Thursday, March 1, 2012

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin.
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile.
Pages: 288.
Release Date: March 1st, 2012.
Source: Publisher.
Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny.

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course.

It's hard to relate my own freshmen experience with this book. We attended our classes in the junior high building due to overcrowding at the high school, so I sort of spent my freshmen year feeling like a senior. And even when I did join the rest of the upperclassmen, I feel like I was a bit more calm and prepared than Kelsey was. But regardless of all that, this story didn't fail to delight me one bit.

I was amazed at how authentic Kelsey's voice was. She's snarky, overdramatic and a bit naive, but I remember having ALL of those feelings and emotions when I was fourteen. She was also hilarious. Her snide commentary and opinions on certain things had me cracking up. Unfortunately, I didn't fall in love with any of Kelsey's friends. They didn't have the same likability and they were quite frequently annoying and angering me. But I did LOVE Ben. I only wish he was in a lot more of the book and maybe introduced a bit more toward the beginning.

This book doesn't really have a specific plot. It's basically just Kelsey trying to adjust herself to high school life and all of the drama that comes with it. Usually, character driven novels don't really sit well with me. I like a good story with ups and downs and revelations and stuff like that. But there is something extremely charming about this one. I can't quite put my finger on it, or analyze why I liked it so much. It's just one of those quirky, feel-good books that definitely put a permanent smile on my face.

Overall, I really enjoyed Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters. It's a quick, adorable and charismatic story that I think will appeal to anyone who is in the mood for something funny and lighthearted. AND this might be perfect for young teens about to enter high school! Because my first taste of high school probably would have been a lot more amusing had I seen it through Kelsey Finkelstein's eyes first.

Other reviews for Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters:
The Diary of a Bookworm.
Reading Addict.
Tiffany Reads.


  1. I've heard a TON of really wonderful things about Kelsey's 'voice.' She definitely reminds me of me a bit when I was a freshman as well, and I feel like that in and of itself is AWESOME, to be able to relate so well to a character like that. And I have a feeling that this Ben dude is going to get me all fluttery. ;)


  2. I'm in ninth grade right now so I can relate! I loved this book! great review :)

  3. This sounds SO good. I've read so many great reviews for this one. Need to get myself a copy asap!

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