Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

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  1. Editorial Reviews
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  3. Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin
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In a sweet reversal, Kelsey finds that one of her many disasters has introduced her to a new guy who is, indeed, worth the wait. Kelsey and I would definitely have been friends. Also by Meredith Zeitlin. See all books by Meredith Zeitlin. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Looking for More Great Reads? Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now.

LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Read it Forward Read it first. Unbound Worlds Exploring the science fiction and fantasy universe. Stay in Touch Sign up. We are experiencing technical difficulties. As for the story, it's a usual story of teens in high school with romance, mean girls, break ups, friendships, etc. What makes the book different? It's not around a certain aspect of Kelsey's life but you see more of it.

Family, friends, boys, lessons, clubs, parties, proms. It lasts long enough so you get a good idea of everything. Though i wouldn't mind if it would be even longer. I'm not talking about what they are doing but also on how to handle things from friendship to gay friends. That means Kelsey did not annoy me: P 3 Kelsey is a great character. She does stupid things but she is clever. And i liked how she managed to keep up with her problems and instead of being in a corner and crying, searched for her friends, tried to make fun, even talked to her mother.

I was close to her for some reason. In some aspects she really reminded of myself. If i had read the book at my teens i would have put it 5 stars. It was exactly what i liked reading at the time. But i'm a little older now, and sometimes i found it a little childish. I laughed, and enjoy it. I went back to school and i was a teen once again for a while. All Kelsey wants is to make her mark and to have a really great first year. Unfortunately for Kelsey, things do not work out exactly as she has planned them to.

She kept me in stitches with all the mishaps that happen on her first year of high school. I can totally sympathize with her on some of the things that happened; as I definitely remember my freshman year all too well. Her best friends; Cass, JoJo and Em were all wonderfully well thought out characters as well!

Editorial Reviews

I really enjoyed the relationships that these four girls had. From her first kiss, to being back-stabbed by her best friend over a boy, to a school play gone wrong; it all adds up to some really funny situations. Add in some pretty emotional teenage drama, a great storyline and it all comes together into a really fun read. The only part in the book that I had an issue with was all the underage drinking.

Call me a prude, but I am not a fan of drinking at all. And being a mom of a 13 year old, I would definitely not want my daughter drinking at that age. Please keep in mind that this is just me, and I know many people will not feel this way!

The teenage drama and the fun characters definitely kept me hooked. I am definitely looking forward to reading more work by this author in the future. This really was a great read! Jan 16, Shannon rated it really liked it Shelves: Kelsey you sweet, innocent, adorable girl. I have read a few books that star a girl entering high school and Kelsey is my favorite. This is such an important time in a girls life and I think it is a great place to start a series.

The experiences that we have at that time in our lives truly helps to shape who we become as adults. I have read some books about teenagers that I don't feel are realistic; 14 year olds with unlimited amounts of money to spend, using language that is not quite right, pa Kelsey you sweet, innocent, adorable girl. I have read some books about teenagers that I don't feel are realistic; 14 year olds with unlimited amounts of money to spend, using language that is not quite right, partying like 25 year old celebrities and other things that don't make sense to me.

Kelsey does get herself in some uncomfortable and possibly dangerous situations and I think that they were handled well for her age. I like when these situations can translate to the real world. I think that everything Kelsey did was true to her personality. I liked her and that made me want good things to happen to her. I had an arch nemesis in high school and Kelsey's interaction with hers reminds me of that so much!

Some girls can be so mean! Kelsey's shenanigans had me laughing out loud and and feeling her embarrassment with her. I felt that her friendships were authentic to high school friendships; betrayals and loyalty were both present. This is the book I would have wanted to read when I was I would have felt such a kinship with her. I think it would have been a great book to compare to my life at that time. Reading it now it is a great way to look back and reflect on my own experiences.

I hope that you will give Kelsey a chance and read this book! Kelsey Finkelstein is starting high school, only she's determined to stand out this year! What she didn't consider is that she might stand out, just not in the most flattering ways. Then one of her besties, Cass, steals her long-time and newly single crush Jordan. Her dreams of becoming star left wing of the JV soccer team are dashed when she is made gasp! The spring musical goes equally off track when she get a lead!!! And through all of this she keeps winding up in picutes in the school paper, only the shots are rather unfortunate.

