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Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
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Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,000 ratings  ·  221 reviews
So far this year isn't going the way she planned but it is undeniably memorable.

Kelsey Finkelstein is starting her freshman year of high school and she's determined to begin with a clean slate. Her arch-nemesis moved away this summer, finally giving her the chance to stand out on the soccer team and possibly catch the eye of her long-time crush. But things don't go as sm...more
Kindle Edition, 282 pages
Published (first published March 1st 2012)
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I thoroughly enjoyed Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters. It was really light and funny; which was indeed a welcoming change as lately I’d been reading some slightly depressing books. Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters was a very welcome change of pace.
I felt as though the further I got into the book the more I was laughing. Kelsey is just so hilarious that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud so much during this book.
I loved Kelsey as a character, she was so innocent and naïv...more
If you're looking for a sweet and genuinely funny read, Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters is just the ticket! Seriously, I'm kicking myself for not getting to this sooner. It has stolen my heart! Kelsey Finkelstein wants nothing more than to make a mark in her new high school. You know, stand out. What she doesn't realize, is that she'll stand out alright! Just not in the way she was hoping. I loved traveling with Kelsey as she navigated the horrors of high school, complete with evil...more
I was super excited to read Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters. The synopsis really intrigued me. I survived my freshman year--I live in small town--but I was so interested in finding out Kelsey’s freshman year in the big city, New York.

I liked Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters. 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.

Kelsey and I stared out...more
Kelsey is entering high school this year and has made it her goal to lift herself out of obscurity. She has made plans to change her situation that all begin with soccer. It isn't easy when you are a lowly Freshman, but before long she finds herself in a slew of very interesting circumstances.
The audience for this book is definitely young teens, as certain thoughts and situations caused some eye rolls on my part. This book is very firmly rooted in teenage emotion and dialogue, if a bit exaggerat...more
Splash Of Our Worlds *Yiota*
Here in Greece, our schools have nothings to do with the schools in America. No proms, no sports, no clubs. We are happy to have a small library to say the truth. And that's a reason i always loved reading those teens books. It was like getting into another world.

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters was amazing. I did not expect it to be that good, and in a way different. It was light and fun. And i liked how the writing (from words to style) matched the age of Kelsey. The book is writt...more
You can find more of my reviews on my blog: Literary Exploration

Despite the fact that my Freshman year was nothing like Kelsey's, this book had me laughing and reminiscing the entire time I was reading it. Kelsey and her friends definitely go through some dramatic times, but Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters is a great example of really going out of your comfort zone to find yourself in high school. It was a quick, enjoyable read and I can't wait to see what Zeitlin comes up with next!...more
High school is tough, especially when you're a freshman.

This is also my freshman year, so Kelsey and I connected very well. But I'm still glad that I'm not in her shoes.

Making a mark was the one thing Kelsey planned to do, but she wasn't planning on how she was making her mark. Everyone always suggest for freshman to join a sport, club, theatre, etc... and of course everything sounds fantastic with meeting new people and trying new things. But sometimes trying new things really bite, especially...more
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...more
Em (Love YA Lit)
Em's Review: Kelsey Finkelstein is ready for the best year ever. She’s starting off freshman year with big plans for greatness, including showing off her skills on the JV soccer team and finally gathering up the courage to make something happen with her longtime crush, Jordan. Things are looking good (not counting her back to school outfit, care of Mom), especially once she learns that her arch nemesis has unexpectedly moved out of town. And with her best friends along for the ride, what could p...more
Let me just put it out there - this book was too much fun. It has been a long time since I've read a book that made me smile and laugh over and over and over again. From the very beginning of the book when Kelsey declares that it is going to be the best year ever - starting high school - staking her claim to fabulousness - you just know that it is going to be anything but that. Get ready for the ride.

" . . . well, we're in high school now. Obviously. And . . . it's time to defy expectations! To...more
Contemporary YA books can be fun to read even when you’re not a young adult anymore. The problem with many of those books is they’re hard to relate to. I’ve noticed a trend of books that focuses on the ‘wealthy’ kids. Most people don’t come from very well off families. Both of parents have to work. We don’t have credit cards. We have to shop at some less than desirable stores. You get the picture but that’s normal for many, many people.

Freshman Year emphasizes that point of normalcy and therefor...more
Some are born popular, some achieve popularity, and others (like Kelsey Finkelstein) intend to thrust themselves into popularity in their freshman year of high school. Or, at least, that was the plan.

‘Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters’ is the debut young adult novel by Meredith Zeitlin.

Sometimes I think I might be getting a little too old for certain YA books… I don’t get ‘Bieber fever’, I have no intentions of listening to ‘One Direction’ and I have started asking sales assistants t...more
Christy (TheReaderBee)
In Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters, we follow new Freshman Kelsey Finkelstein through her first year of high school. 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.

