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Been There, Survived That: Getting Through Freshman Year of High School Paperback – May 1, 2008

3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karen Macklin is a San Francisco-based writer and editor. She has written for more than a dozen publications, including The New York Times, San Francisco Weekly, and Yoga Journal.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1070L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Zest Books (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979017378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979017377
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,106,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Nibbi on July 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
Of all of the Zest books that I have read, this one has got to be my favorite- there must have been at least 5 times when I burst out laughing reading to myself. Having recently survived freshman year myself, I found the advice inside to be quite helpful and insightful, and I was glad that this book (probably because it was written by teens themselves) took humor as its primary tool for doing so. The NOT sections of the book were its strength just because they were so funny and took a sarcastic approach to teen advice that I hadn't seen in other similar works. I also enjoyed the fact that because Been There was written by teens, it relied more on anecdotal advice than preachy ultimatums. Overall, a funny and valuable piece of literature for any aspiring freshman.
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Format: Paperback
Yes, I used the word “crap” instead of the s-word because, I guess, I’m just an old, musty fogy who doesn’t “get” it. And I suggest that you don’t get this book either.

I really thought this title had promise. I opened it with the best of expectations and it most definitely caused me to sit up and take note, though not in the way I had hoped. Here’s the first gem I came across that piqued my interest in a way that a dog cocks its head when it hears an odd or disturbing sound:

“Be Aware of First Impressions” (page 10, the first “chapter” in the book.) This sounded prudent enough, until I read on. “…Instead of becoming known as the girl who gets plastered and hooks up with everybody just because she can’t control how much she drinks…” Um, what? Stop, re-read passage, flip to front cover, re-read title to confirm that yes, this is a book about “Getting through freshman year of HIGH SCHOOL” (not college) then adjust expectations.

Other gems include advice on NOT telling parents that you’re being taunted (unless, of course, it gets “really bad”) and learning how to “Fake It” which again, had potential. I thought perhaps it was about fitting in or just filtering your thoughts on a classmates’ awful outfit of the day, but no. This little tidbit was a mini tutorial about how to lie to your teacher (and expect improvement in your technique with practice) when you didn’t complete a paper or assignment. Delightful. Others include making the best of a boring class by passing notes, texting your friends in other classes and discreetly snoozing (but I figured this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re that loose, passed-out alcoholic 14-year old introduced in the first chapter.)

The publishers claim that this is a new line of “smart and edgy books for teens.
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Format: Paperback
I'm going to be a junior in High school next year and when I read this book a month ago it made me wish I'd had it back when I was a Freshman. The real teen writers knew everything from experience and then some. This book reads like an encyclopedic Q & A book so theres no pressure to read it cover to cover and the advice and annecdotes seldom ring false and always hilarious beyond belief. Worth reading even if you have nothing to do eith freshman year.
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Format: Paperback
This book is split up into three sections: Practical Advice (which, despite the name, does no contain ANY practical advice), Academic Advice, and Social Advice. They attempt to entertain you by putting a "flipbook" in the bottom corner of the book. All the "flipbook" contains is a guy writing "Been There, Survived That" on a sheet of paper.

The "funny" freshman horror stories are far from funny and the charts that go with most advice in the book make the most lame attempt at humor I've ever seen. I believe I laughed most of my way through the book because it was so pathetic. I found quite a few pieces of information controversial and disturbing ("Learning How to Lie" [cause you didn't do something you were supposed to] and "Learning How to Fake Sick" [cause you didn't study and you have to stay home and cram]). Obviously, these kids are reflecting on freshman year and not actually experiencing it. Take it from an actual freshman: this book does you no good.

Every other review I have read (anywhere, from amazon.com to magazines to other places) says they wish they had this book during freshman year. I have it during freshman year and I feel like I wasted an hour of my life reading it. So take it from someone who actually knows. Don't read this book. You're just wasting your time.
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