Thursday, March 1, 2012

Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
by Meredith Zeitlin
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Pages: 288
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… (from Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Let me just put it out there - this book was too much fun. It has been a long time since I've read a book that made me smile and laugh over and over and over again. From the very beginning of the book when Kelsey declares that it is going to be the best year ever - starting high school - staking her claim to fabulousness - you just know that it is going to be anything but that. Get ready for the ride.

" . . . well, we're in high school now. Obviously. And . . . it's time to defy expectations! To . . . change people's perceptions of us!  . . .

I've decided to really . . . do something this year. To make a mark. Stand out. Revamp myself for a new era. you know like Lindsay Lohan." (pg. 10)

Oh the naivete of the clueless former eighth-grader (yes that means you, freshman). What is so funny about her situation is that almost every freshman has had these same ideas. That is what made me want to read Freshman Year and kept me reading it and makes me want to read it again.

Kelsey was put through the wringer her freshman year, starting with making the soccer team - a main goal of her freshman year - only to have to deal with the torture of junior team captain, Julie Nelson, aka Crazy Eyebrows. (Julie is Sadie from MTV's Awkward - at least that's how I read her) Thankfully Kelsey has her three best friends - Em, Cass and Jo-Jo by her side. But all too soon the pressures of high school, new friendships, and new relationships change the girls and Kelsey begins to wonder if her childhood friendships can last.

Her fashion clueless but not-so-clueless mom and little sister Travis added other moments of humor. Travis bugged Kelsey and her friends all of the time, but it didn't come from brattiness, but cleverness. Well she was a little bratty, but she was the kind of little sister that the older sibling can't stand but her friends love. I loved the scenes with Travis and wouldn't have mind having her around more. 

Adding to Kelsey's unnatural disasters to her freshman year are the boys. Of course there are boys. Kelsey's main crush Jordan Rothman is now attainable since his gorgeous girlfriend is no longer in the picture. Will she finally make her move? Will she finally get the boy? Have that first fireworks, heart-stopping first kiss? I'll never tell, you'll just have to read it and find out.
I loved this book. I loved Kelsey - she was real, fun, had a lot of heart, and could make fun of herself. Reading Kelsey, I was reminded of Jessica Darling from Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty and Ruby Oliver from The Boy Book by E. Lockhart - both characters that I love from books that hold a place in my heart because they take me back to that awkwardness of high school which, for me, really wasn't all that bad. I hope to read more about Kelsey in future books. I can't wait to know what happens her sophomore year!

I received Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disaster from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Any quotes contained within the review are from the Advanced Reader Copy and may differ from the final published version.


    Great review it sums up the book so well :)

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

  2. I could not agree more with your review - the book was pure and hilarious fun!

  3. I have been wanting this book for a while now. But it isn't available at my local library!! :( I SO want to read it, everybody seems to love it!

  4. I've heard this book was really good! I think I'm going to pick it up next weekend!


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