IMAGINE THAT you could change your world with the flip of a switch. You might be prettier, more athletic, more popular, or even living on an exotic island, because your history—your world line—would be different. But here’s the catch: you have no way of knowing if the reality on the other side of that switch will be better…or much worse.
JACOBUS ROSE is a fifteen year-old who believes—as many fifteen year-olds do—that his life could use improvement. School is a numbing routine, and his parents’ marriage seems to be imploding before his eyes. ‘Maybe I was born into the wrong world,’ he thinks. Lured by his best friend, CONNOR, into a strange little house containing nothing but empty rooms and an oversized circuit breaker, he’ll discover that reality comes in a plural form, and that our choices create a continuous web of branching worlds, any of which is as ‘real’ as another.
A solo odyssey becomes a duo, a trio, and then a quartet, as Jacobus befriends other interdimensional travelers along the way: GORDON NIGHTSHADE, the veteran pilgrim and chief theorist; MOSES DeWITT, the alley cat with an old soul; JEMMA DOONE, a girl of many-worlds who becomes the main river home for Jacobus and his crew; and finally, his lost friend Connor, who just may have preferred an alternate universe to his own.
THE SWITCH is the story of their journey home. The question is: if they get there, will it be the same place they left behind?
Thanks NetGalley for giving me an ARC of this book.
GUYSSS THIS WAS MY FIRST REAL LIVE ARC AND IT DIDNT EXACTLY DISAPPOINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, I had a couple of issues with the book but it was actually really good!!
Let's start at the beginning.
Don't you ever wish you could switch your life around? Cut out certain details to make it better? Well now introducing.... THE SWITCH!
See what happens is there's this tenth grade guy named Jacobus who's really not into some aspects of his life. Him and his best friend Connor stumble across this weird house that's not even on the ground.
Soooo OBVIOUSLY they check it out....
To find it empty. Save for one switch. Oh and a lightbulb.
So there's people are young and curious enough to pull that switch, which they proceed to do. Of course they completely ignore the Latin warning that's near the switch...
But the switch doesn't even pull all the way. It takes both their combined strength to pull it down- and even then, not all the way.
Then suddenly, Connor goes all wide eyed and runs away from Jacobus, which, obviously, is weird.
Jacobus heads home, eager to devour the Oreos he had stashed. But there was only one problem.
In the place of Oreos were healthy snacks, and in the place of quarreling parents were two parents giggling over something on TV.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
Jacobus realizes he's been transported to another world where his parents are happy together, his best friend is his enemy and his enemy is his best friend.
HELL YES, GIMME THAT WORLD JUMPING!
The story goes on from there! And YES he pulls the switch a LOT of times.
Some adventures include finding mapmakers, saving a certain damsel in distress, and fighting off a large... Thing. (CANT SPOIL!)
And the side characters are SO. WELL. WRITTEN!!
But I had a few issues with the book.
1) A tad racist? I could be wrong with this one. No, actually, I am. I don't think anyone would intentionally write in racism in their books unless it develops a plot. But... See that's the thing. Jacobus interacts with a lot of people, but something about how he introduced them seemed... Off. Racist. But barely.
2)I am a kid at heart! I wish Jacobus was a 12-year-old. He's what? 15,16 right now. Tenth grade. But the high school thing didn't work for me.. It just seemed like he was a still not mature. Maybe that was the intention but tenth graders aren't really like that. The way he speaks, the way he thinks, everything! It just SCREAMS 12-year-old. It would've been SOOO much better, and much more scope. This was, at best, captivating, and at worst, mildly irritating.
Still, I got the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy vibe, which was why I continued reading the book. The plot twists are good and story had totally improbable moments, which I loved.
So yeah.. Not bad, but maybe hoped for better. Still, like I said, I'm glad this was my first ARC. I liked it.
