A laugh-out-loud high school adventure set in Greece, perfect for fans of Meg Cabot
High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for six months so he can work on an important new story, she’s devastated— he must have an ulterior motive. See, when Zona’s mother married an American, her huge Greek family cut off contact. But Zona never knew her mom, and now she’s supposed to uproot her entire life and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks… but no thanks.
In the vein of Anna and the French Kiss, Zona navigates a series of hilarious escapades, eye-opening revelations, and unexpected reunions in a foreign country—all while documenting the trip through one-of-a-kind commentary.
Blurb Mistake 101: Do not make comparisons that you can’t live up too. Comparing yourself to Meg Cabot falls in the same category as comparing yourself to JK Rowling-but for fluffy books not fantasy. Add the fact that your blurb compares it to such titles as Anna and the French Kiss and you’ve set the bar probably too high for yourself. Unless, you are like the second coming of fluff.
And I really doubt that’s possible.
It might be though. Who knows.
The thing about Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me, is that it’s not a bad book. It’s actually an enjoyable book if you force yourself to take the time to get through it. Because it takes a good sixty some odd pages just to get to Greece.
Which for a book claiming to take place in Greece, this isn’t entirely a good thing. Add to the book that it doesn’t really feel like you’re in Greece, until the book shifts from being in Athens into Crete…well, there’s some issues there.
I will credit the Crete scenes though. Once the book moved there, I really started getting into it and Greece became a character of its own. Much like Paris became a character in Anna and the French Kiss. But unlike Anna, it took such a long time for Greece to develop into its own thing in this book.
And I really didn’t feel the Meg Cabot here. For one thing, there really wasn’t much swoon. And I was okay with that. There is mentions of dating and a nice guy that Zona finds while in Greece, but romance wasn’t (and shouldn’t) have been the focus of this book. It was really more or less about family which was nice for a change for a YA book. Just not, you know, very Meg Cabot-y.
I think my biggest problem with this novel, besides not utilizing its atmosphere to its fullest, was that there were just some of the books that felt like filler melodrama. There were actually two extremely melodramatic moments that I just rolled my eyes to.
One of them felt extremely disjointed and out of place, while the other just came out of nowhere. No build up.
Additionally, the use of newspaper clipping throughout the book felt a little jarring . While a nice addition (at first) there ended up being too much of them and it just interrupted the flow of the novel.
If you want something light, but with little to no romance totally pick this one up. It’s highly memorable or anything, but it did make for an enjoyable Sunday afternoon.
Overall Rating: A solid B.