Monday, July 5

Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald

Take an administrative snafu, a bad breakup, and what shall heretofore be known as "The Hot-Tub Incident," and you’ve got two unprepared sophomores on a semester abroad. For American party girl Tasha, an escape to Oxford may be a chance to ditch her fame as a tabloid temptress, but wading Uggs-deep in feminist theory is not her idea of a break. Meanwhile, the British half of the exchange, studious Emily, nurses an aching heart amid the bikinis and beer pong of U.C. Santa Barbara. Soon desperation has the girls texting each other tips — on fitting in, finding love, and figuring out who they really are. With an anthropologist’s eye for detail and a true ear for teen-speak, exciting new novelist Abby McDonald has crafted a funny, fast-paced, poignant look at survival, sisterhood, and the surprising ways we discover our true selves.
Overall, Sophomore Switch was a good read. McDonald made it easy to get into the characters and the storyline. As I mentioned before, I love YA books set in college, so I was already comfortable with the setting within a few pages. Emily and Tasha are easily likable characters. McDonald did a great job of making them pretty distinct from one another, so that you're able to see pretty well how much of a change the exchange program is for them.
I will say, however, I found myself more interested in Emily's journey more so than Tasha's. Sure, Tasha goes through a pretty significant change, Emily's changes appealed more to me. Perhaps it's because I'm more of the quiet, studious type myself. That said, I can see how this novel can easily relate to many different types of girls. You're bound to find something you can identify with in one of the characters.
What I really loved about this novel was that it wasn't just a girl meets guy type of novel. This novel was about two girls from different worlds who are finding themselves. Sure, there are guys in the mix, but they don't consume either girls' lives. This journey is about them. It's a great tip of the hat towards feminism that can easily be related to girls today.
My Ratings:
Plot: A
Original and fun. Loved that their were two main characters: it was like two books mixed beautifully into one.
Characters: B
Emily and Natasha were great characters. Wish I could have delved deeper into some of the supporting characters though.
Cover Art: A
There are 2 covers. I put the one I liked more up (the other one is here). This cover is just more visually appealing to me.
Length: B
I felt it could have been shorter, but overall the characters came to a good stopping point.
Two great main characters finding themselves, I give Sophomore Switch:
Four Stars!


Melissa said...

I like that the guys are the main focal point...gonna have to give this one a try. Great review!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

this book looks super cute!!

Helen's Book Blog said...

I have this on my TBR, mostly because I live in Santa Barbara and all my life had close associations with UCSB (and my dad went to Oxford). So glad to hear it's a good book. I'll move it closer to the top

Nomes (inkcrush) said...

I tried to read this twice and just couldnt get into it? Not sure why? B/c I love the premise and the college setting. It's called Life Swap over here.

I think i maybe just couldn't settle into it properly... I'll have to try again one day :)

Jamie said...

I feel like it is so hard to find books featuring college aged kids! I'll have to recommend this to my College Students book group!

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