Title: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
Author: Meredith Zeitlin
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Kelsey Finkelstein has a plan for greatness…but that doesn't mean the rest of the world is in on it.Okay, so let's say you're fourteen and live in New York City. You'd think your life would be like a glamorous TV show, right? And yet…You don't have a checking account, much less a personal Black American Express Card. The only couture in your closet is a Halloween costume your mom made out of an old laundry bag when you were eleven. You've never been to a club, or had a drink served in a martini glass, or frankly, done anything really NYC-ish at all.You definitely don't have any secret powers or friends who are vampires. You're about as normal and totally boring as a human being living in the most editing city on the planet could possibly be.In other words? You're me: Kelsey Finkelstein.But don't despair, people--this is going to be the year that I live up to all my untapped potential--finally.I have to say…I'm feeling almost optimistic.
When I first heard about Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters, I thought it sounded like it would be a very fund and light read. After having read it, I can say that it was exactly that. It was definitely a book I enjoyed reading, but I still had some small issues with it.
Kelsey Finkelstein is all ready to start high school, and make her mark during her freshman year. She even has a plan to be the star of the JV soccer team and finally start dating her long-time crush. Except the rest of the world doesn't seem to be in on that plan. Right from the first day of school, nothing seems to be going quite according to Kelsey's plan. When she isn't being harassed by the captain of the JV girls soccer team, unflattering pictures of Kelsey mysteriously appear in the school newspaper. And if that wasn't enough, her group of friends seems to be falling apart and it feels like everyone is keeping secrets from each other. For Kelsey, freshman year is turning out to be a lot more complicated than she originally thought it would be.
As I've said, when I first heard about Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters I thought it would be a fun and adorable read and that's exactly what it ended up being. It was definitely a book I enjoyed and it even had me laughing out lout on more than one occasion. And at the time when I read it, it was exactly what I needed. But that doesn't mean the book was perfect. Since it covers an entire year, parts of the story felt kind of rushed but that was something I was able to overlook. My main issue was with the characters, but I'll get to that later. As far as the story goes, Meredith Zeitlin wrote a pretty great one in Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters, and it's one that made me laugh more than I thought it would.
While I actually liked the characters themselves, what I had a problem with was how their age didn't match up with some of their behaviour throughout the book. Maybe I had a sheltered childhood, but it struck me as odd that fourteen-year-olds would be going to parties and getting completely drunk. And without giving too much away, I also found it a little weird that high school juniors would be interested in dating freshmen, and everyone saw that as normal. But aside from that, I liked Kelsey and her friends as far as their personalities were concerned. There were definitely aspects of their personalities, especially Kelsey's, that reminded me of my own freshman self. And in spite of everything , I still found myself rooting for Kelsey by the end of the book.
Despite some of my issues with the book, Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters was still a really enjoyable read. If nothing else, this is a book that is likely to make you laugh out loud on more than one occasion.