Freshman Dorm!!

After a few days off, I am finally ready to recap the first book in the Freshman Dorm series called Freshman Dorm!! ūüôā It is written by Linda A. Cooney, and Freshman Dorm follows the lives of three best friends from high school- KC Angeletti ( real name- Kahia Cayenne) has hippie parents, an amazing work ethic, and a head for business. In case you are wondering, this makes her very boring- Faith Crowley, who is the blonde drama major, really sweet, and has a boyfriend named Brooks and they have dated since 9th grade and are basically the average boring high school couple, and Winnie Gottlieb- the free spirit, crazy daughter of a single psychologist who spent the summer before frosh year of college in Europe.¬† So these three unlikely pals ( well to me they’d sure never be friends) go off to the University of Springfield, along with Faith’s boyfriend Brooks. As an aside- why must books and TV shows ALWAYS have best friends all go to college together??? I certainly did not attend college with my best friends- shit, two of them were still high school seniors, one went to a junior college in Franklin, MA and one of them went to Manchester Community College- and spent one week there but that’s a seperate story! And I don’t know anyone else who attended college with all of their best friends either! I guess in the context of Freshman Dorm it makes a little sense because Faith is going U of S for the awesome drama program, KC did not get into the college she really wanted to attend, plus her parents don’t exactly roll in dough, and it sounds like Winnie is just going to college to party a lot and to not lose her best gals. Hey- there are probably worse reasons to go to college than Winnie has!

Now keep in mind that this whole book takes place during one week of freshman orientation-and from what I recall, hardly anything happened during my freshman orientation of undergrad, but maybe the U of Springfield is a lot more bitchin’ I dunno. So it’s the first day and of course KC, Winnie, Faith and Brooks go to U of S without parental units which again really bugs me. But obviously at U of S and SVU, the freshmen can have their own cars on campus unlike at UCONN ( and most other schools) so why bring your shit parents along if you can go in your¬† own car, I guess. So at any rate, Faith will be living in the “artsy” dorm Coleridge Hall ( ah fond memories- I lived in ” artsy” dorm in undergrad too) as she is a drama major, KC is going to have a single room in the all female dorm- and Winnie- well we learn that Winnie did not bother to send in her room application so Winnie is ASSED OUT OF A ROOM! Thankfully there was¬†¬†a room left for her in the ” jock”, ” party” dorm once KC and Faith saved the day and managed to get Winnie a dorm room.¬† Faith meets her roommate, Lauren Turnbell-Smythe, who is a shy, chubby girl with an obviously overbearing mama- and her mama actually tagged along and brought her kid to campus!! Lauren’s family is rich, and Lauren has lived in boarding schools all around the world. Lauren’s mom insists that Lauren rush the Tri Beta sorority which consists of the prettiest, most ” well connected” women at the college- not sure what kind of connections 21 year olds gather, but maybe it’s from parental connections I dunno. Also, Lauren’s mom wanted her to go some college like Smith, but Lauren wanted to attend a ” state university out west:” and major in creative writing- and creative writing does sound like an awesome major.Well, KC wants to rush Tri Beta BADLY because she has heard about how ” connected” these girls are, and KC is afraid she wouldn’t get into Tri Beta because her parents are hippie restaurant owners and not Turnbell-Smythes. Soooo when KC meets Lauren at the dining commons the morning after move in day and learns of Lauren’s money, naturally KC gloms on to Lauren because she figures that with Lauren’s wealth and connections that she is a shoo in to get into Tri Beta, and if KC sticks to Lauren KC figures she will also make it into Tri Beta.¬† And Lauren is so happy to be making a new friend ( it doesn’t seem she had friends in her boarding schools) that she thinks KC likes her for her. Sure, Lauren, sure…¬†

After breakfast, Faith and Brooks go to some lecture given by the Honors College about how being on the honors track at U of S is difficult but awesomely rewarding.¬† Brooks gets all freaked out because he was the smartest guy ever at his high school, but college seems so much harder and he is afraid he won’t be up to the challenge. Faith assures him that they are in together, and that Brooks will do just great!

Lauren actually lends KC her credit card so KC can buy new clothes for rush- OK Lauren you want buddies, but you have known this gal for about 2 seconds- be a LITTLE less trusting, woman!! At the ice cream social that goes on after that stupid Honors College thing, Faith runs into some folks from the drama school,¬†and soon¬† one of them, Dante, introduces her to a guy named Meredith ( yeah a dude named MEREDITH) and Meredith says that the college is putting on a production of ” Stop the World I Want to Get Off’ and asks Faith if she’d maybe like to be the assistant director. Faith is only a freshman, and Brooks pretty much tells her not to go for it because she is only a freshman, but Faith is seriously considering it…

