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Sophomores and Other Oxymorons


Sophomores and Other Oxymorons

Scott just finished a great summer with his friends, Lee and Wesley, and he is more than ready to start his sophomore year.  After a chaotic freshmen year full of adventure and life lessons, Scott feels like he’s ready to handle anything.  At first he’s right --- sophomore year starts out smoothly.  Scott’s already made a few new friends, helped a freshmen survive his first day and got assigned a great spot on the school paper.  While his parents are busy with work and the new baby, they support Scott in every way they can.  Unfortunately, Scott’s good luck doesn’t last long.  His biology teacher and English teacher both seem to have it out for him, and his grades are starting to slip because of it.  Plus, Lee’s dad doesn’t seem to like Scott much either, which isn’t great considering how much Scott wants to ask Lee out.
As the year goes on, things seem to go from bad to worse.  Scott’s grades slip so low that he isn’t allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities, including the paper.  His plan to make money by selling copies of his freshman survival guide is foiled when someone uploads a copy online, free for all to see.  Not to mention, Scott still hasn’t asked Lee out on a real date and the school year is coming to a close.  When the school paper and other clubs are cut from the school budget and his biology teacher is threatened to be fired for refusing to teach creationism, Scott knows he has to step up to the plate and get out of his sophomore slump for good.
SOPHOMORES AND OTHER OXYMORONS is creatively written and a thoroughly fun read.  The lovable characters and high school drama will draw readers in right away. 
Funny and heartfelt, SOPHOMORES AND OTHER OXYMORONS is an excellent follow-up to author David Lubar’s SLEEPING FRESHMEN NEVER LIE.  While fans of SLEEPING FRESHMEN NEVER LIE will love this novel, people who haven’t read the companion will also find it very enjoyable and will be able to follow along easily.  Told through first person point of view narrative and journal entries, SOPHOMORES AND OTHER OXYMORONS is creatively written and a thoroughly fun read.  The lovable characters and high school drama will draw readers in right away.  While the book is pretty light-hearted for the most part, it definitely covers some more serious topics, including corruption in schools.  However, the more serious parts were kept relatively short, and the overall feel of the novel is light and fun.  Personally, I wish that Lubar would have covered the topic of suicide more deeply in this novel, as he touched on it in SLEEPING FRESHMEN NEVER LIE, and I feel like it is a serious issue in high schools nationwide.  Otherwise, however, Lubar did a fantastic job of crafting a completely enjoyable read.
Fans of SLEEPING FRESHMEN NEVER LIE will love seeing their favorite characters again, including Scott, Lee and Wesley.  Scott is still a lovable book nerd, but in SOPHOMORES AND OTHER OXYMORONS he loses the nervousness from his freshmen year and gains a slightly arrogant air.  The events of the novel, however, quickly lead him to realize that he doesn’t know everything quite yet --- even if he did manage to survive his freshmen year successfully.  Even with his flaws, Scott’s a good character and a good guy that readers will really enjoy.  Lee is also just as gothic as she was in the first novel.  We see more of her in this book, which is great because she’s such a fun character.  She’s highly opinionated and intelligent and a great friend to Scott.  She’s a lot friendlier and a little less snarky in this novel than she was in the last, but that’s to be expected since she and Scott are closer friends in this novel --- I did miss some of her snark, though.  Overall, Lubar created some quality characters who readers will love.  Hopefully we will see more from Lubar --- perhaps a third and fourth novel detailing Scott’s attempts to survive his last two years of high school?

Reviewed by Alison S. on August 19, 2015

Sophomores and Other Oxymorons
by David Lubar

  • Publication Date: May 3, 2016
  • Genres: Humor, Young Adult 12+
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Speak
  • ISBN-10: 0147517648
  • ISBN-13: 9780147517647