Published by Star Magnolia Publishing on 7 September 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: Lightning Book Promotions
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Terry has been switching for eight months, and she never knows how long she'll stay in each place. When she wakes up somewhere new, it is also sometime new - and her life is very confusing. She has no idea what her name is, how old she is, when she's really from or if she has a family somewhere (or some time) that might be missing her. As she finally meets other people who have changed time as well, she finally has some semblance of normalcy, but will this last?
*I received a free ARC of Switching from Lightning Book Promotions in exchange of an honest review*
Swtiching has me awed in all of its’ aspects! The characters are fantastically detailed, the world-building is amazingly well done, and the time travel plot is one of the best I’ve ever read.
Terry is a young girl, with no memory of her past, the only thing she knows is that she has been hopping through time during the past eight months – or switching as she calls it – and she’s been taking notes on the different dates and places she’s been to. Being alone for so long has taken its toll on Terry. She doesn’t know how old she is, what year she is supposed to be in, or whether she has a family or not.
Switching is extremely well written, and even if it’s not in the psychological thriller genre, it felt like it could have been for a big part of the story. At the beginning of Switching, Terry is in the year 1992, and by chance, goes into a sport goods store because she sees a compact sleeping bag in the window. As she’s figuring out how much the sleeping bag costs, she sees a pin of Live 08, the concert that took place in 2005 to celebrate Live Aid. She gets both the pin and the sleeping bag. Just after she leaves the store, she tries to understand what this means, and gets a newspaper thinking about the fact that there might be other people switching through time. She scans the personal adds and finds one that seems to be screaming at her. But she is too late for a meeting that day. Afterwards, she sits down for a snack and a coffee, and a guy,David, comes over to talk to her. He asks her if she’s ‘one of them’… and she realizes this is because of her pin. And she figures out that she might not be all alone after all.
From there, things happen really quickly, and Terry has no idea anymore what is real and what is not. She chastises herself for actually believing it’s possible to hop through time from 1992 to the eighties to 2005 and back to the seventies. After a night at a homeless shelter with David, she wakes up alone, and ends up in prison. The shift she has there scares the living daylight out of her – and this is what makes her think that everything that is happening to her now might be just her overactive imagination at work.
In her despairing state of mind, she doesn’t even notice that she continues to switch, until a young man calls her name – and she gets caught up with two other time-switchers. Switching had me actually holding my breath for several sentences at a time – I literally couldn’t put my kindle down – I had to know what would happen next! The reason why I think it could be in the psychological thriller genre as well as fantasy and time travel is the quick switch Terry had that made both her and me doubt everything she had been through during the past eight months.
For the whole story, I felt like I was right there with Terry –or maybe even that I was Terry. I have rarely felt so immersed in a book before, and I have to say that this is the best YA I have read so far in 2013. Both the fact that the time travel made a lot of sense to me, both compared to other books or TV shows I have heard about time travel in – and because of the consideration the characters took when it comes to time/space continuum. The philosophical part about what time really is spoke to me as well – I guess that’s a residue from my philosophy classes – but it all just seemed so plausible.
When Terry ends up in 1979, she meets Woody and Joshua, and they really want to help her in any way they can. Of course, because Joshua is a very good-looking guy, Terry likes him a lot, but all three of them are really shy, and they have some very humorous, and totally unintentional, blushing competitions! The way they interact together, and bring each other both a sense of hope and of belonging brought me as a reader some hope that things just might turn out for the best in the end.
Terry is a really good character, she is young, and she sure has been through a lot in the past eight months, even if she’s not sure if the switching has actually happened or not. Her interactions with Jason and Woody are really great, although they are both not very happy with David. As Terry is able to stay with Woody and Jason for a while, she is able to think more about what has happened to her, and Woody even takes her to a doctor to try to find out why she has been switching so much more than he and Jason have.
For an excellent time travel story, with great characters and a plausible explanation for most of the things that happen, I really recommend Switching. It is both fun and sad, complicated and easy, and the very end did me in!
The geekier the guy working there, the better; girls who watched Sci-Fi movies were like goddesses to them.
My skin-fireworks had started fizzing again, which I’d always taken to be my intuition telling me ‘get out of there, run!’ But this time I wasn’t sure what it meant.
We ate our ice cream in silence. It was Italian. I never knew that even their ice cream was better, too.
Barbecue not only grabbed me, it oculd probably have knocked me to the ground an wrestled me into a state of catatonic bliss.
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