Author: Meredith Zeitlin
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover, 282 pages
Date Published: March 1, 2012
Description (Taken 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…
Most of us remember what our freshman year of high school was like: overwhelming, exciting, and a time to start over and reinvent ourselves. That’s what Kelsey wants to do, but her big plan to make her mark at high school spirals out of control. Bad things ensue and Kelsey winds up hating her life on the soccer team, fighting with one of her besties, and being crazy over all the wrong boys.
The wonderful thing about Meredith Zeitlin’s writing is that it’s honest. Kelsey’s voice screams I AM A TEENAGE GIRL. *Note: big, bold letters were absolutely necessary* She’s funny and blunt and sarcastic. She gets overly frustrated with her mom, is boy-crazy, and completely oblivious to some way obvious things. But that’s the thing about teenagers – they act exactly like that. Every emotion is heightened and every experience is 1000x more emotional than it really is. Zeitlin gets that and writes that incredibly well.
The supporting characters all feel real too. Em, JoJo, Cass, Lexi, even the evil Julie Nelson all have personality. It’s quite easy to get caught up in the lives of these kids and find yourself spending a few hours flying through the book, unable to put it down. I know I did.
Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters is fun, fresh, and full of delightfully witty humor. It’s the perfect read for any day and something anyone who has gone to high school can relate to. Meredith Zeitlin took me by surprise and will surely be an author to look out for in the future!
Opening line: Here it is, practically mid-September, and it’s still too hot to live. ~ pg. 1
Favorite lines/passages: I immediately know that she is going to do something horrible, like kiss me in front of the free world or warn me about teenage pregnancy. Inevitably it will be something so embarrassing that I will have to throw myself down a well. ~ pg. 22
A definite 4.5!*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.
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