Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters: A Review

Title: Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters
Author: Meredith Zeitlin
Publication Date: March 2012
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Source: Given free copy in exchange for honest review

Blurb from Goodreads (which I do not own but am using for review purposes only---same goes for the photo above):

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…

Genre: Coming of age/dream to reborn into awesomeness during a summer break/ slightly romantic filled with angst contemporary, younger set YAà Did I say enough here? Sheesh…

Cover: Cutesy, fitting, and I watched the book trailer, which you can find below, that really fits the book well. The cover shows the younger, socially-stressed but always entertaining life of a teeny-bopper, as my mother would say.

Plot: Cute. Did I say cute? Makes you feel young (13-14 years old) again BUT with the addition of alcohol and hooking up. (Aka this is my warning for any moms out there. It’s there, written in as part of life, but isn’t the focus) Flows well. Follows Kelsey Finklestein basically for an entire school year. It may seem predictable at times, but it reads like a good movie for the younger angsty set. 

Romantic Element: It’s there. It’s fairly satisfying, but it’s not the focus. In fact, you don’t think you’re totally getting one as Kelsey tries on different crushes, dates, etc., but again, it’s there, and it’s cute. (Sorry for the redundancy, but if it fits, it fits…)

Overall: This book does everything I’d want a comedy/coming of age/big dreams for a little school year book to have. Kelsey is likeable, and her friends are multi-faceted. She can be vain, but a lot of being that involves that, doesn’t it? The book also has a family element, which I think people will appreciate, even if it is, too, angsty in the way only a younger teen’s family life can be. Basically, if you want to channel your inner, newly teenaged self, OR, if you want to give a rambunctious niece (who you’ve warned about drinking and/or hooking up) this is the book for you. 

Note: there was one joke that I wasn’t too fond of, but it could just be me being sensitive, but it doesn’t detract from the book, so have at it!

Also Note: Isn't the title some kind of adorable?

What do you all think? Sound like your cup o’ tea? Let me know below!

And instead of a song to write by, I leave you with the book trailer. Enjoy!


  1. Fun read! I should get it for my niece. It sounds like it would be a good fit for her and her cute friends. :)

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Aw, it looks adorable! I'll definitely have to check it out! Thanks for the review. :)

  3. I love contemporary YA. I'll have to check this out. Thanks for the review.

  4. Hi, Kelley,

    Long time. Hope you are well.
    I like anything that is laugh-out-loud funny.