Sunday, May 30, 2010

Review: Sophomore Switch

Sophomore Switch
By Abby McDonald
Publication date: March 10, 2009

My review:

In Sophomore Switch, two young college students trade places through an exchange program. Tasha is eager to leave California behind after she is embroiled in a scandal involving a reality TV star and a hot tub and Emily leaves Oxford for U.C. Santa Barbara after her professor costs her the chance to study at Harvard. Both girls quickly find they are out of place at their new schools. Emily is used to a rigorous schedule and challenging classes but now she is surrounded by partying frat boys and flirty fashionistas. Meanwhile at Oxford, Tasha is overwhelmed by the difficult coursework and the overall rudeness of her new classmates.

I enjoyed this look at college life through the eyes of two very different girls. The chapters are told in the alternating viewpoint of Tasha and Emily. While I did not have much in common with Tasha I could sympathize with her because she struggles with really hard classes and feels like she can't handle it. As I got to know her character more I found that I liked her. At first she seems to be just a party girl but she is smart when she puts forth the effort. She studies feminism at Oxford which helps her gain a new perspective on her choices and what she wants to change or keep the same. Emily was a little easier for me to relate to even though she is British. She is serious about studying to the point of being stressed out by everything. Emily likes her life to be planned out but in sunny California it doesn't work that way. Emily has to learn to let go and enjoy herself with the help of Tasha's friends and her classmate Ryan. I liked how Emily began to take an interest in film studies and to have fun. Both girls had the possibility of romance but while it was part of the book it was not the main point.

I thought Sophomore Switch was a well written book with a mostly positive female empowerment message. What I really liked was the personal growth that both girls went through and their newfound friendship with each other. They were able to change their lives for the better through a sometimes stressful experience.The story has a fun premise but I found an unexpected depth. I enjoyed Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots but I liked Sophomore Switch even more.


  1. This one looks really good! I like that there is a female empowerment message!!

  2. sounds like a great book! i just started sophomore year in college, so it could not be any more fitting, hahaha. thanks for the review! :)

  3. Hmm I wonder if I'd agree with the way UCSB and CA are portrayed in this book...the premise sounds interesting enough and I like that this YA story takes place in college (whereas most are set in HS). Great review!


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