She meets new friends, fights with her current ones, has disappointing encouters with boys, and not to mention dealing with her parents and super-annoying sister! How will she ever survive this crazy year? Kelsey is my new best friend. I loved her so much This book is so freaking cute and funny I can't even say enough about it. I love it when a book makes me laugh out loud it's so rare! When she said" "Apparently, she can't find her Annie costume could someone have hidden it behind the washing machine?

But seriously, the best part of this book is it's so realistic. Teens do drink, they mostly don't have absentee parents, they think about sex and wonder when and if they should be doing it, they don't have unlimited access to credit cards and high fashion. I love a book that has that honest feel.

It's a must read for YA-ers! Jan 22, Mesa rated it really liked it. The synopsis really intrigued me. If you are a contemporary fan like me, you would love this book. It was a cute, quick and funny read. The first 50 pages were a bit slow for me, but it got better after that.

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

Other times I like her. I ended up liking her and rooting for her to get her happy ending. I like her best friends and Ben as well. It was really fun going through the freshman journey with Kelsey and her friends. A lot of wild things happen in this book that made it hard for me to put this book down. The book cracked me up until the end. Meredith did an amazing job on her debut novel. She really captured the high school drama and teenagers. I would recommend this book for those who love contemporary books and want a book that would make you smile or laugh.

Jan 13, Savannah Books With Bite rated it really liked it. My freshmen year in high school I can totally relate to every aspect of this book. A new girl, starting at a new school, friends and of course boy drama. I really like the feel of this book. It took to my heart right away and I could not put it down. What I enjoyed most about this book is the great characters.


Kelsey is a freshmen. Bent on setting a name for herself, Kelsey is determine to do things a certain way. She reminded me of me when I was young. Over dramatic, heart-bro My freshmen year in high school Over dramatic, heart-broken , embarrassing moments, anyone can relate to this girl.

I loved that Kelsey feels real. She just a girl in this world trying desperately to find her place. I really loved the plot line. It was simple yet a wonderful journey to walk in. To see Kelsey grow with every mistake made her such a better person. Yes, she got all teenageary and cried, got attitude, but who wouldn't? I like that her character feels real. She captured the voice a teenage girl beautifully. Zeitlin has a way of writing everyday situations that everyone can relate to and enjoy.

Jan 13, Yousor added it. This book was absolutely hilarious! I laughed so, so much and Kelsey and her friends were definitely relateable! I really enjoyed Ms. Zeitlin's writing and her humour. Kelsey was definitely a great main character. She was hilarious and some things, I could relate to, and others were just "shaking my head and smiling "-ish.

Kelsey was a normal fourteen-year-old that worried about ridiculous things, with some nice sarcasm on the top. Then about the romance I didn't like Jordan, but Ben, I did. I This book was absolutely hilarious! Ben was definitely sweet and so nice! I also liked Kelsey's friends, they were understanding and was there for her. This is a must-read. Zeitlin will keep you entertained until the end, and just when you think the disasters are over, a surprise pops up! Definitely a great read for readers that are looking for something sweet and funny!

Jun 27, Olivia rated it it was amazing. This book is in my V. B area Very, Important,Book! It's so funny and inspires me to write more. Meredith Zeitlin reminds me of Tina Fey. I can see this novel being a TV Show and winning an Emmy. Kelsey Finkelstein has the best friends anyone could ask for! Jojo with her different highlights and good sense of humor would be my favorite person. But Em is really sweet and nice too.

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

I love all of them! A very good highschool experience that makes you laugh out loud in every chapter is in Freshman This book is in my V. A very good highschool experience that makes you laugh out loud in every chapter is in Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters. View all 12 comments. Jan 09, Iris Blasi rated it it was amazing. I dare you not to fall in love with Kelsey Finkelstein.

Aug 18, Isabella rated it did not like it. I thought it was like a horrible Disney channel show on steroids. It was poorly written and left nothing to the imagination. You knew everything that was going to happen, like Jordan ending up with one of Kelsey's friends. I couldn't even finish the book. Apr 03, Ginger Woods rated it liked it Shelves: This is a very cute read, perfect for a reading slump type of mood.

