"And I know it's my grandmother.
And she's crying.
And then she opens her arms to me, and it's like no one else is there but us."
Title: Sophomore Year Is Greek To Me
Author: Meredith Zeitlin
Amount of Pages: 336
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Geared Towards: Young Teens +
From: Author Publicist
I was not paid for this review
Summary (From B.O.B): When Zona's mother married an American and moved to New York City, her huge Greek family cut off contact. Now her dad wants to uproot her entire life to move to Athens for the second half of her sophomore year and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks...but no thanks.
Wdebo's Review: Because of college, it's been such a long time since I've been able to read a book for fun. So I'm not sure if it was the fact that I hadn't read a YA book in so long, but it was difficult for me to get into Sophomore Year is Greek to Me. It started out very slow and Zona was personally just not a preferable character. I felt like I spent most of the time in the beginning, questioning and hoping that I did not act like her as a high schooler. Her constant whining and groaning just made it difficult for me to connect to her as a character. However, I really enjoy how the setting and characters were laid out in the beginning, it was very easy to understand the story from the get-go without much guessing involved. I also really liked Zona's NY friends, you could truly feel how much they cared for each other which was great.
As the story progressed, so did Zona's maturity. The writing as well began to become more and more engaging. It was great to see Zona grow as a person. I really enjoyed seeing her learning to embrace her family. I did appreciate how this story is family oriented. It centers around Zona's close knit ties with her father and her dog, Tony, as well as her embracing her Greek side who have just learned about her existence. And since these topics were a bit part of the story, I really wished it was delved in more then it was. It felt as if the writing could have explored more of the issues she faced.
The story was divided into four main sections: Zona in New York, Zona in Athens, Zona with family and Zona post family. Each section presented a new issue for Zona to experience and conquer and I feel like they could have been tackled more in depth. Additionally, I was not sure about Zona's time in Athens and her new group of friends. Personally, her Athens friends just did not impress me much. They were just not very good friends and had some questionable actions. Zona could have done so much better.
I did really like how her family time was described. It was sweet to see them learning how to interact and make up for lost time; however, some of the conflicts between the uncles that were brought up felt unfinished or rushed when the story ended. However, other conflicts that were brought up throughout the books I felt were well ended. It showed that life is not a fairy tale and even if it doesn't end badly, it is not perfect and we still have a lot to do even when there is a conclusion or answer. Zona had to deal with some real world shit and she handled some of those issues admirably and for others, as stated before, it could have been better molded.
I also felt like the character of Alex as a romantic interest felt a little too pushed. It felt like the story was trying to take on too much topics and should have taken some of them out.
Cafe Cover Chit Chat: I really like this cover. The blue, model and decorations contrast each other very well and the set up is adorable. (A)
All in all, though the story did have a rocky start as well as some plot issues, the novel does become more and more engaging and ended satisfactorily.