Book reviews & writing tips from a wannabe YA writer
Can you trust me? Compare our taste!
Title: Sophomore Switch
Author: Abby McDonald
Category: Fiction, Young Adult
Why I Read It: Another impulse pick at the library.
Summary: California party-girl Tasha gets caught on video doing something embarrassing in a hot tub. So she agrees to a last-minute foreign-exchange swap with an Oxford student named Emily. But neither of them is prepared to live the life of their complete opposite.
Tasha was the first character to have a go at telling her story. But her California-speak turned her into somewhat of a caricature, making it hard for me to connect to her. Here, she’s describing an “athletic blonde” student:
OK, so I’m being tactful here; by “athletic,” what I really mean is butch. Cropped hair, baggy sportswear, and if that doesn’t paint a clear-enough picture for you, she has a rainbow badge on her bulky backpack. Hey, I’m not judging. I just don’t see why a same-sex preference has to go hand in hand with complete fashion backwardness. I mean, look at Portia de Rossi: a hot wife and an Elle subscription. It can be done!
I wonder how I would have responded to this book if the straight-laced British girl Emily was the one to start talking first. I tend to like that style of voice more.
Your Turn: Should I have kept going? Or was I right to stop?
Note: As an aspiring author, I respect the extraordinary amount of effort that goes into writing a book. I did not write this review in order to be unfair or negative about the book. My goal is simply to articulate why the book wasn’t for me.