It made me want to keep coming back to it and find out what's going to happen next. Yes it's your generic high school story situation but the main character isn't your typical dingbat. She actually seems smart and strong. She stands her ground, she doesn't give in to peer pressure. And when she is betrayed by a best friend she doesn't just let it go.

She knows its wrong and really I think the other friends should have been more o This is a very cute read, perfect for a reading slump type of mood. She knows its wrong and really I think the other friends should have been more on her side with that. I understand they may not have wanted to ruin their friendships but if my two best friends were in a situation like that, hell no, I'd tell the one friend who did the wrong they fucked up bad and they need to get it together and cut the crap.

Also I did enjoy the little twist at the end and the ending in general. That's all I'm going to say about that. Jan 15, Mimi rated it it was amazing. 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. She is determined to make her dreams come true. Maneuvering her way through the first year of high school may be more difficult than Kelsey ever imagined.

Once in a while, a book comes along that makes you smile and leaves you with a good feeling deep in your soul. Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters is that book. I fell in love with this book almost immediately. Kelsey Finkelstein is the perfect teenager; she is bitingly sarcastic, funny and absolutely convinced that everything is about her. Zeitlin is able to completely grasp the concept of an awkward teenager making her way in the world and she accurately portrays exactly what a fourteen-year-old high school student is thinking and feeling.

Frequently bought together

I am pretty sure the lady in the car next to me who saw me laughing hysterically while I waited for my son to get out of school thought I had recently escaped the insane asylum. No, that was just me enjoying the heck out of this book! Kelsey Finkelstein just might be my new hero. Two of my favorites: Pardon my elbows as I shove to the front of the line for that choice opportunity.

She actually learns from her mistakes and obviously grows as a person throughout the course of the novel. Zeitlin manages to show the reader what a real group of girls in high school is like as friends. They argue, they disagree and they sometimes do stupid things to each other, but in the end, the real friendships shine through. Sometimes crappy things happen to good people who have the best intentions. Zeitlin gives the reader a chance to see what life is like for a real girl who is dealing with real problems, and she does it in such a way that we as readers actually forget we are reading the story of a fictional character.

Reading this book will not only make that teenage girl laugh, but it will give her someone she can relate to as well. It was extremely funny, yet poignantly realistic. There is some mild language, teen drinking which, coincidentally never ends well and minor sexual content kissing mostly. I recommend this book for ages 14 and up. I do have one question, though.

Where has Meredith Zeitlin been hiding and when can we expect more from her? Feb 02, Varsha Dinesh rated it really liked it Shelves: So the website says Kelsey Finkelstein is going to be your new best friend. Putnam and Sons, was exactly what I needed to get over missing school-life like hell, missing my girlfriends and all the sleepovers and late-night giggling over who's-doing-what-where.

This book is a breath of fresh air, a tome of escalating fun, something that will make you clutch your So the website says Kelsey Finkelstein is going to be your new best friend. This book is a breath of fresh air, a tome of escalating fun, something that will make you clutch your sides and just laugh because it is SO. Not to mention sarcastic in the best sense. And perfect for girls who are not afraid or ashamed to show their girlish side. And you know why it is pure awesome? Because the protagonist is.

And you know WHY she is so awesome? Because she's just like one of us next-door girls. Not perfect, not beautiful enough to cause a certain gravitational reaction of the male species' mouth, and definitely not a princess who gets everything she wants. She finds herself embarrassed by fussy parents, picked on by seniors, backstabbed by friends, shopping in awful departmental stores, wearing a fat suit, being freely provided with unrequired and completely unasked for photo-publicity in the school newspaper, having her heart broken and fixed and tooth broken and fixed and I don't know, I loved this book.

So Kelsey Finkelstein was almost a nobody in her old school, and this freshman year she is determined to sparkle. With the help of friends JoJo, Em and Cassidy, she seeks to outshine every other girl and get the yummy Jordan Rothman to herself. But it's a long year, and getting noticed by Jordan is going to take some inventive competition on Kelsey's part. A little difficult to accomplish because everything that actually works out in Kelsey's favor seems to have, let's say, a catch.

Each of her friends seems to be keeping some secret, and a senior is out to make Kelsey's life hell. Not much when it comes to a plot, simple stuff fit for the demographic, but it's still fun basically because every girl's had one of the troubles that Kelsey goes through. Talking about that, if you want an amusing account of a Jewish play that I once performed in, keep reading after this review is over So anyway.

