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Kill Switch

2.98  ·  Rating details ·  300 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Some things are best left forgotten. A gripping account of espionage and loyalty from National Book Award Finalist Chris Lynch.

All Daniel wants to do is spend one last summer with his grandfather before he moves away for college and his grandfather’s dementia pulls them apart. But when his dear old Da starts to let things slip about the job he used to hold—people he’s kill
Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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2.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  300 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Interesting premise. Poor execution. In the end, "Kill Switch" left me wishing I had killed the switch on this one, instead of sticking with it. Generally, I appreciate Chris Lynch's writing.

Da/Old Boy - Daniel Cameron/Young Man/Danny/Dan/D.C./District of Columbia
Grandfather - Grandson
suffering from memory loss? - sane?
a man with a past? - a seventeen year old boy wanting to create a future
vulnerable? - protector?
docile? - violent?

At first, the premise of "Kill Switch" is intriguing. It is the s
May 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book had a great premise, but really fell short on delivery. Plot was choppy and filled with holes. Hated the ending.
Rich Rosell
Jan 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
There's a blurb on the jacket that calls this “a compact, frayed-nerves bundle of brilliance".
I must have read a different book, because the one I read was very boring....
Lex W
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
It was a really unique and interesting topic. And in the middle I couldn't read fast enough, until it started going no where. And unfortunately that's where it seemed to end.
There needed to be more to this story.
Eric Kneisler
Oct 21, 2014 rated it liked it
I thought this book was ok, but it is not one of my favorites. I didn't like the way it would switch points of view. It was hard to follow at times. I also thought the quick change from normal to violent that happened with the main character was not real. There is no real ending to the story. It is like it is a part of the story, not the whole story. I guess I didn't really get that.

Setting: Boston, a small unnamed village where they try to hide Da, most of the book takes place on the road in a
Hrrngh. Why would you do this to me, Chris Lynch, why?? I really wanted to like this book; I bought it just because it had his name on it. I read Inexcusable and loved it, and I read Angry Young Man and loved it. But I just couldn't get into this one.

One of my main issues with the book was that it was confusing. I mean, if you don't exactly get what's going on in a story unless you read the cover blurb, then that's confusing. And after reading the whole thing, I STILL don't quite know what was u
Kill Switch is Chris Lynch’s latest young adult book. It is a character study about two males – one young and one old- and delves into what makes a person flip their switch into violent mode. Daniel, referred to as Young Man is the narrator of Kill Switch. He spends a lot of time with his aging grandfather, Da, referred to as Old Boy.
Read the rest of my review here
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Oh, man, this book is good. Tightly told and wryly funny book by Chris Lynch. Not a spare word. The blurbs and descriptions claim it's a thriller about espionage. I don't think it's a thriller--it's about the humanity of a grandson for his grandfather.
Julie A
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Despite others' lackluster reviews, I thought it was a pretty decent YA thriller. No, it doesn't have a race-to-the-end finale; the end was actually pretty subdued, but that didn't make it BAD. In fact, I thought the premise was original, the characters lively and interesting, and the plot had some decent twists.
Daniel loves his Da, and Da seems to have a special regard for Daniel, so the summer before he leaves for college, Daniel is determined to make the most of his time with "the old man,"
Grace Owen
Jul 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The idea behind this book was quite interesting, but Chris Lynch did not execute it very well. The book is dull, and if I'm honest, I was quite confused in many parts. I didn't know who was speaking or what they were talking about. He seemed to be implying things, but I could not figure out what he was implying. In many parts, I wasn't sure if I was reading it correctly. I wasn't exactly sure what he meant. It was confusing and boring. I almost gave up many many MANY many times. But I always sti ...more
Anthony Lara
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
The book I read is Kill switch by Chris Lynch about a girl Daniel going to see her grandfather for the summer that has dementia. Her grandfather also called Da used to work with a government agency. They tried to kill him from spilling some secrets but he got away. This novel is entertaining and tiring because there's lots of talking and not much action but some mysterie. For example halfway through the story, the main character talks about how her life is boring and she doesn't see family which ...more
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
The book starts off in the summer with the main character, Daniel, taking care of his grandfather. His grandfather (which Daniel calls Da) suffers from dementia. As he slowly succumbs to the disease, Da starts slipping top secret information about his past life that no one knew about. Soon Daniel and Da have to flee from many threats; Daniel is determined to protect Da. Will they make it out okay? Read to find out.
I do have a few critiques about the book though. The author included lots of deta
Jul 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
169 pages of nothing happening, I have not read a book that felt more like a waste of my time. There was an attempt at a plot, but not a good one. Like someone had a vague idea for a story, and immediately wrote it all down in one sitting without putting any real thought into it. The whole thing was just not good.
Jason Farrell
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
I didn't think this book was that good. I certainly have read books that are much, much better than this. This book was very boring and not exciting to me. I didn't want to keep reading to find out what happens next I just read because I had to. I would not recommend this book to anyone, it is supposed to be a thriller but it really isn't, it is just a boring story.
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I will never forget the name Chris Lynch. INEXCUSABLE, published in 2005, was a National Book Award Finalist and one of YALSA's Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults. And I have yet to have anyone tell me something nice about INEXCUSABLE in person. So I've never particularly wanted to read that book, but I've been curious about Chris Lynch.

