2017.

If I’m totally honest, I wasn’t so sure about it when I first started reading. It took awhile for me to really get sucked in by the writing, and my natural state as #1 problem solver kept trying to kick in for Dani. I found myself thinking, “What kind of high school teacher fails a kid based on one paper? I’m sure she could have contested that.” I thought, “What kind of parents don’t care about what their daughter actually wants? Why are they more concerned about her lying than about the fact that she literally felt like she couldn’t tell them about her admission being revoked?” I also thought, “This is a good warning as to why you shouldn’t declare your major before you even start college.” But then I told myself to turn my brain off and just enjoy this book. And I did.

Initially, Dani is upset about her plans changing. She’d been accepted to Ohio State, a well-respected Big Ten university, and was now walking into the admissions office of Denton Community College with her tail between her legs. But it turns out that DCC is a really good fit for her. She makes friends. Her classes are tough but enjoyable. She even reconnects with her old neighbor and the two start dating.

Dani really takes her future into her own hands. She gets herself a job at the college bookstore so that she can save up money for her inevitable transfer. (I am super jealous because I would have loved to work at my university’s book store.) She finds herself an internship in a field that she loves. She grows as a person and becomes more responsible and more mature.

There are two main conflicts in this book. The first is between Dani and her mother. Because Dani’s mother, for as famous of a psychic as she is supposed to be, does not understand her daughter at all. She wants her daughter to be someone that she’s not, and it frustrated me immensely. Her mother even grounds her. Grounds her. I was, in general, pretty respectful of my mother while growing up, but I think I would have laughed in her face if she’d tried to ground me while I was in college. Dani is an adult. She is allowed to have her own opinions and make her own mistakes. I really disliked Dani’s mother for failing to realize that.

The second main conflict is between Dani and Luke, her childhood neighbor that she begins dating at the beginning of the book. Growing up, Dani had a huge crush on Luke. He was her best friend’s older brother and she swooned over him at every chance. Now, they’re both grown up and taking advantage of the fact that they’re allowed to be alone and kiss each other and nobody can stop them. But, the thing is, we never really feel any chemistry between them. Aside from their first kiss, they just kind of coexist on the page. Dani has a thousand times more chemistry with Porter, her coworker and Luke’s roommate, than she ever had with Luke. But much like Ohio State had always been Dani’s dream, so has dating Luke. Dani has to reconcile the fact that sometimes your dreams don’t turn out the way you want them to. That sometimes dreams can change, and that’s normal and okay.

I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Maggie Ann Martin definitely did justice to the genre, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

I received a free ARC of The Big F from Macmillan/Swoon Reads via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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