I’m g(r)eeking out over this fun young adult read.
Sophomore Year is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin follows Zona Lowell, an aspiring high school journalist, who is forced to move with her father to Greece. While her father finishes up a novel on the current affairs in Greece, Zona must adapt to a new school in Greece and meet the family who shunned her mother after she left the country.
Sophomore Year is Greek to Me was suggested to me by Goodreads. I had read one other book by Meredith Zeitlin and thought it was okay, but this book sounded like something I would enjoy so I added it to my Want to Read section. Luckily, my sister found it a few weeks later for only $1 at Dollar Tree! Even though Sophomore Year is Greek to Me wasn’t everything I expected it to be, I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would.
I think the best part of this novel is the realistic portrayal of Greece and its culture. When Zona first arrives in Greece, she mainly concentrates on the country’s financial struggle. As the story goes on, Zona learns more about the attitudes of people in Greece, their customs, and more about the specific areas. My favorite part of the novel is when Zona travels to Crete and interacts with her mother’s family. The author seamlessly blends teaching the reader about the culture with the book’s story line.
I also really loved how the author focused more on Zona experiencing Greece and meeting her family that focusing on a love interest or drama at school. Although those issues do arise in the book, they are not a significant portion of the novel. Since Zona only lives in Greece for a short time, it was nice to see that the author focused more on other aspects of the novel. In this novel, family plays a large role and the author does a good job of highlighting how the cultures shapes different family member’s attitudes and relationships with Zona.
My only complaint about this book would be the pacing. While there needs to be some build up before Zona travels to Greece, I felt like it spans way too many chapters. I felt like I zoomed through the first several chapters of the novel because it told information that I already knew from the book’s description. Additionally, I was also slightly bored by the chapters of Zona in her new school. Zona never really struggled to adapt to her new school and I felt her experiences there never added anything to the novel.
Overall, I really enjoyed Sophomore Year is Greek to Me and think it is a great end of summer/start of a new school year book. Since the setting and family-focused plot stood out among other contemporaries to me, I give this book four out of five stars.