So the first night of rush begins, and Lauren and KC meeting with the Tri Betas TOTALLY reminds me of when Andrea, Kelly, Brenda and Donna met the Alphas on 90210- who remembers that? MY LORD Courtney Connors sounds JUST LIKE Brooke Sumner would- or else Brooke Sumner looks like how they describe Courtney Connors! It’s UNCANNY!!!!!!¬† So the girls seem very impressed with KC, her black dress and her impeccable manners and well Lauren is a legacy and her mom donated a lot of money to the sorority… so yeah you see where this is going… but KC says that it’s such good news that the Tri Betas love both Lauren and KC, so they should both rush The Tri Betas and ONLY the Tri Betas and won’t that be so fun? Lauren gives KC a lukewarm reaction, but KC pays that no mind. Meanwhile, Winnie runs into a sexy man- a computer major with dark hair- yum- in her coed jock dorm named Josh and they exchange some witty banter and Winnie falls in love at first sight, pretty much. Which apparently Winnie falls in love with EVERY man she meets at first sight- wow, in that way our Winnie is a regular Jess Wakefield! Except Jess would never go for¬†a computer nerd!

So the next day, the four girls are all watching a soap opera together, and Faith proposes that they should all watch the soap together every day- my Lordie that’s like how no matter what we all did, me and my buddies at UCONN would watch ” Sally Jessy” every day at 4 pm- right before dinner! God, I miss Sally Jessy! But I digress. KC and Winnie keep snapping at each other, and this really upsets Faith- because gee I guess Faith never realizes that KC and Winnie are like oil and vinegar. Well, in the meantime KC and Lauren both got bids from Tri Beta and KC is super excited and Lauren is, well- not so much.

The next day, Faith and Lauren are watching Brooks and his roomie, Barney ( who is a bodybuilder!) rock climb. Faith is upset that she actually didn’t get her resume into Meredith in time to assist Christopher Hammond, a senior and director of the play and well your basic BMOC.¬† Since Brooks told Faith it was a pipe dream anyway, Faith is starting to agree. Besides, this way if Faith is not involved in the play, she will have more time with Brooks- which is soo exciting since Brooks seems like such a passionate, thrilling kind of boyfriend that one would always want to be around. So Brooks slips off a rock and goes apeshit and Faith pretty much tells him to chill.¬† Faith then asks Brooks if they are going to go shop for books before the toga party going on at Win’s dorm that night, and Brooks says to forget it so Faith and Lauren just leave- and they run into Chris Hammond and his sexy roommate, Mark and Chris encourages Faith to try out to be his assistant- wink, wink, Faith- I bet Chris is totally wanting to make a SEXY TIME! Lauren finds Chris very appealing as well and is all nervous and shit around him.

So it’s the night of the toga party! Winnie gets smashed assed drunk, and Winnie had wine in Europe but never got that drunk! Josh spots Winnie and is worried about her, so he takes Winnie into his room to sleep it off after they kissed on¬†the couch.¬† Winnie loved the kiss, and then she knows Josh tucked her into bed. But then when she wakes up in Josh’s room she is convinced that they totally fucked since she can’t remember anything after the kiss and being in Josh’s bed. And Winnie is not exactly Miss Experience- she only had one lover before and that was in Europe- wow at least there’s a character who has been porked before! And wow freshmen in college DRINK! Not in the SVU world they don’t- they just get married and solve crime and crap.¬† So now Win is worried about what Josh will think of her since they fucked so soon after meeting.

Meanwhile, KC and Lauren are at another Tri Beta party and KC is describing the dream date dance. Basically, a frat guy finds a rushee that he feels a fellow frat brother will want to date. He gives her a playing card, and when the girl arrives to the frat party, she matches up with the frat boy with an identical playing card. How very sorority like and stupid.¬†During¬†the party, the rushees are all individually interviewed¬†and a girl named Marielle¬†interviews Lauren.¬†Marielle¬†is all witchy to Lauren and pretty much tells her that the sorority only wants her¬†because of her rich mama who donated lots o cash to the¬†Tri Betas, and Lauren best step it up if she thinks she will be accepted into the TB’s so easily. God, Marielle is¬†a¬†twat¬†sandwich. ¬†Well, at about 3 am after Faith is back from the toga party, Faith and Lauren get a knock on the door and it’s Mark from the ODT frat and he asks for Lauren and gives her a card. Now tradition is that the frat guy asks for the rushee’s roomie and not the rushee… hmmmm… well more on that later.¬†

So Winnie gets into her dorm room at 5 am after thinking she fucked Josh and rushing out. Her ” mystery roommate” who the girls never met, Melissa, is wicked fucking annoyed as she is on a track scholarship and needs sleep and she thought she’d make a friend, and this girl Winnie is just partying all week and coming in at odd hours and GRR- like the realistic roomie issue there, Linda Cooney! So Melissa yells at Winnie and Winnie decides to clean up her half of the room slightly to keep some piece with Melissa.