The Switch by A.W. Hill, Nathanael Hill is a book I requested from NetGalley and the book publishers and the review is voluntary. This book is a terrific sci-fi teen book that had me reading and loving every page! The characters were well developed and seemed like people you knew yourself. The science was introduced in a way that didn't overwhelm and was fun and interesting. The 'switch' came when one of the boys flipped a switch and the next day they noticed things were a lot different in their world. It reminded me of Quantum Leap, an old show on TV I loved with a touch of the movie The One because it was alternate realities of the same persons. Pretty heady stuff but a lot of fun. A great read all the way around. Lots of action, adventure, suspense, wild but wonderful plot, and great characters. Not much for time travel books but this was absolutely awesome!
Multiverse!!! So satisfied and happy and my imagination is firing all over the place and I wanna go on that ride again!!! Dialling ... 1-2-3-0-0 ...
I did the Dory thing with The Switch. I was so excited to read it and then before I started I got distracted by "ooh look, a book!". New ones piled up and while this one wasn't forgotten it lay in the middle of my brain trying desperately to climb its way to the top. So I'm late reading this one and kicking myself for it because I could've been living in Jacobus' worlds weeks ago! Well, I'm here now and wow, what a ride!
The moral to this story (option 1): If you see a switch in a red house on a truck that's not connected to electricity yet has a lightbulb turned on inside and there's a sign in Latin next to the switch, maybe pop those words into Google and translate them before you flick the switch. Unless you're Jacobus or Connor. If you are, just go for it!!!
As I was reading this book I kept thinking back to being obsessed with The Butterfly Effect when the first movie was released. For me, this was so many levels above The Butterfly Effect. The characters in this book weren't the only travellers. I travelled with them through all of the worlds and I want to experience it all over again. I don't know the last time I used this word but I kept thinking as I was reading that this book is exquisite. Father and son team A.W. Hill and Nathanael Hill have exploded my brain in such a wonderful way!
It is deep, so deep you could get in over your head if you don't pay attention but if you take the time to read carefully, you'll be rewarded greatly. The way that the knowledge of how travelling works is doled out in bite sized pieces is fantastic because otherwise my brain could have exploded from information overload instead, but as the characters learned more, I learned more. Then each time my brain said, "But hold on. How does that work? Why did that happen?", one of the characters would ask something similar and my answer would come, usually from sweet, adorable, geeky, wise, catcher outfit wearing Gordon.
I know just enough sciencey stuff to be dangerous but not enough to be able to discuss the scientific validity of the events in this book so I'll leave that for a different breed of nerd. However I was given the imagination bone (Huh? It's not a bone?) and from an imagination standpoint, the authors get a jumping up and down ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ from me. As a token of my appreciation I gathered each star from a different world for them and boy, was it awkward carrying them all home!
Some serious thought has gone into the way the universes work in The Switch - which rules apply universally, which rules rely on whether you pulled a switch or not, which parts of you remain you regardless of the universe you're in.
The moral to this story (option 2): The grass is not always greener on the other side. Who knows whether their grass is green or if they even have grass over there at all?!
In case you can't tell, I loved this book. I loved the characters. I loved the concept. I loved the execution. I love that it got my brain all tingly, wanting to learn. I love that it got my imagination doing gymnastics in my mind. I love the message that our choices have the power to change our world.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley (thank you so much to NetGalley and Curiosity Quills Press for the opportunity) in exchange for honest feedback.
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This read wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be, but it was an adventurous one nonetheless. It is creative and imaginative, but in ways, I found it lacked a visual element. I often had a hard time placing myself in the different worlds.
The story centers around a young boy on the verge of being a teenager, young Jacobus Rose, who decides to explore a mysterious red house attached to a large truck one day after school. In this house, he and his best friend, Connor, discover a large old looking switch and nothing more. Being curious, as most boys that age are, they decide to pull the switch to see what happens. After flipping the switch, a single light in the center of the room dims and they realize that it's nothing more than a large light switch. How very odd. Deciding they better hurry home, Jacobus discovers something odd, a sudden change in the weather, in Chicago the spring weather has been known to be unpredictable, but not quite like this. Once Jacobus reaches home he discovers something else that's odd, his parents are getting along, they never get along? And the Oreos, what happened to the Oreos? In his room there were several baseball trophies, he didn't play baseball? He decided he needed to call Connor, he had to talk to Connor! Only when he phoned Connor he learned that he and Connor were mortal enemies. What was happening?
