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Sophomore Switch

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  1,068 ratings  ·  139 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 10th 2009 by Candlewick Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,643)
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Apr 09, 2012 Chloe rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
The beginning was fun (despite the unrealistic premise - I know from looking into exchange programs at my university that these things are typically arranged a year or so in advance), the middle was shaky and the end was a haphazard mess. That pretty much sums up Sophomore Switch in a nutshell.

I'll admit it, I didn't have very high expectations of this book; it sounded like the same old rehashed plot-line that we've seen a dozen times over on the YA scene. Despite this I picked it up anyway beca...more
Sep 15, 2009 Nian rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
The beginning was practically perfect. No lie, either. The sophisticated writing style pulled me in quickly, and the characters were quite relatable and sounded just like any normal being that I might be friends with. I particularly liked the storyline - after all, I love the study abroad program and hope to participate once I'm in college - since the S.A.S.S series, which was about foreign exchange students and therefore practically the same, really sucked. I mean, there were a few mediocre boo...more
Brittany Durrant
I really enjoyed this book a lot. I thought "Sophomore Switch" was a great book. This book is about two girls, Tasha and Emily. Tasha goes to school in Santa Barbra, California, and Emily goes to Harvard in England, then Tasha got "famous" by having a video being posted for the world to see. Tasha decides she wants to go to Harvard because everyone kept teasing her in California and she was sick of it so after she made a bunch of calls they finally accepted her because there was an opening. Emil...more
This book is everything I want out of contemporary YA. The two main characters have their own individual voices and it is a pleasure to watch them learn how to deal with their problems as burgeoning adults. I liked them so much I was always a bit torn when POV would switch before getting caught up again. As a personal bugaboo I also heartily appreciate that the slang was realistic rather than being an adult caricature of what "the kids sound like these days". Best of all the plot flows naturally...more
Ryanne Benz
In Abby McDonald's book Sophomore Switch she tells a story of two girls struggling to fit in with new surroundings and trying to survive in a world full of drama. I would recommend this book to teenagers in high school and for young adults in college.
Abby McDonald tells this story from the point of view of two different girls who decide that they need a change and a switch in their surroundings. Tasha is a California girl with a bad past behind her that has a lot of boy drama in it, and caused...more
Kiley Akey
Oct 05, 2014 Kiley Akey rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teenage girls
Sophomore Switch was a very interesting book, but I could guess what was going to happen very easily. In the beginning of the book there were two girls who switched colleges. One of the girls was from England and the other girl was from California. The girl from England was named Emily and she was super smart, attended Harvard University for her first few years of college, and was very innocent. She decided to go to the University of California because she broke up with her boyfriend and needed...more
Pretty cute. This book has great themes of bravery and acceptance and feminism and balance that are probably too overt for your typical adult reader but I think is really nice for teens. I also like the college setting. I am a fan of books with a breakup where the character is still single at the end (not common) and I'm pleased to say that happens here and I'm also really happy how it played out. Very girl-power-y.

The reader does both characters and her English accent is fine, but I would have...more
For Emily, leaving Oxford for a fresh start away from her recent ex is just what she was looking for. Unfortunately, she never imagined that her late decision would land her at the ever so popular party school U.C. Santa Barbra, switching places with the now tragically famous “Tasha”. Natasha is also looking for a clean slate, but for entirely different reasons. Her recent staring role in a hidden camera tv reality show has left her permanently scared and all she can think about is getting far a...more
If I could describe SOPHOMORE SWITCH in just one word, it would surely be ADORABLE! But, I'm never *that* brief, so of course I'll be rambling way beyond that one word, you know!

