Thursday, April 30, 2015

ARC Review: Sophomore Year is Greek To Me by Meredith Zeitlin

Sophomore Year is Greek To Me 
by Meredith Zeitlin

Genre: YA, contemporary
Expected publication: April 21st 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher/PR
Local purchase/order: Fully Booked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
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. 

My Thoughts:

*This review is based on advanced reading copy. There might be some changes in the finished copy.

Sophomore Year is Greek To Me is one of the titles I'm looking forward to read. I like the fun, light, summer, and hilarious vibe I got from the cover and blurb alone. Plus, it says it's perfect for Meg Cabot fans! (I love her book, All-American Girl!)  + the mention of Anna and the French Kiss + Greece (I've never been there--physically and through novel-reading) + adventure. Surely this book would be a highlight this summer!

For starters, Zona Lowell is a young journalist. I like that about her instantly. You know readers and writers connect even fictionally, right? There were also newspaper-type of articles written about her journey that appeared on most of the chapters, which is something new and exciting to read. I also like how Zona sometimes communicates with her father using their self-made headline (cute) and most especially, their father-daughter relationship. Which is pure adorable and sweet.

However, Zona, having no mother since after her birth, she also never knew her mother's side of family--which are Greek. And now her dad wants her to meet these people. The family she never knew or heard of. The family that had cut the communication between them and her mother the moment she fell in love and ran off with Zona's father in New York.

Despite the issue can be considered as quite heavy, this book remained on light and fun tune, thanks to Zona's voice. The funny dialogues, events, and characters are given and so are the adventure and the cute boy she met in foreign country. But the thing that I think is huge and important in this novel is the family. There was a little romance (adorable and cute as well) but I love that the love mostly shown here was about friendship, family, and home. Because whatever happens, wherever you go, family is always there. You'll always find your way back home, Hannah Montana says in one of her songs.

And since I've been there (read-wise), here are some things I learned about Greece:
- Speak Greek! Good morning = kalimera ; Good night = kalinikta ; Good afternoon = kali mesimeri ; Thank you = efcharisto 
- underage has no effect on bars. No fake IDs. The attitude of Greek teens to alcohol is generally blasé 
- the person who have birthday brings the treats to be shared to classmates or coworkers. This happens both on actual days of birth and on name days (long story). This means that free chocolates are on offer pretty much every single day 
- drivers don't care about crossing people 
- Easter festivities last up to a month, culminating in a massive celebration including some unusual traditions

Sophomore Year is Greek To Me is a mixture of fun and knowledgeable Greek adventure, funny treats, and extra-ordinary characters. It wasn't an all-out hilarious or romantic novel like I assumed, but I'm glad how it turned out and added more depth. The family discovery and reunion made me go "aww". It was sweet and adorable and inspiring as well. Middle graders, young adult, or adults would enjoy this novel!

*Thank you so much to Tony (PR)/G.P Putnam's Sons for the review copy in exchange of an honest review!



  1. I really liked this one too. Glad you enjoyed it as well.

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  2. I haven't heard of this book before now, but I'm so happy I read your review! This sounds like the perfect summer read. Plus I love travel novels and learning about other cultures! I will be adding this to my summer tbr! Great review!


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