Thursday, March 12, 2009

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.

I found this to be a very fun and enjoyable book but also at the same time it brings issues that girls everywhere deal with, trying to be the real you but also a better version of yourself. I really liked that the story took two girls that were polar opposites and sort of brought them into a less severe version of themselves, to a middle ground. I also liked how the book shows that even if you aren't exactly like someone you can still have many things in common. I think it's very easy to strike someone off your list just because they have different interests than you, and what we really should be doing is learning from each others differences.

Now for me it was much easier to relate to Emily, the uber-organized, straight laced, Oxford student. I liked seeing her come out of her shell A LOT and then stepping back a bit and taking the bits and pieces that worked for her, that's definitely something I need to do as well. I also really respected Tasha's stand against stereotypes and getting people to take her serious and not base their opinions of her on one incident (The Hot Tub Incident). And I love that the two characters end up getting to know each other, via email and phone calls, I guess that's something I didn't consider (no idea why) but it's a great part of the book! I think this book does a great job of exploring what it means to be a young person, trying to find yourself.

The book was also funny with some great popular culture references. And really, who doesn't want to read a book where one of the characters goes to Borders often! There is also some romance, which is very sweet and it a great addition to the book. One thing I was rather confused about for awhile was the word "totes" and I finally looked it up and found it to mean, totally. Which made a lot more sense, I had never heard that word used for anything other than a tote bag! LOL!

All in all, this was a very enjoyable and engaging book!

Sophomore Switch was released on March 10th.

4/5 Stars
Got via Bookmooch


  1. Wow it could be the story of Adele and Alea except no college, no swap and no hot tub! This little morsel sounds like fun, something I would definitely give a go.

  2. This sounds good. I like the idea of the relationship between two very different young women.

  3. I had never heard "totes" before either! I think its a California thing!

  4. My copy of this has been dispatched, I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the great review :)

  5. "the hot tub incident"
    that made me chuckle :)

  6. Ahhh I so want to read this!

  7. This does sound like a good one.

  8. Sounds good! I'd sort of written it off but your review makes me think maybe I should read it!

  9. It sounds cool, and the title kind of reminds me of Summer Switch (sequel to Freaky Friday).

  10. Congrats, Alea! You've earned the I Love Your Blog Award! Visit the link below to get your award. :D

  11. Sounds like a fun story but for some reason it reminds me of a movie I vaguely remember seeing...

  12. I really do want to read this. It sounds awesome, and I like books that deal with other countries.

    I have heard totes before, but I can see how people might not's not that common when speaking where I'm from. I just know someone that writes and uses it a lot.


  13. Adele- You are too much! HAHA!

    Beth F- Exactly it was great!

    Marie Hansen- Yeah I was like what WHAT?!?! And then I finally looked it up.

    prophecygirl- Hope you enjoy it!

    Emily Ruth- Hehe, yeah it's interesting ;)

    Steph Su- It's fun!

    bermudaonion- It was for sure!

    Amee- Ooh yeah I enjoyed it!

    Sadako- Oh yeah, I definitely see what you mean!

    Dame Orchid- Thanks again!

    Ladytink_534- We decided it was probably the Holiday right? Great movie!

    Shooting Stars Mag- Ah ok!

  14. I want to read this one, thanks for the review!

  15. Ooh, this one sounds fun. Definately writing the details down.


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