Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Review: Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters

Title: Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters
Author: Meredith Zeitlin
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Published: March 1st 2012
Source: Publisher for review

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.

If you're looking for something genuinely funny, Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters will leave you thankful your life isn't as chaotic and impossibly disastrous as Kelsey's. Filled with laughs, rants and tears, this book will be the cherry on top of your syrupy sundae on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. Prepare to journey through the horrors that is freshman year with Kelsey Finkelstein, who's as loveable as they come!

I never expected to love this book so much. I was expecting a light read with endless crack but Zeitlin has written something truly spectacular. As well as characters who are developed and all have significant roles in the story, there's a realistic serving of heartbreak and anger to balance the moments of hilarity that will quite literally have you laughing out loud. Immediately you'll fall in love with Kelsey's narration and be flipping through the book as fast as you can to see how her year ends! Gripping and 100% entertaining, this could-happen-in-real-life tale will charm you with it's vivacity and endearingness.

Kelsey's relationships are the central focus of this novel. Zeitlin has honestly constructed an amazing cast of characters, creating detailed and intriguing story lines for them all. None of the tiffs between Kelsey and her best friends are petty. They have issues we can all easily relate to on a mature level and the hurt will really jab you in the heart. Who knew to expect such horrifying twists and betrayals? Gah! Not to sound like a broken record but the characters and plot are ACE. It's been a while since I've read a book with such well-developed secondary characters! Add in Kelsey's embarrassing family….I'm in love.

Now, how can we have a high school story without a tricky romance? Kelsey's in love with the gorgeous Jordan Rothman and plans to stake her claim on the soccer player this year since his bratty girlfriend's out of the equation. No one expected another complication to arise.... Throughout this book, Kelsey discovers that life at fourteen isn't perfect and you'll always have someone waiting in the wings to mess things up for you. (Tip: Avoid the mean troll on your soccer team.) But when Hot Newspaper Guy gets caught up in the "Embarrassing Photo Situation", reluctant sparks fly and we have ourselves a romance ;) Gosh, I won't spoil and tell you about every single sweet/funny situation in this book so I guess you'll just have to pick it up yourself!!

Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters deals with realistic issues that have honest depth and meaning. You'll come out of reading this feeling different, perhaps a bit worn out (the poor heart!) or in the mood to run and give your best friends a hug! I guarantee you'll adore every character you're supposed to and wish you had a quirky Kelsey for yourself. Despite how alive the humour brought me, I can't get over Kelsey's determination to make it through Hell, dealing with the unfortunate complications of being a teenager and a girl looking for love! Promise me you'll pick this book up because you will not regret it!

So in love with this book, guys! I read it in one sitting and was giddy after reading the first page <3
Find Meredith on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy Freshman Year from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

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