This is were the novel kind of reminded me of Coraline. An alternate reality, is it better, or is it worse? Whose to really say? At first, I was really liking where the story was heading. That is until Jacobus and his soon to be new traveler friends start venturing into more worlds and each new world was more far-fetched than the next. I guess it wasn't so much that I didn't buy into the different worlds, so much as how they characters didn't fit into them. At the start, Jacobus, Connor, Jemma, Hartun... they all fit into the alternate realities. In the new worlds, it was as if they were never part of that world. I think I would have preferred if when they traveled to the different worlds if they were somehow already connected to those worlds having to figure out how they were a part of it and what their roles were. Because it lacked connection, I lost a bit of interest.
I think I also lost interest at times because I couldn't quite visualize some of the more far advanced worlds. I think the descriptive writing lacked at times. I will say however, that I did find that the character development was very well put together. I did enjoy each of the characters in the book and they fit into the story nicely. I liked the connection between Jacobus and his fellow travelers. Though, I will say that they seemed far more mature for their age.
It was an interesting read, full of adventure and scientific wonder. Some lacking in credibility, some possibility. At the heart of it all though, it centers around an unbreakable bond. A connection that can seemingly stay with you no matter the universe. The possibility of an actual soulmate. A very touching and human desire.
I want to thank NetGalley, Curiosity Quills Press, A.W. Hill, and Nathanel Hill for allowing me the chance to read this novel in exchange for my review.
I don't normally rate DNF's but I got this book in exchange for a review and normally I try my hardest not to DNF eARCs that have been given to me but I just had to for this one. I did manage to get halfway which is why I'm reviewing it properly. (normally I'll DNF books by 20% or before).
The main issue I had with it wasn't that it was badly written or boring it was just that the target age felt wrong? I was expecting YA and the main character is 15 which I guess is on the lower edge but he really came across younger than that. The writing and storyline both came across more as middle grade fantasy too. Which is fine, I like a good middle grade adventure but it just felt a bit confused which is sad because the idea is great. Also sometimes the characters motivations were vague. Sometimes the main character cared greatly about everything and other times he didn't seem to care at all. Going from not being bothered that your best friend is gone to risking everybodys' lives for a girl you had a crush on is - off. I feel like that was the only reason the character was made 15. If the character had been aged down to 12 then I think everything would have fitted a bit better. The other thing is that it's written in a humorous, diary type way that pulls you away from the plot which again is fine in some cases but maybe if it had been written in a deeper pov the motivations and feelings would have been clearer. As it is, it distances you from the action which I feel like is a no go for YA. It could have been a great middle grade fantasy and maybe people who enjoy those exciting but lighter books would really like this one but for me everything was just a little bit confused.
I received a free e-copy through NetGalley from the publishers at Curiosity Quills Press. The whole time I was reading this book, I was thinking it sounded exactly like something my friend Roberta at Offbeat YA would like. Then I looked closer and saw that it was a Curiosity Quills Press book, and I knew she would! I highly recommend reading her review, since she’s much more qualified to speak about this genre than I am.
When Jacobus and his friend Connor discover a massive switch inside an old red house, they feel compelled to pull it and see what happens. At first, they think nothing has changed, but when Jacobus gets home, he realizes that he and Connor have been transported into an alternate world. It’s almost exactly like the old one with a few unsettling differences, and Jacobus continues seeking out switches and catapulting himself into alternate worlds as he tries to get home.
