Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Book Review: Freshman Year & other Unnatural Disasters

17 Feb 2012

Title: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters 
Author: Meredith Zeitlin 
Publisher: G.P Putnam's Sons
Release Date: March 1st, 2012 
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher for review (Thank you!)

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…

After reading this fun and quirky novel, I’m still sitting here bursting out in laughter. Ms. Zeitlin sure knows how to bring happiness and laughter to people’s lives! Freshman Year and other Unnatural Disasters is a light and enjoyable read that will have you clutching your stomach, laughing non-stop until you’re in tears! I absolutely ADORED this!
From the title, you can probably guess the story revolves around the life of a certain Freshman girl. 14 year old Kelsey Finkelstein has just started her first year of high school, and like every other freshman girl on the planet, she has dreams of finally becoming popular, catching the attention of her life-long crush, Jordan and becoming a soccer star at school– Basically Freshman year will be a blast! After all, it’s HIGHSCHOOL and things are suppose to get better now…right?
Bur of course, nothing goes according to plan! It was so hilarious watching Kelsey encounter one disaster another  –from being bullied by an upperclassman to being cast as a fat, bearded old man in her school play, and even discovering her best friend had betrayed her! *gasp* So much for those big plans! Seriously, I assure you that once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop. You’ll be snickering at the horribly embarrassing situations Kelsey gets herself into, and desperately curious to find out what other catastrophes will happen!
Our girl, Kelsey was such an adorable character! She was so naïve and overly optimistic about starting high school at the start of the novel, believing that THIS WILL FINALLY BE HER YEAR. The way she was portrayed was so realistic, and it was incredibly easy to connect with her! The whole time, I was thinking, ‘back in 9th grade, did I dream of the same things as her?’ I loved how her actions and the way she handled situations reflected her age and innocence, and throughout the year, she never purposely change herself just to ‘fit in’. Her crush on Jordan also felt realistic- I mean, I’m pretty sure many of us have had a crush on the gorgeous/most popular guy in school! And it was great that Kelsey didn’t whine and act childish when she found out that perhaps he wasn’t the perfect Prince Charming. Then there’s her romance with Ben, who’s so cute and likable, and you’ll be bursting out in laughter at the hilarious interactions between the two <3. Finally, I loved how Kelsey’s character gradually developed throughout the book; while she was the same girl she was at the start of the year, her experiences helped her grow and mature.
So, if you’re looking for a sweet and fun read,- nothing too serious, something to lighten the mood, then you’ve found the right book! If you liked Anna and the French kiss, and are looking for, perhaps Anna’s adventures when she was younger, then try this one! Kelsey definitely reminded me a lot of Anna! Ms. Zeitlin has definitely made a fan out of me –I’ll be sure to look out for her books in the future! Oh, and pretty please, can there be a sequel, with the title starting with ‘Sophomore Year’. PRETTY PLEASE? 


  1. Awww <3 Thank you for your lovely comment!! You DEFINITELY have to try this :D It's guaranteed to make you laugh out loud :D

  2. EEEE! Shiiiiirley! This sounds awesome and adorable, and I LOVED your review! I don't know how you've done it, but I feel like I know the books so well, and have such good feel for it, without you giving me any spoilers at all, and I am SO keeping an eye out for this one at the bookstoooore!

  3. AW GOSH!! This sounds so freaking CUTE! The perfect weekend read or else when you just need that fluffy, entertaining, light story to break you from the heaviness of dystopian, paranormal, etc. I love the sound of Kelsey and I'm already bouncing in eagerness to journey alongside her hilarious Freshman year! And the fact that you recommend it for Anna and the French Kiss fans.... MUST YOU BE SO TEMPTING, SHIRLEY?! Amazing review! <3

  4. This sounds like a fun book! I think it is perfect for a day when I need a light, funny read. I have added it to my list because I enjoyed your review so much. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Oh, SHIRLEY!! <3 Just like you absolutely ADORED this book, I absolutely ADORED your review! Kelsey sounds like the perfect heroine for a book like this -- one who is easy to connect to and has that bit of freshman naivety that all freshmen have. ;) Plus, you compared it to ANNA?? If that isn't a selling point, I don't know what is! You just made me super duper and incredibly excited to get my hands on this one! :)

    Amazing review, Shirley!! From the way you described it, it sounds like the perfect, sweet, and totally adorable read for a fluff-loving girl like me! ;)

  6. Sounds like I do have to read this book! AND OMG, like Mimi said, comparing it to ANNA is already a win for me! Thank you so much for the awesome review! Definitely reading the book! :)

  7. Wow, glad to hear you liked it so much! I hadn't read the summary before your review but now that I have, I can't WAIT to get my hands on it! Plus, I love books and characters that have you laughing out loud the most and they almost always end up being my favorites :) Really amazing review, Shirley! <3

  8. Eeee. This one is my next to-read book. I'm super excited about it. I've heard great thing. Wonderful review. Glad you enjoyed it.

  9. Heheee <3333 I don't know if this will be released in Australiaa... (I hope it will!! It'
    s sooo adorable :D) But you should definitely read this one day <3

  10. LOL Brodie! It IS sooo freaking cutee <3 She's exactly how i imagined Anna was when she was younger :D And Ben's as awesome as Etienne! (Although Etienne is still first :DD) hehee tempted ehh? GO READ THIS!!!

  11. hahaaa oh yeahh, you LOVE Anna right?!?! heheee you should definitely try this <3 Everything about Kelsey shouted "I AM ANNA'S LITTLE SISTER/I AM A YOUNGER VERSION OF ANNA" LOL

  12. ahhh Im sooooo going to add this on my list hah! Thanks for the awesome review girl! x



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