Sweden While it still exasperates me that most of this series is set in Europe, I m pleased that some of them take place in countries I know so little about.
Calista has gone to Sweden for two reasons to get a break from his perfect, talented twin, Suzanne, and to be closer to her Swedish boyfriend, Jonas She s studied some Swedish on her own note when she moans about how perfect Suzanne is and how she doesn t have a talent of her own, nobody stops to point out that she speaks four languages and is ready for action.
Calista s an interesting one because she s really very different when she s with or talking to her family and when she s on her own She s a bit hard to take at times when it comes to her family, honestly I spent a fair amount of time, especially early on, wondering if I wouldn t have preferred a book from Suzanne s perspective , but when it comes down to it she s no different than, oh, any teen who has a complicated relationship with her family We do see a much kinder side, too, pretty much right awayand she grows up a bit with regard to her family.
Now The boy There s always a boy Idon t have much to say about him Calista comes to the conclusion that he s the guy for her because the have a lot in common and a lot to talk about, but I don t really see it, perhaps because they don t spend a lot of time together Not that I mind their lack of joined at the hip ness I appreciate it, in fact but it feels a little like an afterthought Too much time spent on Jonas, perhaps, especially considering that view spoiler we never even meet himand the only good thing we know about him is that he s athletic, and therefore Calista s father likes him hide spoiler Thanks to having a hot Swedish exchange student as a boyfriend, Minneapolis native Calista has signed up for an exchange program that will take her to Sweden for a semester so they can be together It will also be good to get away from her annoyingly accomplished twin sister, who seems to have all the talents Calista does not When Calista arrives, she starts learning about Sweden and is eager for every opportunity for sightseeing and meeting people and learning about Swedish customs Unfortunately, her hot Swedish boyfriend dumps her by phone right away, but that just meanstime for new friends and customs and food Plus there s that hot guy Hakken sp who s really nice even if his girlfriend isn t but is she really his girlfriend Being away from her sister also gives Calista time to figure out who she is on her own, and to wonder why she and her twin drifted apart in the first place and is it fixable I ve read a couple of these books, and they are reliably light reads that are essentially travelogues with a bit of plot worked in Reading this, you ll learn lots about Sweden and its culture, and amass a list of places to visit Calista s relationships are mostly warm and her problems easily solved If you re looking for a light read with lots of great setting details, this is a good series to fill your need.
This review is also posted on my blog view spoiler Well I finished this like a week ago, and I m only just now getting to write the review Eeesh Pre move in stuff apparently takes a lot of time.
But anyway It s been a while since I ve read one of these Students Across the Seven Seas books, and despite the kiddish cover art and cover blurb, I forgot how much I enjoy them They show real respect to the country each book is about, making points to destroy stereotypes and backing everything up with a lot of very real facts and research That much is awesome, and I respect that It makes the character s experience as an exchange student that muchreal.
I do have some criticisms though, primarily and basically only with how the story was delivered So many of the characters were conveniently unabashed history nerds, none of whom had any trouble recollecting information and always spouted off perfect facts in textbook form I appreciate the opportunity to learn about Swedish culture and history, but this is such a clich way to do it that it put a small damper on the whole experience A lot of the dialogue outside of the random facts felt particularly forced and unrealistic, too especially the emails So much of that just felt awkward, like that s not how people interact with each other levels of awkward And also, as cute as it was, I don t know why every girl in every one of these books always needs to fall in love with a local boy Like always Without fail It s not a bad plot point, as long as it s not incredibly overused and doesn t clash with the character s personality, which in this case, it may have Most of Calista s entire reasoning for traveling to Sweden in the first place was to visit her Swedish then boyfriend, who turned out to be an entire garbage can of trash, didn t even show up to see her at any point, and finally wrote her a one sentence email breaking it off with her I don t know if she d ve been too keen on falling for anyone else after that I might be wrong falling for Hakkan DID happen several months later, and that is enough time to feel better But, at least a little bit, still.
Also, she seemed to get over Jonas pretty fast, for how obsessed she was over him in the beginning Not that I m complaining she had one day of hurt, then went straight to pissed off, and didn t spend much time at all afterwards thinking about him, instead delving headfirst into discovering and learning everything about Sweden You go girl, he doesn t deserve your time or your pain But it still seemed a little unreasonably fast, for someone who had so much trouble figuring out what she wanted for the entire rest of the book.
