22 March 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: My Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Release Date: 1 March 2012
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Format: eBook
Source: eARC via publicist

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Goodreads 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.
My Thoughts...

Kelsey Finkelstein intends to have the PERFECT freshman year, but the 9 months that follow her foray into the dramatic world of high school are anything BUT perfect.  After a long series of mishaps stretch from soccer tryouts to the prom, Kelsey is pretty much ready for freshman year to be over.

Kelsey is a FUN character to follow through her first year of high school.  Her big dreams are no less than many other 14 year old girls. Who wouldn't want to start on the soccer team, catch a boy's eye, and reinvent themselves at a new school?  Kelsey's internal (and external) dialogue will make you laugh out loud with her token sarcasm, humor, and general flair for the dramatic.

Zeitlin's debut novel also offers an honest, real portrayal of the realities of high school--friends, parties, drinking, drugs, dating, family.  While drinking and drugs make their appearances, they aren't glamorized in such a way as to encourage teens to try it out for fun.  Drinking is accompanied by nausea and drugs by arrest.   It's a genuine portrayal of a normal teenager in high school.

If you're looking for a fun, light-hearted read that will make you laugh out loud, look no further. Meredith Zeitlin has crafted a seriously funny novel that offers a look into the life of a seemingly normal 14-year-old for whom nothing ever seems to go right. Her high school mishaps will ring true with readers who recall or are currently experiencing all of the ups and downs of high school and the drama of being a teenager. Don't miss out on a read that's sure to have you laughing (and if you're old enough, calling your high school friends for a session of "Remember when...").

 *School Library Journal recommends this read for grades 8 & up.*


Danny Bookworm said...

Loved this one so much and that from me who doesn't like protagonists that young. But Kelsey was incredible. she was so real and fun and honest! 

Sarah said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I love that it didn't glamorize drinking and drugs. I think Kelsey got some real life lessons that are very important for teen readers.

Neri said...

This is one of the books that I wanted to read. Sometimes you need a light and fun read. Glad you enjoyed it. I'm going to have to add this to my long list of books I want to read.

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