Sophomore Switch, by Abby McDonald, was a quick, enjoyable teen read.
Dubbed “chick lit” by some, this book followed two sophomore girls in college who switch places through an exchange program to try out new lives. Emily, the studious control-freak from Britain, trades places with Tasha, a girl recovering from partying too hard in California. Both girls were accepted at the last minute into the program, and neither received the school they were expecting.
Emily tried to escape a bad break up and an overbearing father, and although she was disappointed not to have been placed at an Ivy League school, she was ready for a chance to loosen up in California. She was placed in all of Tasha’s classes and although she thinks being a film major is not challenging in the least, she is surprised to find herself enjoying writing scripts and directing a movie for a class project. Her partner for the project happens to be a very cute boy…who is her new roommate’s ex-boyfriend. She tries to navigate the California dating scene and on the way, learns how to follow her own dreams, not the pressure from her family.
Tasha was a crazy partier in California, running away after an embarrassing incident caught on camera with a teen celebrity. She feels like she’s in a different world in Oxford and must learn how to navigate heavy textbooks write essays in a single day. Under the guidance of a professor who, if you’re lucky, will give you a C, Tasha joins a group on campus to save the local women’s center. Her cute tutor helps her in classes and she starts to find her own way in this foreign world, discovering that maybe she doesn’t always need a boy at her side or a party on Friday night to look forward to.
In the end, the emails exchanged between Tasha and Emily bring them together at the end of their semesters to talk about how much they’ve changed. They both have learned more about who they want to be, and look forward to their next years in college.
This book was a quick read and fun to follow. Although there was not a lot of depth and the story was fairly predictable, it was a good summer story. I would recommend this to anyone who likes teen fiction and stories about changing in college.