Also also, I do have to acknowledge that this seemed to be a highly romanticized version of a semester spent studying abroad Literally NOTHING BAD HAPPENED The only things that might count Jonas dumped Calista through email, Cal lost her map to school on her morning commute on her first day, and Moa actively disdained Cal throughout the entire story, which silently turned into a sort of quiet respect right at the end THAT S IT No host family issues, no friend issues, no real boy issues, no stranger issues, no culture clash issues she went from struggling with Swedish to being very good at it in about a chapter and it never impacted her school performance at all just about everything went about as perfectly as it could possibly go While I appreciate and did truly enjoy the feel good fuzzies of it, it still felt incredibly unrealistic and I m just left thinking there is no way anything would ever go that smoothly BUT REGARDLESS I still mostly enjoyed the book I recognize the flaws and the faults and I acknowledge them all, and they re enough to dock a star from my final rating But I STILL liked reading it, I ll still recommend the series to anyone else who likes this sort of travel story, and I ll still make it a point to finish all the others I haven t read yet hide spoiler
S book wasinformative about its countryso than the other books in the series After reading this book, I feel the urge to visit Sweden one day It was chock full of history, especially viking history, culture, and language I could relate to Calista s excitement when she saw the museum exhibits, gardens, and other tourist attractions I sympathized with her over her heartache, doubt, and confusion My eyes felt a little teary at the end of the book when she had to say bye to her host family and her friends This is definitely one of the better books in the S.
S series Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.
comSweden means two things for Calista getting away from her annoyingly talented twin sister, and being reunited with her boyfriend But Sweden isn t at all what Cal expects For one thing, she can t get a hold of her boyfriend She s also living with a host family, taking all of her courses in Swedish, and needs to learn the language pronto As the semester unfolds, Cal begins to notice things about herself that she d like to change when she gets back home, but for now she s content with soaking up both the language and the culture Swede Dreams is part of the SASS series of high school students traveling around the world learning different cultures and languages Cal realizes her true self on foreign soil and she s anxious to make a new beginning Teens will love this series Swede Escape Calista Swanson Has Begun Her Study Abroad Semester In Stockholm, Sweden, And She Couldn T Be Happier There S Finally Some Distance Between Her And The Constant Piano Playing Of Her Annoying Sister Suzanne Calista And Suzanne Are Twins, But The Only Thing They Have In Common Is Their Birth Date Suzanne Is A Focused And Gifted Pianist, But A Social Dud Calista Isn T At All Focused, But She Always Has Her Friends, And A Boyfriend, By Her Side And That Goes For Her Time In Sweden, As Well Jonas, Who D Been An Exchange Student At Her High School In Wisconsin, Lives In Stockholm He S The Main Reason Calista Is Studying In Sweden, And She Knows He Ll Be In Tow As She Explores Everything Sweden Has To Offer, From Visiting Swedish Castles To Learning About The Viking Era, To Sampling Treats From A Sm Rg Sbord, To Strolling The Cobblestone Streets Of Stockholm S Gamla Stan Calista Loves Sweden From The Moment She Arrives, But Why Hasn T Jonas Called I have always been fond of reading S.
S books, due to the simple fact that they combine culture history and a little bit of romance in just the right amount of degree.
I love realistic fiction, andof it when it transports you to a place as exotic and historically rich as Sweden Calista Cal was initially drawn to studying abroad in Sweden because of her exchange student boyfriend, Jonas She wanted to distance herself a bitfrorm her twin sister s talented shadow for a bit and explore the awesomeness of Sweden.
Cal s journey is filled with meeting new friends, new hobbies, a new perspective on history as well a sense of enlightenment.
Swede Dreams is a really fantastic book with loads of Swedish culture.
I really liked this book because it gave me a lot of insight into Sweden and I also am starting to perceive Swedish as a delightful language.
I really liked the plot and Hakan was really an amazing guy.
I also learnt that hurdles and problems are the things that make a person really strong as in the case of Calista Also that we should never feel inferior because of a person in our lives who has a great talent instead we should try to find our own talents and we should nt let someone s talent get in the way of our relationship with that person.
Dis book is definitely recommended D Apelqvist gave Sweden an intoxicating quality that made me envious of the main character s study abroad there I have never had the desire to go to Sweden until reading this book Even though there were not tons of descriptions of museums and such there, the ones that did exist within the book were very well written and very interesting I immediately told my husband that I want to visit Sweden After reading another of the series, When Irish Guys are Smiling by Suzanne Supplee, I said I wanted to visit Ireland too A great read