Liralen's Reviews > Up Over Down Under

Up Over Down Under by Micol Ostow
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's review
Oct 28, 2014

liked it
bookshelves: z-2014, fiction, travel, ya, reviewed

In this version of the S.A.S.S. world, Eliza has fled Down Under for the chance to let loose a little, while Billie has gone Up Over in the hopes that being in D.C. will allow her to save the environment once and for all.

More than ever I wish I knew more about the writing guidelines for the series -- there's a lot of variation in how the programme works. In some books, students are placed with families; in some books, they're in dorms; sometimes they rarely interact with anyone outside S.A.S.S.; sometimes they have a local-exchange deal going on. This is the only book in which students perform something of a body swap -- although the environmental themes of Up Over Down Under do run through some of the other books.

As other reviewers have said, I might have liked this better had it been solely from Billie's perspective. Eliza does make herself difficult to like for some most of the book. No real sense of growth for her as a character. Billie comes in a bit more well rounded and also ready to...go with the flow. She doesn't always agree with her hosts (Eliza's parents), but she does have enough maturity to talk to them rather than sneaking out, running away, et cetera. Her story does feel a bit unfinished, though -- more energy given to the love triangle than to conflicts with less predictable outcomes -- and I wish there'd been more displays of culture both Up Over and Down Under. Okay story, but it really could've taken place anywhere. Erm, in two anywheres.

More general look at the series here.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 28, 2014 – Shelved
October 28, 2014 – Shelved as: z-2014
October 28, 2014 – Shelved as: fiction
October 28, 2014 – Shelved as: travel
October 28, 2014 – Shelved as: ya
October 30, 2014 – Shelved as: reviewed

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