The Big F
Maggie Ann Martin
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 29th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Danielle effed up. Big time.
Danielle’s plans for the future were pretty easy to figure out… until she failed senior English and her single college application was denied. Suddenly she’s in hot water with very few options, because honestly who applies to a safety school when their mom is a semi-famous “college psychic”?!
Determined to get her life back on track, Danielle enrolls in her hometown community college with a plan: pass her English class 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.
“I won’t be able to sleep if I don’t know you have a room next year, Dani. Please, find it,” she said in her voice that was the subtlest mix of sweet and evil. Her eyes were hard, staring at me in the way that showed her premature victory. It wasn’t enough for her to come engaged and with a new job, she had to humiliate me too.
“I-I don’t have a log-in,” I said.
“But every student does,” she said.
“I haven’t gotten mine yet,” I said.
“That’s interesting, Dani, everyone else has theirs,” she said, her voice finally reaching its normal tone. Maybe it would do some good to have Dr. Charming see her at her finest moment of devilry.
“Sometimes these things take time and—”
“No, not really.” She smiled.
“Claire!” Aunt Rachel hissed again. Marcus had started to put his arm around her to get her to stop, but she kept plowing ahead.
“You never got accepted, did you, Dani?” she asked, that same horrible smirk on her face.
“Claire, honey, sit down,” Marcus said.
“What kind of accusation are you making, Claire? Of course she got accepted. I saw the letter last fall, and we’ve had it hanging on the fridge ever since,” Mom said. “I wanted to make a great dinner for you and your fiancé, and you come here and accuse your own cousin of something horrible—”
“Mom,” I said.
“She doesn’t lie,” Mom continued. “You know better than to think twice about Danielle’s character—”
“Mom,” I tried again.
“I would appreciate it if you would apologize to your cousin right—”
“Stop!” I yelled. Everyone turned to me at once. Claire still had her arms crossed, and her face was bright red. Mom’s mouth stayed open as she looked at me, and Marcus looked like a bewildered puppy.
“She’s right,” I whispered.
“What?” Mom asked. No one moved, and the silence that hung in the air stung my ears.
“I didn’t pass English, and Ohio State revoked my acceptance,” I said.
Nothing can describe the feeling of your mother’s disappointment and your cousin’s vehement hatred rolling over you all at once. The tears were already falling down my face, and I knew that if I didn’t leave soon my sadness and embarrassment would explode all over the dining room, leaving no survivors in its wake. I took another look around the table before I ran upstairs.
All of the air seemed to seep out of my room, so to breathe again, I climbed out my window and onto the roof. I curled my arms around my legs, allowing myself to cry. Everything had finally fallen apart. Mom knew, Claire knew, and now I finally had to admit it to myself. I couldn’t pretend that it would work out or put off the discussion for another day. My failure was here, in my face, and ready to punch me in the gut repeatedly. I pulled out my phone and called the one person who can solve any crisis.
“Zoe? Come pick me up? It’s an emergency.”
She was on her way before I finished my sentence.
Maggie Ann Martin hails from Des Moines, Iowa but moonlights as a New Yorker. She has a shiny new 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. The Big F is her debut novel.