Review: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

Let’s say you’re fourteen and live in New York City. You’d think your life would be like a glamorous TV show, right? And yet . . . You don’t have a checking account, much less a personal Black American Express card. You’ve never been to a club, and the only couture in your closet is a Halloween costume your mom made from an old laundry bag.

In other words? You’re Kelsey Finkelstein – fourteen and frustrated. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled. Kelsey wants to rebrand herself for high school to make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny. But just because Kelsey has a plan for greatness . . . it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.

When I first heard of Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disaster, I was so excited. It’s being buzzed as perfect for fans of two of my favorite contemporary authors – Lauren Myracle and Meg Cabot. I saw a few mixed reviews for it, but I was eager to get my hands on it.

Freshman Year is as funny as it promises, almost too much so. Kelsey has the worst luck. Ever. Pretty much everything that can go wrong with her “rebranding” does. At times I found myself going, “Really?!” But I giggled along, so it was fun in a predictable sort of way. I even found myself laughing out loud in some parts, because it was just so funny the situations she found herself in!

Rant time: I don’t usually get appalled easily by characters’ bad behavior, but the characters in this book likely need Alcoholics Anonymous or will by the time they graduate. For freshmen in high school (13-14 years old for you non-US people), they all drink much more than I ever heard anyone doing while in school. I know, it’s a book, but this made it feel so unrealistic. There is no major punishment for their drinking. At one point it was mentioned they actually drank prior to their freshman year; there is one side character who is insecure because she doesn’t drink, everyone else does. They aren’t even drinking wine coolers or beer (most of the time) so it kind of grated on my nerves.

Aside from the drinking issue being out of hand, Freshman Year really was a cute read. There is some BFF drama that I adored and it made me think back to my own friends in high school and even middle school with our petty situations. You have a character questioning their sexuality which is always a pleasant surprise in any book, because I feel it deserves as much attention as possible.

This one may not be for everyone, but if you are wanting something that might make you giggle you might consider picking it up!

A lot of bloggers really loved this title though, be sure and check out some of their reviews before making up your mind:
Candace’s Book Blog
Hobbitsies
Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me

I received my copy of Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters in exchange for my honest opinion from the publisher.

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Comments

  1. I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t like it! I loved it and found it fresh Apart fromt he drinking I found Kelsey to be a very genuine and real character which I looved seeing. She was just so normal! :-) )
    But as you said not every book can appeal to everyone of us!

  2. Ajoop. S says:

    I’ve been waiting to read this one! I liked that Kelsey sounded so NORMAL and the desire for a fresh start in high school is so relatable! I might still check this out, though based on your review, it seems a bit unrealistic but still cutesy enough and seems to tackle some real issues! Great review :)

    • Amanda says:

      Definitely check it out! I would be interested to know your thoughts. Parts to me were realistic (relationships, both romantic and friends) and then others (the excessive drinking) were so…not.

  3. kimba88 says:

    Great review, I don’t think this one is for me, but always love hearing your thoughts

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks, Kimba! When I wrote the review I actually thought that this one was probably not your cup of tea from previous comments on contemp books! LOL

  4. Riya says:

    Great review (as always)! We think alike!! Loving your blog. :)

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