Book: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, March 1, 2012, YA Contemporary
Format/pages: Received an ebook for review, also available in hardcover 288 pages.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Fourteen-year-old Brooklynite Kelsey Finkelstein is just about to embark on her high school debut and dreams about all the good things in store. This year will be different: she will be the soccer star and her crush will fall madly in love with her. With her three best friends at her side nothing can stop her. But when things don’t go exactly as planned, hilarity ensues in the form of embarrassing photos, awkward kisses, and a high school production of Fiddler on the Roof you’ll never forget.
I love a book with humor in it and Freshman Year and Other Disasters had me in stitches right from the beginning. It’s the perfect light, funny read that you can get through in one sitting. It’s a little more over the top than my first year of high school but it is easy to relate to Kelsey, and gives me a taste of what’s to come with my own daughter approaching these years.
Kelsey’s voice is so funny, honest and sarcastic and the situations she got herself in were laugh out loud hilarious. She is a teensy bit self-absorbed but her voice rings true to her age. Kelsey rolls with the punches through each cringe worthy obstacle that’s thrown at her and that makes her such an endearing character. My heart just went out to her with all the trouble she finds herself in.
There are many realistic high school issues dealt with in the book that gives it a little more substance. Friendship drama is something I’m familiar with from high school, and the friend issues that arise in the book are easy to relate to and handled in a refreshing way. Sex and drugs also come into play and Kelsey finds herself in some uncomfortable situations. It may seems like fourteen is a little young for these issues but I didn’t find how it was addressed to be unrealistic.
In addition to the friends and boys in Kelsey’s life she also has some great scenes with her mother. Their relationship is true to life with their arguing over where to shop and having heart to hearts about Kelsey’s issues. And Kelsey joking about how it was when her mom grew up throughout had me laughing. The challenges of being a fourteen year old and a parent of one were evident in the book.
This book would make a great read for someone about to start high school or for a funny look back on those years. At least it would make you feel better that you didn’t have as many embarrassing incidents as Kelsey. The writing is super sharp and funny and I couldn’t stop laughing when I tried to describe the high school musical production scene from the book out loud. Freshman Year and Other Disasters is Meredith Zeitlin’s debut novel and you can find it in stores today.
This trailer sold me on the book:
7 thoughts on “Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin”
I’m glad you enjoyed the book as much as I did, Lucy!
Yes! So funny, right?
Ohhh, the trailer is definitely great! I’m so easily put off by reading about characters that are under 16 (don’t ask me why!), but this sounds like a load of fun. It’s good to hear that the MC’s relationship with her mom is a highlight; I love when books touch on those relationships. I’ll have keep my eyes peeled for this one.
I was on the fence about reading it for the same reason, Steph. It seemed a little young to me, but the trailer convinced me that there was something special there. You’re right- so often YA books don’t show parent/child dynamics but this one does a great job.
I have a review copy of this coming in the mail soon! It takes a lot to make me laugh in books so I’m happy people are finding this funny.
I’m glad you’ll get the chance to read this, Reut! I’ll check back to see if the book made you laugh 🙂
Aww, I’m hearing lots of cute, good things about this book! I feel like there are so few books about girls this age, no? They’re either 12 or 15 or older. So it’s nice to see the frosh getting some love. And this book sounds funny and adorable. I’ll have to grab a copy and check it out!