Sophomore Undercover

Sophomore Undercover

by Ben Esch


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781423113058
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication date: 03/22/2011
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Ben Esch received his Bachelor's degree in creative writing from UC Berkeley. He lives in Northern California and is hard at work on his next novel, Kid Liberty.

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Sophomore Undercover 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
AdrianC More than 1 year ago
It all starts out when the newspaper reporter, Dixie, is in the bathroom when he finds out an interesting secret. While in the bathroom, one of the football players, Funt, comes in with an albino friend and the albino injects something into Funt that Dixie thinks is steroids on account that Funt is in the football team and he is pretty big. After the two leave Dixie gets the needle the used for the injection and tries to hide in a safe place and that place happens to be all the way on the other side of where her is. While he is going too that place he gets caught and is tackled by on of the security. While being tackled, the security gets stuck with the needle and put in the hospital and Dixie is charged with possesion of drugs and is being sent to rehab or a character building program. Now he is trying to clear his name and embarks on a tough journey. He meets a new friend, Brynn, and gets knocked out a lot by the football players. This takes place over a week and he finds some interesting stuff. Will he clear his name or be sent to the character building program and suffer.
bella_aire More than 1 year ago
I approached this book with a good amount of optimism. No, girls like me probably weren't the target audience here. This is a book about a guy written by a guy. But I have loved certain books written by guys. I realize this is not the case for all female readers. Sophomore Undercover is a good book. We have Dixie, an aspiring journalist. He discovers some suspicious drug-related activity going on with the bullying football team at his school and decides to pursue it as a story. Dixie is also one of those suspicious people who jumps to conclusions easily and doesn't do things halfway, and this is what makes the story happen. The whole investigative male high school journalist card brought back memories of Susan Juby's Getting the Girl. The main characters of Sophomore Undercover and Getting the Girl are actually very similar in temperament. And both books have terrific humor. But the tones are completely different; each is very distinct. Sophomore Under is original in its own way. The plot for Sophomore Undercover is a simple one. The actual writing in the book is simple, as well, though not by any means poor. Occasionally we'll find a crude reference here and there, but really. It's a novel about a guy written by a guy. What on earth could readers expect? Here's a small issue with this writing: the age group for Sophomore Undercover is 14 and up (I suspect the occasional crude references came into play for this rating), but the writing itself seems closer to 12 and up for a reader's range. Its audience will mainly be YA male readers, who, unfortunately, make up a smaller group into today's reading world. This makes for a very small reading population. Still, I am hoping that books such as Sophomore Undercover will increase and encourage this market. There aren't nearly enough male YA books out there (I'm not saying there aren't any YA male books/readers, I'm just saying that any book in the YA section of a bookstore has roughly a 10:1 chance of being female rather than male.) The strong point of Sophomore Undercover is the humor. It kicks in about a third of the way through, and it's great. I love it when books make me laugh. It wasn't that Dixie's brand of humor is all that funny; it is definitely Dixie's creator, Ben Esch, who deserves the credit here. Ben puts Nixie into all sorts of hilarious situations throughout the story which brightens Sophomore Undercover tremendously. Sophomore Undercover's most blatant flaw was its females. All the females in this story didn't really seem all that convincing. I understand that the novel is supposed to be far fetched. But I definitely felt like the women were very mannish and un-feminine in this novel. Perhaps it is because meek Dixie brings out the aggressive side of girls. I am unsure. What I am sure of, though, is that if Ben Esch focuses on his humor for his future writing, and gets a better female perspective, he will certainly create a hit. Yes, I've mentioned that his humor is great. But what is even more obvious in Sophomore Undercover is its potential. Sophomore Undercover made a good, funny book. I challenge all female readers to step out of their comfort zone. Try out Sophomore Undercover. You might surprise yourself. Always, ~bella aire~ NOTE: The full NSCG review would not fit in the space provided. To see the full review, stop by here: