Tag Archive | Australia

REVIEW: Up Over Down Under

Up Over Down Under by Micol Ostow & Noah Harlan
Series: S.A.S.S.
Read: January 6 – February 15, 2016
Format: Paperback
My Book Rating:  2.5 Stars
Genre: Young Adult

I bought this book from my library’s used bookstore because it looked cute. It’s the story of two girls taking part in an foreign exchange program based on environmental issues. Billie from Australia is swapping places with Eliza from Washington, DC.

I expected this to be a cute read and maybe learn a little about Australia in the process. I thought it would be about the girls trying to fit in with their new environments, and it kind of was, but mostly it was about their environmental projects.

The first half of the book is setting the stage, getting to know Eliza and Billie in alternating chapters as they acclimate to their new home for the semester. HALF. THE. BOOK. Nothing happened in the first half except what we knew was going to happen, the girls swapped homes.

Finally, a little after halfway through it started to get better, but the plot was still entirely lackluster. Eliza takes the chance away from her home and strict parents (her dad’s a big wig with the EPA, reputation matters) and gets into trouble. Meanwhile Billie, always straight and narrow, rebels in her own way by taking a stand against the actions (or lack thereof) of the EPA.

Really, this book is like an after school special. Maybe if I were in middle school I would have enjoyed this story, but in the end, I wonder why I wasted my time. I guess I figured by the time I hit 50%, I’d already invested so much in reading this I may as well just finish.

I gave it 2.5 stars because the characters were mostly likable and the writing was decent. It was the lackluster plot that deducted the remaining 2.5 stars.