Book Review: Frogman’s Response by Heidi Voss

Today’s Brew of Choice: Double shot of espresso – vacation is tiring!

Good morning everyone! Hope you’re all doing fantastic! We are still on vacation (okay, we’re visiting my family so it’s not really vacation) and my internet is terrible, but I promise I’ll get back to all these comments and everything right when we get a better internet connection.

If you missed my interview with Heidi Voss, make sure to go read it here before checking out this review for Frogman’s Response! It’s so thoughtful and well thought out that I learned so much from this interview! I highly recommend checking it out!

This post contains affiliate links, if you’re kind enough to purchase through one of my links, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you

Goodreads Amazon Book Depository

Title: Frogman’s Response
Author: Heidi Voss
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Publication date: September 6, 2021
Genre: YA Contemporary / Realistic

A relatable story of high schoolers navigating cyberbullying, video games and finding your people

At a glance: Matthew’s anonymous online advice posts have gotten him banned from the school’s counseling forum and brought chaos to his school. When his notebook that has unpublished advice in it goes missing, Matthew worries about everything falling apart.

  • 🌱 Character Growth
  • 🍃 Easy Reading
  • ✒️ Debut Author
  • 🥀 Flawed Characters

Read this if… you have been craving a realistic story of high school experience, if you want to reminisce on your high school days or love to play old video games.

Diversity Representation: Both author and main character are mixed race, and characters featured include Latinx, Black, Asian, and other races.

Content Warnings: Microagressions/racism, emotional abuse, bullying (physical abuse), controlling parent, mental illness (hoarding disorder)

Book Review

Realistic, modern, nostalgic, relevant, relatable, tough, engaging

Frogman’s Response was a book that I didn’t think I would relate to quite as much as I did. I found myself identifying with Matthew constantly in a way that made me uncomfortable in a way that books don’t often elicit in me. I could see how my high school self would have made similar mistakes and reactions as Matthew and it made me confront where those feelings might have come from. Hoarding disorder is so common in the Midwest (which is actually where I grew up!) it’s almost hard to find a family that doesn’t have too many boxes somewhere. Though I never saw it on the same scale as Matthew, the emotions that Matthew feels are all too familiar to so many kids. This book is uncomfortably relatable in the best way that will make you nostalgic for high school and so glad you will never have to go back all at the same time.

Quick Summary: Matthew gets anonymously famous at his school after posting advice under the pseudonym Frogman on his school’s counseling website until the school bans him. Addicted to anonymously helping his classmates, he and his friends make a school blog and run it the way that they think it should be run. Little did they know that the well-intentioned advice would start to wreak havoc on the student body, but Frogman becomes the only way that Matthew feels in control of his life when living in his mom’s hoarding house. When Matthew’s private notebook gets stolen, Matthew worries that everything in his life will begin falling apart…

This book is engaging, realistic, and right on point. Regardless of if these teenager struggles are similar experiences to yours, you can’t help but see yourself somewhere in this high school. The energy, the aesthetic and the situations feel like the most realistic depiction of high school that I’ve read in so long. You can’t help but sympathize with Matthew and his friends. Frogman’s Response is a firm reminder that high school is hard and growing up is hard, which is something that we often forget as we get older and stop sympathizing with teens quite as much. Voss will put you right back in the shoes of these teenagers.

(Potential spoilers, read on with caution) The only thing I wished was included in this book was more of a resolution with Matthew’s mom. Hoarding disorder is so hard on family members, but it is still a disorder. Though the more that I thought about it after finishing, I realized that realistically the biggest resolution between Matthew and his mom would likely come after he actually is able to move out of the house. It makes more sense to happen after the events of the book. Sometimes problems are too close to home to be resolved only for the sake of a happy ending. Sometimes it’s more realistic to not have a full resolution yet. In the end, there was a bit more of an understanding in their relationship, but it is still far from perfect and honestly, it feels more real that way. The biggest thing this book gets right is how realistic it is in so many ways. There is so much thought and care put into this book and it really shines through to the reader.

Summing it all up

Frogman’s Response is the most realistic high school experience that I have read in so long. Voss will put you right in the shoes of these teenagers and make you remember your high school days. It will make you feel nostalgic for high school and glad you don’t have to go back all at once.

Looking for free shipping?

About the Author

Heidi Voss is an award winning short fiction author, and her debut novel Frogman’s Response will be released September of 2021. When not writing or promoting her work, she enjoys video games and training at an MMA gym.

Let’s chat!

🎮What was the last realistic YA that you read?
🎮 Have you seen other representations of hoarding disorder in books? Where?
🎮 Have you read any books about cyberbullying? What were they?

Goodreads Amazon Book Depository

Want More Diverse Book Recommendations?

Check out the rest of my blog! I’m dedicated to sharing books with you that include diversity, so feel comfortable that any books on Bookish Brews will include some diversity.

If you liked this review or thought you might like this book, check out some of my other reviews for books with high school protagonists:

Share this post

Don’t forget to connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook!

Frogman’s Response looks so relatable for teens and adults – added to my TBR!

Goodreads Amazon Book Depository

*I received this book for free and am leaving this review voluntarily*

Did you enjoy this post and want to support Bookish Brews in making more content like this? Consider visiting our support page or leaving a tip on Ko-fi to help keep this blog up and running.