All the Feels by Danika Stone is one of my favorite contemporaries, so when I read about Switchback I was really excited. The blurb sounded like something I really needed to read, so I was so excited when there were sign ups for a blog tour. Today I get to tell you what I thought of this book. A big thanks to the publisher and Xpresso Book Tours for providing me an ARC to read and review.
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: May 28th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
An epic YA adventure story about two friends lost in the Canadian wilderness from Danika Stone, the author of All the Feels.
Vale loves to hike, but kind of hates her classmates. Ash is okay with his classmates, but kind of hates the outdoors. So, needless to say they are both fairly certain that the overnight nature hike with their PE class is going to be a hellish experience. But when they get separated from the group during a storm, they have worse things to worry about than bullies and blisters.
Lost in the Canadian wilderness with limited supplies, caught in dangerous weather conditions, and surrounded by deadly wildlife, it’s going to take every bit of strength, skill, and luck they can muster to survive.
Praise for Danika Stone:
“An enjoyable, fast-paced read.” — School Library Journal on Internet Famous
“The book is a dream. I loved absolutely everything about it. … From the chapter headers to every mention of nerd culture, All the Feels is a blast!” —Seeking Book Boyfriends on All the Feels
Switchback surprised me in a very pleasant way. As soon as I started reading, I was already hooked. The beginning of the book isn’t that intense, but the talk of Dungeons and Dragons was really interesting. I recently started a campaign with friends, so this was a fun way to start a read. Add some fun quotes to start each chapter, I was excited.
Our main characters Ash and Vale are best friends. Ash is a gamer and that’s his life. He gets along with kids at school, but that’s not his priority. Vale isn’t as lucky at school. She gets bullied and Ash is her only friendly relationship at school. That aspect of the book did bother me. Vale is openly bullied at school and on the bus and the teacher seems oblivious. It isn’t until the end after all the tragedy a teacher finally opens her mouth. I wish this would’ve gotten a bit more attention.
Okay, back to the rest of the story. They have to go a PE hiking trip. The weather starts turning and when Ash and Vale stop to pick up trash (the bullies left behind), they get seperated from the group. In a certain way this may have seemed a bit unrealistic that they got seperated, but with a book this good, I can handle that!
Switchback got intense once our main characters are lost and it gets dark. Vale and Ash aren’t prepared for the storm coming and everything keeps going wrong. I loved how calm Vale was and actually really smart. She knew how to handle situations and thought out of the box to get things done! The way the weather conditions and their situation was described I felt like I was there. When both characters were both so cold they were shivering, I actually had goosebumps and was cold. I needed to know if these two would survive and I read this book in one sitting.
My favorite aspect of Switchback is that there was no aspect of romance between our main characters. Vale is aromantic and asexual and I really appreciated that in this story, it’s not something we see often in YA book. The friendship between Ash and Vale really grew in this book. They learned to trust each other and work together. I have read a couple of reviews being upset they were laughing in their situation, but I can only applaud that. They needed to see something positive/hopeful in everything that was going on.
The dual POV was really interesting in this story and kept me on my toes. I loved knowing how they were both feeling. Add the POV from their teacher and rescue worker and I was hooked (I do wish we had a bit more of this during the book though). I am used to this author’s books being fluffy, this was anything but, and I am so happy she wrote something like this. I forgot how amazing a book can feel that gives you such intense emotions while reading and that makes you hope the characters will make it.
Switchback is definitely an intense ride and one I never knew I needed. I definitely need more books like this in my life. If you need to cool down on a hot summer day, because the way she describes the cold in this books, will chill you to the bone!
Of course, I’m not the only one participating in the blog tour for Switchback. To see a list of the other amazing blog participating, click here. The links are updated daily with the tour posts.
Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens: INTERNET FAMOUS (Macmillan, 2017) and ALL THE FEELS (Macmillan, 2016); and adults THE DARK DIVIDE (Stonehouse, 2018) and EDGE OF WILD (Stonehouse, 2016).
Ms. Stone’s work has received both recognition and literary praise. In 2017, Chapters included EDGE OF WILD in “Our Favourite Canadian Fiction”, and INTERNET FAMOUS was nominated for the R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature (2018) as well as selected as one of Fierce Reads’ “9 Perfect Summertime Reads” (2017). EDGE OF WILD (previously entitled TATHAGATA) was a quarter-finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel of the Year Award (2013), a finalist in the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize (2015), and took second place in the Publish or Perish contest (2015). ALL THE FEELS was selected for Swoon Reads’ fourth list (2015) and was nominated for YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (2016), and for CYBILS’ Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (2016).
Ms. Stone’s books have been reviewed by VOYA, Teen Reads, and School Library Journal. Danika has also featured in the BN Teen Blog, Clash, Quillable, Fierce Reads, Lethbridge Living Magazine, CJSR’s Word, and on CBC’s Daybreak.
When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.
Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.
The US/CAN readers can participate in a tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a print copy of Switchback. The giveaway ends June 6th.
Danika Stone did something I never expected her to write and I can’t wait to read her next book. Have you read any YA books that have characters trying to survive like these two? Let me know in the comments. I need more of these books.