When I look back on my first year of college, I donít actually think about my first official year of college. I think that is because I didnít actually leave home during the first two years of college. I stayed living at home because I was going to our local campus of a larger school. Literally, I was five minutes from campus (if that) so at first I really didnít get a full college experience. It wasnít until I transferred that I really began to be able to experience what college is all about Ė meeting new people, experiencing new things, and simply growing up. Little Fish by Ramsey Beyer truly made me reflect on these experiences.
Little Fish is a memoir told from the point of view of the author when she was 18 years old and about to leave her small town life to become an independent big city college freshman. It is a collection of actual journal entries (from Livejournal), collages, lists, and drawings through which Ramsey Beyer shares the first year of her college experience. All of her different drawings, entries, and lists explain her first hand thoughts and feelings regarding living in a big city and growing away from the family and friends that sheís known so well all of her life. Truly, this is a great autobiographical tale that is completely relatable to its target audience.
There was such innocence about the way that this memoir was told that it made it easy to enjoy. I could feel the emotions that were being portrayed on each page and at times easily relate to them. I especially loved the pages where she was describing bonding with her new friends at college and then struggling with how they were different from her friends from back home. To me that was really relatable because some of the people that I met and became friends with at college were different from the ones I was used to at home. I also found myself growing away from the ones that I had always had at home, and it was refreshing to read an experience that was similar. Sure, there were differences but the overarching reality of the memoir captures so many things that most of us (if not all of us) have felt at some point in our lives.
Another thing I enjoyed about Little Fish is the way that it is put together. It is so visually interesting. No one page is the same between the real live journal entries, type written lists, crumpled pages, and drawings.† I loved all the contrast and how you could pretty much tell the mood of the time in Ramseyís life based on the context. As a reader, this was a lot of fun to experience. It was a really interesting way to learn the story and be able to relate to it. It also made it so simple and easy to read that I had difficulty setting it down.
Honestly, this is the perfect book to give to those heading off to college for the first time. But it is also perfect for those who might want to reflect back on when they first left home for college. It really is a great nostalgic feel, and a good reminder of what it is like to leave home for the first time. Iím really glad I was able to check it out, and look forward to seeing more from Ramsey Beyer hopefully in the near future.
Disclosure: Received from publisher
Other reviews of Little Fish by Ramsey Beyer:
Rantings, Ravings, and Ramblings: “I did like the story and I did like the format, I just think the combo might have been a bit off.”
Divulge with Books Cafe: “A coming of age novel that feels like the person is definitely living it.”