Title: Up Over Down Under (S.A.S.S.)
Author: Micol Ostow and Noah Harlan
Check this book out on Goodreads.
Eliza Ritter has high expectations for her semester in Melbourne, Australia. Sure, she’s participating in an environmental program, but really she hopes to spend her time meeting cute boys. So when she meets a hot surfer, she is thrilled! Aussie Billie Echols, on the other hand, actually does have an interest in the environmental program she’s signed up for in Washington, D.C. But the States are nothing like she expected, and soon Billie is caught in the middle of an unexpected controversy. Being an exchange student gets a whole new meaning in this first-ever SASS book of its kind. (Source: Goodreads)
Eliza and Billie exchange places for a semester as they embark on their S.A.S.S. experiences. Eliza, the daughter of a politician, is thrust into the world of fieldwork and surfers when she heads to Melbourne, Australia. Bille, a proactive greenie, heads to Washington D.C. and faces the world of office work and protests. Can they successfully make it through the semester without causing strife in their homes, or worse, getting deported?
The S.A.S.S. series is one of my guilty pleasures. I love books about travelling abroad and finding love (Wish You Were Italian and Isla and the Happily Ever After to name a couple) so this series is basically perfect for me. Do I ever really wind up enjoying the books? No, they’re not very good. But they are great for relaxing after reading something a little heavy. These aren’t really the best examples of books about being abroad and falling in love, I would say Anna and the French Kiss series is one of the best versions of this, S.A.S.S. not so much. This book was definitely worse than the other S.A.S.S. books I’ve read. It was just boring and not a whole lot happened. All I wanted was to finish this book and move on.
The plot is pretty standard, two girls go to foreign countries and fall in love. There’s not a whole lot to be excited about, and they certainly didn’t take an risks with the plot, which lacks any trace of originality. It also has no twists or turns, and practically no action, so it’s just boring. Honestly even the romances were so lacking in these ones. Both of the guys were dull and their wasn’t any spark. It just left me wanting more. And with the focus of the book primarily in Australia I was just left wanting some Melina Marchetta (want a book you absolutely need to read? On the Jellicoe Road by Marchetta, I think about this book all the time it was so good) instead of this. So with no romance and no action what was there to this plot? Mostly just a lot of talking about stuff over and over repetitively until you’re left snoring. The Billie plot was probably less terrible for me, but still beyond boring.
The characters were really dull. They were both very boring with no notable qualities. They’re also both pretty judgmental. The author’s of the book obviously have a pretty conservative view of what exactly counts as “edgy” if they think things like nose rings and multiple ear piercings are terrifyingly “emo”. The two love interests were the worst characters in the book. Macca, the Australian surfer Eliza falls for, is a “bad boy” who is just bad news. He encourages her to do lots of really stupid stuff. Parker, Eliza’s ex, is the one Billie falls for, and he was just dull. They don’t have any spark as characters which leads to romances with no spark. The parents are just about the only characters with any character to them. They’re fairly well developed by comparison to the teenagers.
This book was so dull I can’t really muster up much to say about it beyond that. There wasn’t much of a story and the characters were boring. I wouldn’t recommend you read it if I’m completely honest. I’d probably read the rest of S.A.S.S. but that’s mostly just to humour myself.
Have you read Up Over Down Under? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Check out Micol Ostow at her Goodreads, website, and Twitter.
Check out Noah Harlan at his Twitter.
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