This is basically the story of two girls from completely different lifestyles who end up swapping schools for a semester for a study abroad program. Emily, an uptight perfectionist with a detailed five-year plan for every aspect of her life, studies politics at Oxford. Natasha, a California blonde with a love for shoppin...more
Plot Sketch: Natasha needs to escape the fall out from "The Hot Tub Incident," and Emily needs to experience America and get away after breaking up with jerkwad Sebastian, so these two enter a college exchange program. Tasha gets sent to Emily's PoliSci curriculum in Oxfrod and Emily to Tasha's Film studies at UCSB. The plot follows a path of self-discovery for both of the girls, with half of the book remarking on the differences in culture between California and Britain, and of course there are...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Tasha and Emily couldn't be more different, but each wants to escape their social nightmares. Tasha needs to hide out from the tabloid drama and Emily needs to nurse her broken heart. They swap lives: Natasha heads to Oxford and Emily heads to UC Santa Barbara.

The only problem - they've each already signed up for classes. So Natasha's stuck taking feminist courses and Emily's stuck learning about film. Neither of them fit in, until they lean on eac...more
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...more
This book was mostly fun, fluffy vacation reading, and it was pretty much perfect for that, but it was also a lot better than I expected and had some interesting statements about feminism tucked away in there. In a wacky circumstance that I'm pretty sure is mostly confined to the realms of fiction, UC Santa Barbara party girl and Oxford College Londoner Emily switch places for their sophomore year, both of them learning something in the interim. I grew to like Tasha a lot more than I thought I w...more
This is a fun "beach-read." Two college students (one British, one American) do an atypical semester abroad. It's atypical in that the two do a swap requiring them to take each other's classes rather than stick with their own programs. While the girls initially don't contact each other, they eventually find themselves in need of advice as well as contact with someone who understands the situation.

I found it a little jarring that the girls get in touch over instant messaging when there had previ...more
Jun 21, 2014 Marie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: YA, feminists, identity, struggling, high school girls, college girls, young people
Recommended to Marie by: The library shelf and fate :)
In Sophomore Switch, the characters are truly written well. Although often this book portrays California completely inaccurately, it might just help you realize some things about your own life. Not to mention, the whole story is fun, light, and one really gets invested in the characters.

It really took me until the last few chapters to actually get something from this book other than the pleasure of the plot-line and characters, which is completely fine, that's not a complaint. I wasn't expecting...more
Tasha and Emily cant be more different than two girls can be. But both girls jump into a overseas exchange semester to get away from issues back home. Tasha was humiliated by a hidden camera caught her and a reality TV star in a hot tub, partially naked. Emily has everything planned out by her controlling father and desperate for a change. When they trade places and schedules both girls struggle with fitting into their new environments. Tasha has to figure out Oxford and the strange classes, and...more
Hannah Young
This book was funny. It is not for elementary aged children, there is talk about drinking and casual sex. There is also language that little kids should not be reading about. The end was the best part, I respect Natasha for standing up to her professor and keeping her head held high.
I read this book in one sitting. I would recommend it if you are a fan of dishy made-for-tv movies, because this book definitely has that same tone.

I found some aspects to be very typical, such as the party-girl Californian Tasha and the straight-laced English girl Emily. I appreciated the talk about feminist groups and actions, but found many of the Oxford feminist club characters to be rather one-dimensional. The same can be said for the UCSB party girls.

However, there were a few different ta...more
This was such a cute book and the perfect change I needed after reading Bad Girls Don’t Die. At first it sounds like your typical story that two exchange students are sent to places totally unsuitable for them and they end up finding themselves and fitting in better than they thought. What makes this rise above and become such a fun book are Emily and Tasha. Both girls are wonderful characters who the reader will come to love. Tasha, while starting off as the typical bubbly but somewhat superfic...more
The BookWhisperer
To be perfectly honest; in the end I am in love with this story. Sophomore Switch was very light hearted and an extremely easy read. Abby McDonald throws you into a world where one carefree college student is switched for one uptight strict college student. They are exchanged life for life; which means housing for housing, classes for classes, and world for world. Leaving two very different girls to sink or swim in one anothers shoes. Which inevitably they do a little of both. Emily and Natasha...more
Teens sure have a lot in common. In Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald, two college students—British Emily and American Tasha—both has enough reasons to make them want to escape their lives. Throughout the story both Natasha and Emily are struggling at living outside of their comfort zone. For instance, Tasha, from California, is a party girl. And living on the other side of the Atlantic, in England, is Emily, an Oxford student whose boyfriend dumped her for being too rigid, organized, and overac...more
YA Reads Book Reviews
Two girls on opposite sides of the globe both want a quick getaway. The answer? They switch places through a last minute global exchange program. The catch? It’s a direct swap. They swap classes, accommodation and universities. No exceptions. Feminist political theory for film studies. On-camps accommodation for an share-apartment. A university where attendance is expected to one that doesn’t take a roll.

Tasha’s life seems to be coming to pieces. After the disastrous ‘hot-tub incident’, Tasha’s...more
Summary: Tasha is an American girl caught in a reality TV scandal who desperately wants to get out of the country; Emily is a prim English girl set on a law career who was unable to attend prestigious Harvard due to application problems and so settles on going to California.

I really liked both of the girls very much although at the beginning they are very extreme versions (Tasha is a party girl; Emily is very uptight) who end up mellowing by exploring new academic venues, interacting with boys i...more
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Apr 26, 2009 Lauren rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own

Can a Sophomore Switch make all the difference?

California girl Tasha's Sophomore year was supposed to be great. She had cool film classes, fun roommates, and a steady line of possible guys to date. Though, when the "Hot-Tub Incident" occurs, she only wants to do one thing, pack her bags, quickly.

Meanwhile, across the country, Emily's life isn't going that peachy either. Her boyfriend of five months has just broken up with her because she wouldn't go "all the way." Also, it seems like sh...more
Sophomore Switch is very cute. It's light, it's funny. It's what the cover shows you and exactly what to expect. It is a fast-paced book with slightly heavier tones.

There is two different main characters each with their own story that then intertwine. Tasha is mostly at university in California for the parties. When she parties a little too hard and is filmed doing some pretty embarassing stuff with a big celebrity, the whole of America tears her apart. Her family is ashamed and so she escapes b...more
Overall, Sophomore Switch was a good read. McDonald made it easy to get into the characters and the storyline. As I mentioned before, I love YA books set in college, so I was already comfortable with the setting within a few pages. Emily and Tasha are easily likable characters. McDonald did a great job of making them pretty distinct from one another, so that you're able to see pretty well how much of a change the exchange program is for them.
I will say, however, I found myself more interested in...more
Have you ever had a problem so big you wished you could just run away from everything, to another city, country, or even continent? How much distance would you need to put between you and it to make it better? Would an ocean be enough?

Natasha Collins: Natasha is a typical southern California girl with tanned skin, perfect hair, and an ability to party. Tasha, as her friends call her, is spontaneous and fun, always willing to skip a lecture in order to get some more beach time, make out with...more
This is one that our town’s public librarian booktalked a couple trimesters ago. I’ve wanted to read it ever since, since it sounded a lot like the movie The Holiday which I absolutely adore! For me this one was ok, but that may be because I’ve been on a fantasy/sci fiction kick lately. It is probably geared more to older teens because of some college themes—like sex, drinking, and partying—but is pretty tame nonetheless. There is some strong language towards the end of the novel. This is a fun...more
It may just be me, but I love reading books that are in some way set in my home country. It makes me feel all warm and squishy inside, I love to read about places I know about, places i've visited or just read someone describe where I live with precision and accuracy. So, when I first read about Life Swap, I knew I had to read it. The narrative is spilt between our two protagonists, Emily and Tasha, whose are nothing alike. Emily hails from the UK, shes quite a straight laced, super organised gi...more
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Author of several YA and adult novels, including DANGEROUS GIRLS and DANGEROUS BOYS (written as Abigail Haas).
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