Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Review of Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Title: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
Author: Meredith Zeitlin
Published by: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Pages: 288
Source: Library
Format: Hardcover
Rating: ★★★

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.

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…

Freshman year of high school is always hard, but it seems for Kelsey Finkelstein nothing seems to go right.  Kelsey starts of her first day of high school with a plan to change her life and make sure that high school is all she wants it to be (didn't we all feel this way a bit?).  Well like everyone knows even the best laid plans have ups and downs and it seems for Kelsey there are way more downs than ups. 

The one thing that really stood out for me in this novel was the friendship between Kelsey, Em, Cass and JoJo.  Sure like all friends they fight some and disagree, but for the most part they are there when one another needs them.  Out of all the girls, I didn't particularly like Cass and how she handled some of the situations in the book.  She and Kelsey seemed a bit immature at times but I guess that is to be expected.  As crazy as JoJo was (which I didn't think was outrageous at all) and as quiet as Em was, I really liked them as characters.  They brought their own confidence and style to the friendship and balanced everyone out.  They are both characters I could have seen myself become friends with in high school. 

I thought the romance was at times funny and cute and others times a bit ridiculous.  I think Kelsey often found herself in these awkward situations, be it her own fault or some weird coincidence, and then regretted them much latter.  There is one 'relationship' though that is so flipping adorable that you just feel giddy and happy thinking about it.  As light as this book was, there were some serious issues that I thought Meredith Zeitlin wrote very well.  She had a refreshing take on high school that wasn't naive or condoning, but really a close reality to what some teenagers deal with everyday.   

Overall it was an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more from this debut author. 

1 comment:

  1. Ha! When you mentioned Kelsey creating her own awkward situation, I was reminded of that movie Bridesmaids. Talk about someone creating their own problems. LOL

    Not sure that I'll ever get around to this one, but you've got me curious about that one relationship that makes you all giddy. Love those. :)


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