I couldn't resist the blurb for KILL SWITCH. You mention assassins and I am there. Of course, it also mentioned dementia. At this point I have to accept that bo
Leaving home for college is always a milestone in a young person’s life, but for Daniel, the summer after his senior year is all the more unforgettable when he embarks on a danger-filled mission to help his beloved grandfather, Da. Memory loss, confusion, strange tales from the past, acts of violence, and a tendency towards ruthless domineering characterize Da, who has a special bond with Daniel not shared by the rest of the family. To his own son, Da was neglectful and cold, to his granddaughte ...more
BAYA Librarian
Jul 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Leaving home for college is always a milestone in a young person’s life, but for Daniel, the summer after his senior year is all the more unforgettable when he embarks on a danger-filled mission to help his beloved grandfather, Da. Memory loss, confusion, strange tales from the past, acts of violence, and a tendency towards ruthless domineering characterize Da, who has a special bond with Daniel not shared by the rest of the family. To his own son, Da was neglectful and cold, to his granddaughte ...more
J. Evans
Oct 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Interest Level: 9th and up (It could be read by MS, but the main character just graduated high school, and there's some drug use.)

Daniel loves his grandfather; at least, he loved the grandfather he used to have. Now their relationship is different. One moment, his father's father, or "Da," is a strong, independent man. The next, Da is scared and confused, utterly handicapped by the crippling effects of dementia. As Daniel attempts to care for his grandfather while holding on to their bond, some
Ultimately fascinating, frustrating, thought-provoking. What if we all had a trigger -- a reason we might resort to murder? That's the kill switch...that moment, that motivator, that trigger. Dan is devoted to his grandfather, Da, and grieves as he watches his granddad drift deeper and deeper into dementia. He's losing his hero inch by inch.

But as the condition often does, it seems to highlight long-term memories, hidden memories. Dan begins to realize Da's stories of his long-time job with the
Daniel loves his grandfather, Da, and is looking forward to spending one more summer with him before heading off to college. As Da’s dementia is worsening, Daniel knows that their time together is limited before his Da loses all control of his mind and memories.

When Da starts talking about violent exploits abroad in his younger days and a former colleague of Da’s warns Daniel to help Da by having him avoid talking about his work, Daniel doesn’t know if this is true or just dementia. Daniel’s fam
Jul 30, 2012 rated it liked it
This had great potential but was a little hard to follow with a rambling narrative.

