Title: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
Author: Meredith Zeitlin
Published: March 1st 2012
By: G.P. Putnam's Sons
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…
First Line: “Here it is, practically mid-September, and it’s still too hot to live”
Last Line: “I think I’d better confiscate that camera, though. Just to be on the safe side”
Fav Line: “He lunges in, and suddenly his tongue is flopping around inside my mouth like a fish dying on a dock”.
Boy is it good to be writing something other than application forms! And what better way to start than by telling you all about Meredith Zeitlin’s Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters. I loved this book (I know I haven’t managed to find one I don’t love yet!) it was a fun rollercoaster ride of teenage angst and hilarious situations. I know when a book makes me laugh out loud that it’s special and this book made me snort very loudly and choke on my diet coke on a packed train! I knew it was very special.
FY&OUD is the story of Kelsey and her three best friends; Cass, Em and Jojo. We meet the girls on the eve of their first day at High School. We’re immediately thrown into their group, we see their dynamics and I think it’s instantly evident that they are great friends. It reminded me of the relationship that I have with my friends, and well ultimately it made me smile and warm to these beautiful girls.
Kelsey is our main protagonist, she is feisty, loud mouthed and hilarious. I loved the way Zeitlin portrays the relationship between Kelsey and her mother, oh how true it is that we girls disagree with everything that our mothers say, and that they were really out to ruin our lives at the age of 14. I think I enjoyed this book so much because I related to the situations and the characters. Kelsey and her friend Cass fall out over a boy, I found myself in a very similar situation a few years ago, I didn’t react in quite the same way Kelsey did but I understood the pain she felt.
I think some people might think this book is quite controversial, the girls drink alcohol even though they are 14, however I do not think it is glorified, Zeitlin handles the subject well and if anything gives an accurate account of modern day teens. She also broaches the subject of sex, Kelsey worries that her friends are more experienced than she is, her thoughts and worries are shared with the reader, which I thought was a brilliant, many young women have the same worries and through this story they will learn that they are not alone. Zeitlin also discusses homosexuality; the girls suspect that Jojo is a Lesbian, (which they have no problem with) however do not know how to broach the subject with her. I thought this was a really positive message, the girls accept their friend no matter what!
Rating 5 of 5 stars! Why? Because this is a fantastically witty book, that will make you laugh out loud and smile. This book has strong messages of friendship and acceptance, it reminds you to be who you are and be proud.