Glee: Foreign Exchange by Sophia Lowell

In the second Glee book, Mr. Schu has decided to take Multicultural Week to the next level by inviting a French Glee Club (run by a childhood pen pal) to come and perform with the New Directions. Rachel is faced with competition (this was before Sunshine Corazon and her behavior was much less appalling here), Puck is not as much of a ladies-man as he thought, Finn has a new crush, Artie shows he has some moves (post Tina, pre-Brittany), and Santana was, sadly, all but absent. How did this book measure up to the series and the other book?

Because there is no actual singing, the books automatically cannot compare to the series itself. The incredible rendition of “Don’t Stop Believing” is the reason I started watching this show in the first place (I initially hated the pilot but gave it a second chance after someone posted the video on my wall).

The first book, The Beginning, was unquestionably stronger than this one, Foreign Exchange. For one thing, there were simply far too many people involved that we didn’t get much of a chance to really be invested in any of them. It felt like whenever we settled into one storyline, we suddenly jumped to another.

On top of the already large New Directions, we have the French glee club to get to know. Brittani and Santana, who have finally become real members of the cast on the show, were relegated to the background, Mercedes was just the same as always (boy obsessed and insecure), and Quinn was about as deep as a puddle. Kurt was all pretty lame (I mean nice that he had fun and no bullying, but otherwise…). Rachel was fun and her usual neurotic, as always but I would have liked to spend a little more time with her (and much as I disliked Quinn overall, I enjoyed the way she played Rachel).

Not that the story wasn’t fun. It’s Glee and Glee is always fun. Fun enough that I want to check out Summer Break, the upcoming book, but not so much so that it’s a must-read.


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