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Review: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Friday, February 17, 2012
Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
by Meredith Zeitlin
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Publisher: Putnum
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Challenge: 2012 Debut Author & Contemporary
Purchase: Powell's

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…

High school is tough, especially when you're a freshman.

This is also my freshman year, so Kelsey and I connected very well. But I'm still glad that I'm not in her shoes.

Making a mark was the one thing Kelsey planned to do, but she wasn't planning on how she was making her mark. Everyone always suggest for freshman to join a sport, club, theatre, etc... and of course everything sounds fantastic with meeting new people and trying new things. But sometimes trying new things really bite, especially when Kelsey makes a bad impression with an upperclassmen on the field. And to top things off, someone on the school paper has been printing some pretty embarrassing photos with her in them. That's not even all of it since the drama continues to pile day after day in high school.

Kelsey is a likable character with her hilarious comments through out the story. She goes through the usual high school drama with crappy love interests, gossip, and backstabbing. Her life is one of the more interesting lives, but definitely one you're glad isn't yours. Kelsey does make up for it with her wittiness. She's always ready to say something, even if it's the most ridiculous thing anyone could possibly say.

She noticeably develops as the story goes on with her constant misfortunes. Kelsey becomes more aware and cautious to what she does and who she's friends with. Her friends are great supporting characters. The relationship Kelsey has with her friends is natural and adds onto her high school experience. She also has those typical adolescent moments with her parents that only made her more real. I felt as if I could walk to school and find Kelsey somewhere in the halls.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
This books is full of hilarious moments. It was great looking at high school through the eyes of someone like Kelsey. I'm jealous of everyone who are looking back at their freshman year while I'm still living it. I guess I can't complain too much when comparing my life with Kelsey's. Freshman Year is a light read filled with ridiculous amounts of fun.


  1. Great review, Vy. This one sounds super cute and fun. I will have to check it out.

  2. I loooooved this one!!! It was so much fun to read and I loved Kelsey's voice! I agree it was hilarious:))

  3. I LOVED this book! Kelsey was such a great MC! I actually wanted to go back and read it again as soon as I finished because I loved her SO much! It's been a long time since I was a freshman and it's kind of cool to get transported back in time. Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Oh man, wasn't this book funny?? It's the first in a long time that I can remember laughing out loud numerous times per chapter. It's cool that you got to read it while experiencing your own freshman year. Gah, my freshman year feels like forever ago... it was definitely not a good year for me, so it was interesting to read this one and think back.

  5. I have this on my Nook to review, and I can't wait to get started on it! It sounds really great. :) Great review!


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