I loved this book, and I'm sure you will if you've ever gone through freshman year. Seriously, this is LOL stuff. You'll love Kelsey and her friends, and you'll love the situations that they get themselves into, and you'll miss school if you're like me and have moved on to college. I loved how each of her friends had a different problem, and how these problems seems so complex to Kelsey although they really aren't: Four and a half stars.

For making me laugh in the middle of the night loud enough that my parents asked me if everything was okay and had I, perhaps, lost my mind a bit? Okay, so you guys know the story of Ruth? So our school did a play on Ruth, and I was Boaz- the rich landlord guy she ends up marrying- because I can sing bass, you know, pretty well and the whole thing turned out hilarious though it wasn't really meant to be. The hilarity started with my costume: I mean, everyone else had yarmulkes and here I was, sweating inside a pumpkin. I had a spirit-gum affixed moustache as well, and on the second day, it came off a bit while I was onstage rambling about Moab and families and brethren.

Into my lapel mike. And then backstage, we forgot to turn off our mikes and two lunatics were dancing around in the toilet singing a Bollywood song and the audience heard half of it. The audience mostly consisted of priests and nuns and I guess that didn't go down very well with them. And then onstage, a friend skipped a dialogue and I was supposed to say something after it: Then we all stood there staring at each other for five full seconds in total agony before a song came on and saved us.

Oh, and someone nearly fell into the orchestra pit while leading imaginary sheep across the stage. Why am I saying this? Because this book has a Jewish play in it! And it's totally hilarious! And I kept thinking about running on stage and singing my angry-Boaz song the whole time, I even hummed it. So, yeah, I totally dig this book. This book was received as an e-ARC from the publishers in return for an honest review; no money was exchanged I enjoyed reading it again, but I'm not sure if the class liked it as much as other classes have.

Kelsey Finkelstein is melodramatic, and I loved it! Kelsey Finkelstein is now one of my favorite snarky characters. Like many of the girls in my freshmen classes, and very much like I was at fourteen, Kelsey makes seemingly insignificant things into a big deal. One example of this is how upset she gets over the mysterious photographer that keeps including less than flattering pictures of her in the school newspaper.

I really liked everything about Kelsey. Even the way she describes things is enjoyable. Kelsey has a little sister named Travis who she finds incredibly annoying. The snorting and laughing continued through the entire book. Meredith Zeitlin did a really nice job including realistic issues that not only teens face, but freshmen face as well. I see it in their faces on the first day of school. I hear it in the halls. Kelsey and her friends worry about their appearance, losing their friends, boys, etc. There are fights and the threat of losing a best friend, feeling disgusting and smelly while wearing protective sports padding, and the worry associated with being a bad kisser.

Sep 07, Sarah rated it liked it. She wants her freshman year to a success on every level and she'll do anything she can to make it happen. Unfortunately, that leads to some situations that prove funny to the reader but are definitely not Kelsey's ideal freshman experience. That being said, I really liked how Kelsey was open to so many experiences.

She truly didn't let anything hold her back, even when the situations showed her in not the best of moments. But that didn't stop her from trying soccer, theater, heck, even the newspaper! I totally admit to having a rather juvenile sense of humor so this book totally worked for me in that respect. There is a scene involving a beard during theater that had me cracking up nonstop.

It was absolutely hilarious and told in a very personable, droll fashion. That describes Kelsey's voice somewhat. She has all these grand ideas that she pursues with enthusiasm and they don't always work out but somehow she takes it in stride, chalking it up to another experience. I also liked that Kelsey and her friends didn't totally lose touch with each other during the course of the book.

That's not to say it was all sunshine and roses because it wasn't but it was nice to see this core group of friends still having something in common and not totally going their separate ways even as they made new friends and became a bit more independent of each other. This is a very lighthearted book but that being said, there are scenes of drinking and a lot of talk of sex.

I'd like to be able to say you could sell this to an seventh or eighth grader but the scene where Kelsey pukes because of alcohol will not be for every reader. It's a definite case of having to know your reader.

Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters

The cute cover is going to grab many readers though and hopefully they'll learn a positive lesson from Kelsey's experience which is I'm sure what the author was hoping for. You can also sell this on the sweet romance which is not a focus of the story but is definitely there. Kelsey crushes on a photographer gone awry which leads to even more humor in this story.

Kelsey is a great character to spend time with. Zeitlin has a really great sense of humor and it appears in the book. Additionally, Kelsey is close to her family, for all her histrionics about how her mom fails to appreciate her and invades her privacy, etc. Her parents have an active role in her life and that shows throughout the course of the story. Kelsey has quite the freshman year of high school filled with mistakes, excitement, surprises, and growth.

I'd love to see another adventure from Kelsey. I know I would devour it and I think this book is going to have great appeal for younger teen readers. Meredith Zeitlin, you've come into the YA world with a bang. Dec 11, Heather rated it it was amazing Shelves: Do Not, I repeat, Do Not drink or eat while reading this book.

You are subject to snorting your beverage out of your nose or needing the Heimlich maneuver. This is a laugh out loud, rolling on the floor, pee in your pants funny book. For those of you that worry about what others will think of you if you laugh in public, read it at home. I was literally choking and crying I was laughing so hard. So you've been warned.

Now that that's done, this is a hard review to write. I want to tell all the funny parts!

But I won't do that to you or Kelsey. Kelsey's plan for freshman year is to be the new best Kelsey she can be. She's finally going to be left wing on the JV soccer team. She's going to get a boyfriend, not Keith Mayhew, the guy that's been following her around forever. She's going after Jordan Rothman, her crush "since birth. So things are looking up, sort of. Except Kelsey might have ticked off the wrong girl at tryouts. And Jemma's cousin moves to town!

And these unflattering pictures of her keep showing up in the school paper. But through all this, she has her besties, Em, Cassidy, and JoJo. Kelsey's voice tells the story and her voice is strong and sarcastic and trying to figure things out. She is the best teen voice I've read. She reasons things out, she's strong, she takes the bad things, looks at them and then tries her best to take them with a grain of salt. Even the most mortifying things. She's always able to laugh at herself.

Even at the worst of times. And the ability to laugh at herself gets her through a really tough year. From being kicked in the back, to being stabbed in the back, Kelsey uses her friends to help her and her sense of humor to handle everything thrown at her. Kelsey also has a mom and dad that are present in her life. Her mom especially who is up on the Typical Adolescent Behavior and is always passing her behavior off as such. But she's super supportive of her kids and when Kelsey needs her, her mom is there for her. Still makes her do her chores, but listens when she needs someone to cry to and unload on.

And she has a little sister who is typical as a little sister, annoying and always busting in the door when her friends are there in her room. Probably read her diary, too! The writing is witty and has a lot of dialogue. Whether it's internal or out loud, it's crisp and laced with attitude. The chapters flow together and the book is spread out over the school year. I like that not too much time was spent on any one part of the year. I absolutely connected with Kelsey. I was experiencing every trauma and triumph with her.

I was thinking right along with her trying to figure things out. I am so hoping that this is going to be a series because this was such a great book! It has something a little extra that a lot of books in this genre don't. It hits on the peer pressure and what girls think all the other girls think other girls are doing.

Kelsey gets into a difficult situation and she's afraid of being the only girl in her grade not doing what the other girls are doing. There are really good lessons about all of that in the novel, but it doesn't feel like a lesson at all. Okay so if I had a rating system, I'd give it a ten. The writing is easy and fun. The main character is well developed and she knows what to expect from each friend.

The secondary characters might have been developed a little more, but really, they were perfect just as they were. The plot was unique. I mean, the play scene, I could not have imagined it if I had tried! The dialogue was engaging and fun. I wouldn't change a thing in the novel. This is for the freshman and up as it does mention sex and there is teen drinking. I don't remember a lot of bad language, but there was a little.

None of the above was excessive. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Videos About This Book. Meredith Zeitlin has written two books for young people so far and lots of articles for Ladygunn Magazine. She is also a voiceover artist who can be heard on commercials, cartoons, and TV shows if you want to know more about that, go here: She lives with two adorable feline roommates in Brooklyn, NY, and loves talking about herself in the third person. All of which, you have Meredith Zeitlin has written two books for young people so far and lots of articles for Ladygunn Magazine.

All of which, you have to admit, is pretty rad.