Feb 19, 2012

Review: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeiltin

Title: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
Author: Meredith Zeitlin
Publisher:  G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: 3.1.2012
Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No…?
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: A+

Summary (from Goodreads):
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…

I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard I cried. Let alone the last time that happened when I was reading a book. Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters is a rare gem of a book. It’s witty, fresh, and so much fun. I enjoyed every single page I read, and plan on keeping this one on my shelves as a go-to book when I need a good chuckle.

Kelsey Finkelstein is, in a single word, awesome. If I were in high school with her, I would imagine we would be BFFs. She is the embodiment of all things teenage and girly. She is one of the best narrators I have encountered in YA fiction. I could have read about her escapades all day, every day.

Meredith Zeitlin is a genius. She has perfectly captured everything it is to be a teenage girl. The moment she transported me in to Kelsey’s world, I was hooked. Reading through Kelsey’s eyes is exactly like being in the mind of fourteen year old girl. Heck, it could have been my mind when I was fourteen. The way Zeiltin’s characters navigate through the tumultuous first year of high school impressed me. She artfully handled issues like drinking, peer pressure, sex, and first dates. Zeitlin delivers a full novel here, and the only fault I can find in her story is that it wasn’t long enough. I could have kept reading this book forever.

I’m desperately hoping that this isn’t the last I’ve seen of Kelsey Finkelstein and her incredible band of friends. This is a book I cannot recommend you discover enough for yourselves. Buy a copy and a spare to lend out to friends, nieces, daughters, cousins, etc. It’s that good.


  1. I'd really been wondering about this one! I'm glad you liked it so much. :) It makes me feel better about ordering it!

    - Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

  2. Great review! This sounds like a fun, fast, and heartwarming read! After I read this, I have a feeling I will give it to my niece, about to enter high school... :)


  3. I won this book on another blog and I can't wait to read it!

  4. You had me at the first line of your review :) I love books with wit and humor.


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