Freshman Year (A Graphic Novel)


By Sarah Mai

Formats and Prices




$12.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around February 13, 2024. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A stylish graphic novel about the unique angst, humor, and self-doubt that comes with going away to college—perfect for fans of Heartstopper.

Everyone gets a fresh start. Who do you want to be?  Sarah is leaving suburban Wisconsin for college in Minnesota. She has high hopes for the future: impress her professors, meet interesting new people, stay close to her best friends and boyfriend back home, flourish as an artist, and shed her lingering high school anxieties. What seems manageable at first quickly unravels into a tailspin and she is overwhelmed by the freedom, the isolation, and all the possibilities that await in this new environment. Based on the author’s personal college journal and comics, Freshman Year navigates the inner workings of an 18-year-old girl in witty and heartfelt detail. 

Perfect gift for:
-Fans of Booksmart 
-High School Graduation
-College Freshmen
-The First Year Experience 

  • "FRESHMAN YEAR is both a relatable recounting of the ups and downs of the first year of college, and an excellent exploration of navigating the challenges and responsibilities of emerging adulthood. A thoughtful, fun, and refreshing read--and the perfect gift for every high schooler contemplating college."
    Megan Wagner Lloyd, bestselling author of ALLERGIC and SQUISHED
  • “This detailed, meditative tale is insightful, honest, and darkly funny, and it includes threads that are (realistically) not tidily resolved. An engaging and relatable slice-of-life story.”
    Kirkus Reviews
  • "Freshman Year brilliantly captures the hardships and messy journey of self-discovery in college. Accompanied by a charming art style, it's a heartfelt and relatable story that will resonate with anyone who's trying to find their own path. Sarah Mai delivers an honest and essential YA debut."
    Kat Fajardo, creator of MISS QUINCES
  • “A really lovely slice-of-life look at a tender time in life: The first year of college. This is a story chock full of heart, sadness, and wit.
    Tillie Walden, creator of ON A SUNBEAM and SPINNING
  • "This engaging story about adjusting to the upheaval of college fits nicely alongside other coming-of-age comics...Sarah’s difficulty finding herself is well communicated through the expressive art style."
  • "Freshman Year perfectly captures the surreal nature and bewildering independence that comes with the first year of college—a time so unique unto itself. Brought back many forgotten sense memories I know I’ll never experience in quite the same way again, but I have always wanted to remember.  Thank you, Sarah!"
    Heather Albinson, Wild Rumpus Books
  • "I would have eaten this book up as a high schooler and have, in my adulthood, read several comics that cover this terrain: moving away to college. This is Sarah’s graphic memoir of leaving her home to attend college . . . . It’s about all of the expectations and anticipation and what happens when those things butt against the realities of what college life is actually like."
    Book Riot
  • "College-bound high school readers will appreciate Sarah’s cluelessness, feelings of being overwhelmed, and existential ­self-searching . . . A solid addition where realistic graphic ­fiction is in demand."
    School Library Journal

On Sale
Feb 13, 2024
Page Count
288 pages

Sarah Mai

About the Author

Sarah Mai is an illustrator and writer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where she developed a passion for graphic novels, and is the illustrator of The Cool Code and The Cool Code 2.0: The Switch Glitch written by Deirdre Langeland. Freshman Year marks her author-illustrator debut.


Learn more about this author