Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book Review: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Title: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
Author: Meredith Zeitlin
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publishing Date: March 1st 2012
Length: 288 pages
Genre: YA contemporary
Source: For Review

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.

Summary by Goodreads 

The story around Kelsey Finkelstein is obviously set in high-school, a beloved scenery of mine. And just like other high-school stories FRESHMAN YEAR & OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS has the enormous conflict potential of a bunch of growing up, hormonal kids.

It’s just like in real life, because Kelsey expects her new school year to be epic and what does she get? An epic fail! There are a few very funny things happening to Kelsey and I totally felt with her. The chase after her crush keeps her mind occupied and Meredith Zeitlin doesn’t make it that easy for her to find Mr. Right.

I would have wished for a  profound romance between Kelsey and Mr. Right as I call him, but there simply wasn’t enough time for one to develop, because the story concentrates on the failures of Kelsey’s freshman year in the first place. One of Kelsey’s goals is to score her preferred position on the soccer team and I can tell you that much... it won’t be easy for her to play a successful season. Some people in the story are exactly who you think they are, others are not.

Many moments of FRESHMAN YEAR & OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS are about the bonds of friendship between the four girls, Kelsey, Cassidy, JoJo and Emily. All four are very different characters and throughout the story we learn more about Kelsey’s friends and their lives, too. FRESHMAN YEAR & OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS is about first experiences in love and sex for all of them.

Of course there needs to be a family that Kelsey is embarrassed and annoyed of. They dare to ruin her social life in school and even her private life thanks to hideous outfit suggestions and a little star of a sister. This story is about lessons to learn and Kelsey’s really doing a good job to keep up with every social obstacle thrown in her way. Get into Kelsey’s head, she’s fun!

1) you need to kiss a few jerks, before you find Mr. Right
2) of the funniest Fiddler on the Roof
3) you catch one and you catch them all
4) of the entertaining thoughts of Kelsey Finkelstein
5) of a persistent paparazzi

3,5/5 ***/* FRESHMAN YEAR & OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS- A fun read about friendship, first love and the proof that life- especially freshman year- doesn’t always play out as planned.

The story offers typical freshman year elements like a prom, a school play, high-school parties, annoying siblings, a bubbling mix of teenage hormones and the crazy incidents resulting from them.
And the story is totally riddled with these hilarious, embarrassing, pitiful incidents. I was entertained, but I didn’t feel a very deep connection to the characters. I think there should be a sequel to Kelsey’s story so we could get to know the characters some more and be part of a more detailed view on the blooming romances.

* Watch the book trailer of FRESHMAN YEAR & OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS here

* Check out the blog tour here

* For further information about Meredith Zeitlin and her book visit

* Thanks to Anne Walls, Meredith Zeitlin and Putnam for sending me an e-copy for review!

1 comment:

  1. I have this for review and I have been meaning to read it; it sounds cute! I am glad you enjoyed it, even if there wasn't too much of a connection with the characters. I hope I won't be disappointed. Great review :)