The plot: 18 yr. old Daniel has always had a close relationship with his grandfather (whom he calls Da). But lately Da's dementia is getting worse, and it seems to have drawn some unsavory characters from his past into the present. Is Da just making up stories or imagining things when he begins to tell Daniel of top secret operations he completed during his career...which perhaps was a career working in covert ope
Eli Denslow
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Kill Switch is another governmental thriller by Chris Lynch. It is a fictional story about Daniel who thinks him and his family are living a normal life. This story follows the view of Daniel as he learns more about his Grandpa Da.

All Daniel wants to do is spend one last summer with his grandfather before he moves away for college. His grandfather is having a life ending dementia. But when his Da starts to let things slip about the job he used to have and the people he’s killed, countries
Apr 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: teenbooks
Kill Switch has the most fascinating premise--what would happen if a former spy/spook developed Alzheimers and suddenly began talking about classified black ops? Daniel's grandfather has always told great stories, but the stories are beginning to have a frightening edge. When Da's co-workers begin to show up and make threatening insinuations about putting Da in a "home," Daniel and his Da end up on the run. During their flight, Da becomes increasingly violent and ruthless, willing to do anything ...more
Daniel is the one person in his family who puts up with his Da's crazy habits. The old man has dementia and is less and less like his old self every day. Daniel is there to hold him together, to bring him back to reality. But more and more his Da talks about his old job, working for a government agriculture agency...only his stories have less to do with farming than with torture, kidnapping and government secrets. When Da's old work friends start taking an interest in the crazy things Da says, D ...more
Shweta Veda
Jul 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
I picked this book up from the library with high expectations. Let me just say up and front that I could not have been more disappointed. With lack in mind of what was the worst thing about this book, let me start with the language. I don't mind foul language in novels, I really don't, as long as it suits the character's personality. The language style and fluidity in this book was really annoying me. There was no format to some of the Grandfather's thoughts (perhaps an attempt to express his de ...more
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Kill Switch pulls you in and throws surprises all along the way. At the opening it appears that Daniel or Young Man as his grandfather calls him, is spending his last summer caring for his Da, an eccentric old man with Alzheimer's. Daniel was always close to Da and he wonders why his dad never was. Then it seems that stuff he remembers may not be make believe, but the memories of a life and career not for the Department of Agriculture, but a life of violence. When 2 guys he worked with keep show ...more
Amber Myers
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was ok

My Rating

Interesting book that keeps you wondering what is up with Daniel and his family. Daniel seems to care about his family a lot especially his grandfather who Daniel proves he will do anything for him.
You have some really interesting characters between Da, Daniel and even Daniel's cousin Jarrod. Jarrod a useless character more or less but helps out. Daniel, the one who cares and doesn't know what he is actually capable of tell something happen
Jillian Tuten
Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Daniel's beloved grandfather, Da, is in the advanced stages of dementia, so Daniel wants to spend his summer before heading off to college doing all their favorite things together. He feels closer to Da than anyone in his family and is rather possessive of him. Sometimes Da talks a little crazy -- what's that about watching horse races in Saudi Arabia? Didn't he just have a desk job at the Department of Agriculture? What does he mean he spent a lot of time in Angola? When Da's former workmates s ...more
Chris Halkovic
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Kill switch is a fictional book about Daniels grandfather who is dealing with dementia. They are trying to figure out if his grandfather was involved in a world of assassinations and coups or if he is just delusional of his unwell mind.
This book is directed towards Daniel and his grandfather. Daniel has dedicated his whole summer to his grandfather since Daniel is going off to college. In the time Daniel and his grandfather have together Daniel is going to make sure he has an amazing time.
In thi
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Chris Lynch is the Printz Honor Award-winning author of several highly acclaimed young adult novels, including KILL SWITCH, ANGRY YOUNG MAN, and INEXCUSABLE, which was a National Book Award finalist and the recipient of six starred reviews. He is also the author of FREEWILL, GOLD DUST, ICEMAN, GYPSY DAVY, and SHADOWBOXER, all ALA Best Books for Young Adults; EXTREME ELVIN WHITECHURCH, and ALL THE ...more
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