There is some canoe trip, and during the trip Winnie tells Josh about how it was OK they screwed or whatever and Winnie is all flirty and Josh is like no I didn’t screw you you were drunk and passed out! So Winnie is totes embarrassed because she really likes Josh. But earlier when Winnie told Faith about how when she and Josh kissed it was so romantical, Faith is thinking how in four years, she and Brooks barely did more than kiss and it never really felt passionate.¬† So Faith feels that tonight should FINALLY be the night where Faith and Brooks ” make love” so she can prove that there is some passion in the relationship.

Well, on this night it’s also the big Tri Beta ” dream date” and Lauren and KC show up to the party, and Lauren is matched with Chris ” Sexy Boy” Hammond! Lauren is in HEAVEN over this, and Chris looks a little surprised, but takes Lauren in his arms to dance anyway. So KC pretty much overhears some girls talking about how since Lauren is a chubby wubby, there is no way in hell that Chris would want HER as a dream date.¬† Then Courtney asks KC if Lauren or her roomie got the card, and KC says it was Lauren and Courtney is all….oh sooo.. but she doesn’t say anymore because she is not to blow sorority secrets. But KC figures out that Lauren is the one girl the sorority and the frat chose to humilate because Tri Beta doesn’t want Lauren- how very¬†” Dogfight” of Tri Beta ( movie with Lili Taylor and River Phoenix about how the frat finds the one ” dog girl” to humilate at the frat party by setting her up with a “dream date”). And KC is pissed off by this news but she can’t tell Lauren or she will never get into Tri Beta and of course that is what matters!

Well, KC feels like shit about what happened,¬†especially since when KC and Courtney were chatting, Lauren was behind them the whole time and Lauren found out that KC knew about this shit for the whole dance and never said anything, and Lauren says that KC pretty much used her¬†to get into the sorority- ummm yeah Lauren she¬†did but now she does feel like shit as KC felt¬†that Lauren was actually a worthy friend to have and wasn’t only worth hanging with because of her cash flow.¬†KC is at work at the Beanery when Marielle and Mark come in pretty much laughing over what happened to Lauren, and both Marielle and Mark are treating KC like crap and Marielle is all ” don’t talk to me unless I say so because you a rushee.” Winnie wanders into the Beanery ( coffee shop on campus) all soaking wet from rain after having an argument with Melissa and telling her to piss off- Winnie is already feeling lost at college, like¬† her high school friends are deserting her, she blew it with Josh, her roomie and her don’t get along- again, props to the author a realistic portrayal of what a lot of kids go through in their first week of college- especially a Winnie who isn’t really sure why she is even there in the first place- the way many of us felt in that first¬† month, semester, year- the whole time…

So KC is sick and tired of Marielle and Mark’s shit and dumps their drinks ALL OVER Mark and Marielle HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH! KC also tells Winnie that she has been acting like a sack of dung and they call a truce.

So what of Lauren and Faith? Well Faith and Brooks make NO sexy time- as Faith is trying to push it, she knows it feels wrong the whole time¬† and she stops it from happening and they break up because Faith realizes that there is no chemistry, and they were really only together because everyone expected them to be since they were the high school power couple.¬† And despite Faith turning in her resume late, Chris Hammond makes her assistant director- wooooooooo….. and yes there is total sexual tension. What will happen next?

And Lauren is so humiliated by what happened at the dance, that the last we hear she is staying with her mama at the hotel and is not even sure she will come back to U¬† of S. The other three girls talk about how Western Civ is gonna kick all their rear ends, and Winnie says ” We will have each other no matter what!” Eh, OK.

Compared to Sweet Valley U, I say the Freshman Dorm series is a much more realistic portrayal of college life for sure.¬† Granted Book 1 of SVU had many of the same happenings- high school couple breaks up, sorority drama of some sort, etc but with the breakup it’s not as if either Brooks or Faith are bad people or that one was really being a total asshat ( like Todd Wilkins was) it was just that they saw that there was never really a huge romance. And yeah the sorority liked KC, but she still had to get through some hoops- it wasn’t like how in SVU, Jessica didn’t even seem to have to rush or pledge or anything! And I remember these girls actually going to class a hell of a lot more often than the SVU kids did!

Well, there are more Freshman Dorm books to review, but my next three reviews will be- Sweet Valley Thriller Wanted for Murder ( an SVU thriller!), Jessi’s Baby Sitter, and Jessi’s Awful Secret- yep two more Baby Sitters Club books WILL be reviewed in this here blog! I am very EXCITE! And I am even more excited since I just ordered some Sweet Valley Twins and Sleepover Friends books that will arrive shortly- I cannot WAIT to review a Sleepover Friends book!


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