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…
I read very few Contemporaries through the year. The thing I love most about reading is its ability to take the reader to far away, imaginative lands with fantastical characters and mystical feats. So when I dove into Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters I was surprised how much I found myself enjoying being swept away to the mysterious and sometimes disturbing land of high school, and the wonderfully real characters that drudged up every emotion.
Kelsey, without a doubt, is one of the most believably real and lovable characters I’ve ever met. I couldn’t stop myself from laughing out loud as she stumbled her way through her freshman year. And even though a large portion of this story will have you in tears of laughter, the very real, heart-wrenching situations will bring you to tears just the same. I thought the balance was perfectly executed, and Zeitlin mastered the creation of endearing, thoughtful characters who enriched every scene. The support Kelsey receives from her BFFs is awesome. It made me want to hug my girlfriends and tell them how much they mean to me. The romance was sweet and clumsy, and just so perfect. Hilarious yet heart-felt, with amazing characters and awkward, so very real situations, Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters is a must. Period.
Miniview with Meredith Zeitlin:
I don't drive anything but the subway; I'm a New Yorker! But when I was in high school in NJ, I drove a tiny car... like it was a monster truck. I once hit a public bus because it got in my way. Seriously. (Don't worry - no one was hurt except for my poor car. And my pride.)
To the movies! Tearjerker or shoot 'em up?
Oh, this is a hard one! Well, I definitely enjoy a good mushy film, but I'm gonna have to say Shoot ' Em Up. A great action flick makes me want to run out and master karate and save the world. And what's better than that!?
All-time favorite bad boy?
CHRISTIAN SLATER. I know, super old school - but I can't help it! He will always be my number one.