This is almost a totally new genre for me. I don’t read a lot of science fiction (unless it says Christopher Pike on the cover), and I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book that directly engages multiple worlds theory. I can’t speak to whether this is an original interpretation of the idea or not, but I can say that the writing itself is quite good and that the Hills do a nice job keeping the science on a level that’s accessible to the average reader. I never felt like I was in so far I couldn’t understand, although occasionally it seems like there are a few too many concepts introduced to really do them justice. There’s only about a paragraph on entanglement before Jacobus’s inner monologue moves on to other things, and I would have liked to see the novel try to tackle one or two of those in more depth.
The characters are good; they’re more interesting and unique than a lot of mainstream fiction, and while I don’t have a lot of strong feelings about Jacobus (that happens with narrators), I really like his companions. Gordon and Mose are clever and brave, and Jemma is strong and coolheaded. For some reason, Gordon’s attachment to his catcher’s uniform really struck a chord with me. He’s been traveling through worlds for an incomprehensible amount of time; I’d want something that made me feel protected too, and it does a lot to demonstrate the characters’ vulnerability. Of all of them, he was my favorite. I never could resist a smart character.
The only problem I had with the novel is, I think, inherent in its type. I get tired quickly of a universe where anything can happen, and I like my stories with more limitations. Things are defined, in part, by their limitations, and things are less interesting when anything can happen. I also got weary of all the scenery changes as the characters hopped worlds, and I could have done with one or two fewer of those. It’s hard to establish a setting when the characters are constantly moving on (a lot like a road trip novel, and you know how I feel about those), and without a consistent setting, it’s difficult to feel grounded in the novel. I feel like the Hills try to counteract this with consistent characters and the similarities among the worlds that keep resurfacing, and it works to some extent. I never felt like I was in a totally nonsense-reality like Alice in Wonderland, but it wasn’t quite to my tastes either.
This isn’t the the kind of book where everything is wrapped up neatly at the end, and there are many questions left unanswered. The book has thematic closure though, and more than that, it’s a rather smart novel that intelligently entertains a lot of interesting concepts. I’m okay with some open-endedness that leaves room for the authors to return to this world, should they ever want to. As far as forays into science fiction go, I think The Switch falls on the better end.
I review regularly at brightbeautifulthings.tumblr.com.
Thank you to Netgalley and Curiosity Quills Press for an early edition of this book in exchange for my honest review.
The Switch by A.W. Hill and Nathaneal Hill is about a switch; a switch that when used will allow the user to travel into different versions of their own universe. The young protagonist in the story, Jacobus Rose, is unhappy with his teenage life. He wants things to change. With the help of his friend, Connor, they flick a switch and begin their search for a new life. Little do they know how difficult and dangerous this will be. Meeting with more friends and banding together to form a motley crew, the reader follows Jacobus and his friends as they try to get back to their original lives, away from the chaos they find themselves in.
I really wanted to like this book. I really, really wanted to like this book and I am shocked I did not. I searched other people’s reviews and they are largely positive so I have no idea why I am one of the minority there. I thought the premise of the novel was intriguing and despite not being a fan of sci-fi, I thought I would read this and review. Unfortunately, my experience with this novel has proved that I am probably never going to be interested in sci-fi so I apologise to any sci-fi fans out there.
First of all, the writing divided me. On one hand, the authors are experts at setting the scene. Their descriptions were unique and artful all at once. I could see each universe vividly with no gaps in my knowledge. The post-apocalyptic universes that Jacobus and his friends find themselves stuck in were the best described and I actually wish the whole book could have been set in those interesting universes. However, the authors are not always artful. They fail in their writing in some parts. Some of the scientific ‘mumbo-jumbo’ was far too convoluted. I understand if you are a sci-fi fan and are used to reading about alternate realities, traveling, multiverses, etc, but as someone choosing this as one of their rare sci-fi picks, I felt lost and excluded from the conversation. I had to stop several times and go back a few pages to figure out what on earth was being said. I still think I missed quite a lot. I feel that things could have been simplified as I felt there was quite a bit of repetition and some questions asked or answers given seemed misplaced and as if they were not necessary.
