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Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,378 ratings  ·  257 reviews
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, the ...more
Hardcover, 282 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 naïve and I
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-dac
Publisher: G. P. Puntam's Sons
Age: Young Adult
Species: Human (specifically teenage freshman girl)
Rating: 4.5/5
Interest: DAC/Requested Review/Cute Cover
Source: E-Galley from G. P. Puntam's Sons

First, I need to fan girl over that cover a little bit. Isn't it so cute? That has to be a total 100% Kelsey Finkelstein approved glamour shot. (Much better than a certain Reflector photographer could do.) The rain clouds tie in perfectly to Kelsey's rather stressful freshman year. I
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 to “p
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 old ...more
Pages For Thoughts
Kelsey is a stereotypical popular girl. She is very concerned with boys, drinking, clothes, and parties. She is a whiny brat at times and constantly demands attention. Kelsey is very concerned with her appearance and appears shallow in quite a few instances. One thing that's very ironic is that Kelsey and her friends are very immature but the book tackles mature concepts like sex, drinking, and gay awareness. This book felt cliché and boring at times. There were some funny moments, but some of t ...more
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: penguin
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
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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
Feb 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
YA Reads Book Reviews
Mar 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kiona
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
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Anna (Literary Exploration)
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!
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
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 definitely
Splash Of Our Worlds *Yiota*
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 written
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
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
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
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 (ga
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 with lo
Savannah (Books With Bite)
Jan 13, 2012 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. I loved Kelsey. She reminded me of me when I was young. Over dramatic, heart-bro
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
Jeff Raymond
I'll be honest: I was ridiculously excited to read this for all sorts of reasons, and it took me forever to get around to it. By the time I did, I was super, super disappointed.

The story is really simple: Kelsey is our heroine - in a new school, has a plan to reinvent herself. Things don't go as planned, and the book tries to be really funny and interesting about it. Unfortunately, it ends up being just frustrating - again with the formulaic nature, again with the trying too hard. It's like this
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 18, 2013 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. ...more
Just A Ginger
Apr 03, 2017 rated it liked it

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
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Ok so I added this book to my TBR in 2011 and got to it in 2020 - and i am definitely not the target audience (especially now with the extra 9 years added on).

A bunch of unlikeable characters, who are 14 (yes 14!), in their first year of high school, endure such things as breakdowns of friendships (stealing boyfriends etc), talking about/ going out with boys (making out, going to parties and having to say "no means no" etc etc), bitchy mean girls, drinking, drugs, horrible parents/ siblings etc
Mimi Francis
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.

Varsha Dinesh
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
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
Sep 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin is a great comedy about the hijinks of the freshman year, when it seems there are endless possibilities to reinvent yourself only to discover it's not nearly as easy as one thinks.

Synopsis: 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
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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

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