I really love Kelsey’s character. 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 definit...more
Savannah (Books With Bite)
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. I loved Kelsey. She reminded me of me when I was young. Over dramatic, heart-bro...more
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...more
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Book Blog)
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. First her arch-nemesis Gemma moves away, only to be replaced by new arch-nemesis & upperclassman Julie Nelson. 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...more
Originally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me

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...more
Kelsey Finkelstein has stolen my heart away! Now this is the kind of character I love to read about. She's sarcastic, enthusiastic, and absolutely hilarious! I spent so much time laughing when reading this book and at one point it took me ten minutes to read 3 pages because I was laughing so hard. I love that feeling! And when I finished I was ready to pick it up and start it all over again and I very rarely feel that way even when I do love a book. Kelsey might overreact about some things but h...more
Book Angel
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...more
This book is in my V.I.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. I love all of them! A very good highschool experience that makes you laugh out loud in every chapter is in Freshman...more
Iris Blasi
Meredith Zeitlin’s FRESHMAN YEAR & OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS is wonderfully old-school YA (none of these martini-swilling, black AmEx-toting Gossip Girl teens) and hilariously funny. I dare you not to fall in love with Kelsey Finkelstein. Highly recommend.
Michelle (Michelle&Leslie's Book Picks)
I was expecting something light and fluffy when I started reading Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters and there were a lot of humor but I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't just a fluff of a novel. Beneath the shenanigans and the mishaps that had me laughing out loud, there were also some important life lessons. It reminded a lot of the early Alice books by Phillis Reynolds Naylor.

I love Kelsey Finklestein! I really enjoyed her witty/sarcastic voice. She was far from perfect and cou...more
Donna Gambale
Reasons why you should read debut author Meredith Zeitlin's totally charming and funny book, FRESHMAN YEAR AND OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS (Putnam, Mar. 1st):

The main character, Kelsey Finkelstein, is the real deal. She is the essence of a high school freshman -- optimistic, funny, self-absorbed, prone to crushing on boys, and straddling the line between still being a middle school kid and venturing into full-on scary/awesome teenagerdom.

Admittedly, Kel...more
YA Reads Book Reviews
Originally posted on

Kelsey Finkelstein and Co. (her three best friends, Cass, JoJo, and Em) are entering their freshmen years of high school and they all have big plans, though none as big as Kelsey’s. She plans to score a starting position on the varsity soccer team, finally date her long-time crush now that his perfect girlfriend’s out of the picture, and otherwise make herself known. The only problem is, the world seems to be conspiring against her. Obstacle after obsta...more
Drama, excitement and all of the other things you would expect to hear when it comes to Freshman Year in High School are portrayed really well in this book. Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters is a really fun and lighthearted book. I sometimes found myself that I had to remind myself of the age group portrayed in the book, because I did get annoyed at times with some of the teenage angst. But when you're reading a book like this, it's something you should expect to see.

The only real p...more
It's hard to relate my own freshmen experience with this book. We attended our classes in the junior high building due to overcrowding at the high school, so I sort of spent my freshmen year feeling like a senior. And even when I did join the rest of the upperclassmen, I feel like I was a bit more calm and prepared than Kelsey was. But regardless of all that, this story didn't fail to delight me one bit.

I was amazed at how authentic Kelsey's voice was. She's snarky, overdramatic and a bit naive,...more
Varsha Dinesh
So the website says Kelsey Finkelstein is going to be your new best friend.
And guess what? That makes me HAPPY.
Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zaitlin, to-be-published by G. P. 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. Seriously. This book is a breath of fresh air, a tome of escalating fun, something that will make you clutch your...more
Hannah (The Irish Banana Review)
I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard I cried. Let alone the last time that happened when I was reading a book. Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters is a rare gem of a book. It’s witty, fresh, and so much fun. I enjoyed every single page I read, and plan on keeping this one on my shelves as a go-to book when I need a good chuckle.

Kelsey Finkelstein is, in a single word, awesome. If I were in high school with her, I would imagine we would be BFFs. She is the embodiment of all...more
Kadbury(Young Readers)
Kelsey's plan is to reinvent herself in high school but we all know that plans don't always work out the way we want them to!

"Anyway,I've decided to something this year.To make a mark.Stand out.Revamp myself for a new era.You know,like Lindsay Lohan." "You want to go to jail?" Cass asks,looking perplexed.
-Page 7.ARC

I'll be honest I hadn't expected much from this book and I was really surprised by how much this book made me smile .Even though this book doesn't have a too much of a st...more
Amy (Books, College, and Other Random Things)
I received a copy for review.
Kelsey Finkelstein and her three other besties, JoJo, Cass, and Em are about to start freshman year of high school. Kelsey is determined to make a name for herself. She wants to start by getting to play left wing in soccer and snagging her crush, Jordan Rothman. She thinks that she’s going to get her chance because Jemma, the girl her usually plays left wing and Jordan’s girlfriend, moved to Arizona.

Her joy is short-lived because a junior soccer player is making Kel...more
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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...more
More about Meredith Zeitlin...
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