Another goofy, sweet teenage girl pratfalls through her first year of high school in this winsome, if predictable debut.
Kelsey Finkelstein may live in New York City, but her life is far from that of Gossip Girl. Instead of high-stakes social politics and steamy hook-ups, Kelsey’s life consists of evading the nosy clutches of her interfering mother while trying to maintain strong ties with her three besties: Em, JoJo and Cassidy. Determined to “[r]evamp myself for a new era. You know, like Lady Gaga,” Kelsey boldly tries out for JV soccer and the high-school production of Fiddler on the Roof, with decidedly mixed and humorous results. Her friends are a reliable support system, until Kelsey discovers that Cassidy is making out with her crush object Jordan, which causes the group to splinter. Luckily a cute school-newspaper reporter is waiting in the wings to heal Kelsey’s broken heart. While Zeitlin breaks no new ground here, Kelsey is a funny, likable heroine who experiences realistic school and relationship problems that any teenage girl will be able to relate to. The dialogue-heavy novel moves breezily from one disaster to the next, but because of its similarity to so many other chick-lit titles, is unlikely to linger longer in readers’ minds than the latest pop song before being replaced by something just as pleasantly appealing.
An undemanding and enjoyable diversion. (Fiction. 12-16)