Sunday, February 12, 2012

Review: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Title: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
Author: Meredith Zeitlin
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Source: For Review

Format: Advanced Reader's Copy 
Buy The Book: Amazon
My Rating:  
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… (taken from
If I were to record my first memories of high school on paper, then I would probably end up with something a lot like Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters. The entire time I was devouring this treat of a novel, I couldn't help but giggle at its accuracy. Zeitlin's fresh and quirky outlook on 9th grade hits the nail right on the head while also tickling her reader's funny bone.

Kelsey is an absolutely ridiculous character, and it is for that very reason that I adore her. Let's be honest: who hasn't fawned over a boy or been utterly humiliated in their high school years? Kelsey's dramatic and often sarcastic responses to the events in her life had me grinning from ear to ear. She reminds me of that little voice we have in the backs of our heads. You know, the one that always comes up with the snarky come-backs and amusing internal dialogue? 

The interactions between teenagers, friends, and family were also authentic. As in every high school, Kelsey's school is filled with betrayals, gossip, and cliques. Kelsey learns that navigating the treacherous hallways becomes just as important as snagging the hottie. Then, somewhere along the way, Kelsey's perspective changes. She learns to take the lows right along with the highs, and I appreciated the change of heart. It sends a really positive message out to girls dealing with the same types of drama as our protagonist. 

Packed with both absurd shenanigans and relatable scenarios, Freshman Year is a wonderful chance to reminiscence about your freshman year. We've all been there, and the memories come right back with Kelsey's blunt outlook on high school. If you're a fan of light-hearted chick lit, then I'd definitely recommend Zeitlin's funky novel.