A dyed-in-the-wool New York teen discovers her Greek roots in this breezy novel by the author of Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters (2012).
At first, 15-year-old Zona Lowell is devastated when her investigative-journalist dad informs her that they will be spending her sophomore year of high school in Greece so he can research the economic crisis and she can connect with her deceased mother’s extended family. She’s angry and nervous about meeting the people who rejected her mother for running away to America and marrying Zona’s much-older father. But after quickly making friends at the Greek International School in Athens and spending a raucous spring break getting to know her animated Greek family on Crete, Zona realizes that “I have a family now—a big, boisterous, funny, kind, complicated family. And I can’t pretend that it’s just me, Dad, and [the dog] any longer.” Zona, an aspiring journalist, frequently interrupts her narration with short, humorous news items, such as “Op Ed: Life Before Skype—Was It Worth Living?” and “Obituary: Death of First Official Greek Crush Confirmed,” and her wide-eyed observations of the argumentative, life-loving Greek people she meets perfectly illustrate just how transformative travel can be.
Fans of Sarah Mlynowski, Stephanie Perkins and Louise Rennison will enjoy this squeaky-clean travel adventure about the strength of family and the power of new experiences. (Fiction. 11-15)