Freshmen Fifteen by Jasmine Sheffield
Jasmine Sheffield’s Freshmen Fifteen is a fun coming of age story that digs deeper into what it means to be a young black woman entering the college scene in the modern day. When Laila and Tanya graduate high school they feel nearly invincible, as if their lives will turn out exactly like the plans that they have created. However, when Laila’s boyfriend is arrested and her plans to lose her virginity are thrown to the wayside, some of Laila’s naivety is lifted and she begins to recognize the gravity of the decisions that she makes. When Tanya discovers that her plans have also been thrown off by her unexpected pregnancy, the two girls truly begin to realize that there are some decisions that can never be taken back, and choosing to have sex is one of them.
While Freshmen Fifteen can sometimes verge on being overly cheesy and a little unrealistic, it is a truly fun read. Sheffield’s descriptions of Lee University and the college parties that happen there will excite younger minds and bring feelings of nostalgia to older ones. Sheffield’s novel also passes along a positive message to young black girls, that their bodies belong to no one but themselves, that college can be a part of their future, and that they should embrace the type of person that they are, no matter what. These positive messages combined with Laila’s desire to have sex with the right person in the right way make Freshmen Fifteen a book that should not be overlooked. Honestly, it is refreshing to read an intimate scene where a condom is used because safe sex should be portrayed as sexy more often.
To purchase a copy of the book, click here to find it on Amazon.