13 February 2012

Review: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin
Official Website
Description: 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…

Review: I was not expecting what I just read. I sound like a real bitch, but I'm not usually fond of books about kids younger than me. And when older bloggers used to say that, I'd be like, "Wow, that's harsh. They're letting a perfectly good book slide just because of the characters age!" And I'll be completely honest, I was going to pass this book right over. I didn't know a lot about it, and the title was long. (That sounds so douchey.) But the cover was really cute, and the trailer completely won me over. It was really nice, and subtle, and I'm not one for over-the-top things. (Also, the website is AWESOME! The color scheme is very aesthetic and very neat :3)

I am so grateful I read this book. It was amazing! Holy shit. I'm a senior in high school, as some of you guys know, and I'm going through these things now. I was really shy and stupid in freshman-sophomore year, and didn't really talk to anymore, god forbid boys. But these things are really happening to me! And I really connected with this book. I related to Kelsey, who is navigating high school for the first time, and all the friendship quarrels she goes through.

Let's talk about Kelsey: she isn't an annoying, huge backpack freshman. Freshmen in my school are so annoying. I never thought I'd say that, but they just get in the way! But she adjusts very well to high school, and she takes risks with soccer and stuff. I was too much of a baby to try out for anything, but she slides right into it. It's so natural for her, being independent and all. Kelsey is a spunky character, and it's really nice to see the developments and changes she goes thorough. By the end of the novel, she is really comfortable in her own skin, and it was really cool seeing that transformation.

Like I said, I really relate to Kelsey, especially in the boy and friend department. She's playing the field with boyfriends and relationship, and of course soccer. But I when I experienced these things for the first time, like Kelsey did, I found myself thinking the same things she did. Freshman Kelsey and Senior Lauren are the same person. Hey, I'm a late bloomer :P

I was also very shocked at the realness of this novel! Oh man, this is exactly what high school is like! Zeitlin gets it down to a T, with boys, alcohol, friendships, fighting, and just overall the entire experience of school. She writes about how friends can fight over the dumbest things, and how high school is the cause of it all. Especially the boys and their desire to just fool around, was written exactly how it happens.

On a side note of the writing, it was very real and smooth. I like when authors write like they're in a journal, with little side thoughts and such, because that's how I write. Zeitlin has a very humorous side, and she isn't afraid to show it! She's sarcastic, fast talking, and gets her point across. And that's always the best writing. I seriously cannot wait until she writes another book. I will be first in line to buy it.

Overall, Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters is a fresh surprise. It's a wonder addition to friendship and high school novels. Don't be an idiot like me. Pick it up March 1 !!

And for the first time in maybe my entire life, my head isn’t filled with a thousand thoughts about how this is unquestionably going to end in disaster. I’m not worried about impressing anyone, or saying the right thing, or looking a certain way, or anything. Actually, at the moment, I feel pretty psyched about just being plain old Kelsey Finkelstein. 
 -Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

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