I did find a few positives to this novel.
1.The plot is so unique. The flick of a switch can transport you to a completely different universe, where you may never have been born or could have been born into a different family or different time. It’s very interesting. I have never heard of anything similar and that is what pulled me in. I would definitely give the book 5 stars for individuality.
2. The characters are great. There are 4-5 members of the motley crew and each have an interesting back story and have a unique bond with each other. All of the characters are likeable and you want to get to know them further, and the reader roots for these characters to find their way back to their original world. There is a small bit of romance as well as great bonding movements throughout which is something I like to see in a young adult novel. It was definitely a redeeming factor in a disappointing novel (in my opinion).
Okay so the part you have all been waiting for, why is this so disappointing? I just feel it is so convoluted in places. Not only do you have to read a couple of pages of multiverse or alternate reality talk and still have to go back and read it again to fully understand, but also the characters switch to so many different universes that you do not actually get a moment to enjoy and appreciate the places the authors are creating. The ‘hive’ post-apocalyptic world could have been discussed for half of the novel and it would have still packed the punch that the authors were looking for but you get a few chapters in this universe and then you are onto another one. Some of the universes were a snooze-fest and I am not going to lie, I used this book a lot as a ‘I am struggling to sleep, this will do the trick’ and you know you are not happy with the book when you cannot keep your eyes open reading it. Don’t get me wrong, I was reading page after page in some parts and was so involved in it but then it would take a boring turn and I’d be gone again.
I do not really have much more that I can say about the novel. Whilst reading it, I was dreading the review process because I did not know what to say or how I could say it. I am actually disappointed in my own review as I just feel I could shrug my shoulders at the book. So I am very sorry for a shoddy review but it definitely reflects my feelings.
My next review will definitely be more interesting (and well-written) as I am going to dive back into the genres that I love and can ramble on for days about!
Thank you again to Netgalley and Curiosity Quills for the early copy and I am sorry it did not work out.
I give this book a generous 2 stars based on the fact I liked the characters and the idea
I received an ebook copy of this novel to review from NetGalley, but that does not influence my opinion.
The plot of this novel grabbed my attention right away, as did the cover. It conveys the most important aspects of this novel, from the rustic typography, to the hand pulling the switch. This novel was unlike anything I have read before - and I have read a lot of books. There were plot twists that I didn't see coming, and ones that enhanced the overall climax of the story. Was the world completely developed? No, but it is young adult so I didn't have too high expectations.
This was a very interesting sci-fi novel that brings readers on a journey with its characters crossing different worlds. However, I need to be honest - the characters in this novel did not meet my expectations. The main characters, specifically Jacobus, were not as unique or developed as they could have been, and this really hindered my experience. We are reading about travelling between different worlds and alternate universes, but their personalities were much too flat.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel but it will not go down as one of my favourites. I do not generally read a lot of sci-fi, so it was a good exposure to the genre for me. I would recommend this to readers a little bit younger than myself (probably best for teenagers), as it was very engaging and extremely unique! It was published yesterday, so make sure you check it out and let me know what you think!
The Switch was something i haven't read in a while. I've been reading lots more crime/saga stuff, so to break the monotony i decided to go back to something i love but rarely read. A bit of sic-fi fantasy. We've all been there haven't we? At a crossroads or a place in our lives where a decision that may seem insignificant at the time, later proves to be a life changing moment. Well, what would happen if BOTH choices were made and carried on as parallel worlds? Each one then leading on to another and another ( i think you get where i'm going with this). The Switch actually explores this possibility. Focusing around Jacobus, he flips an innocent looking switch one afternoon with his friend Connor and is then taken on a journey that is life changing and mind blowing. There is no guarantee that the world you go to will be any better than the one you've left. Would you continue? Jacobus is a determined 15 yr old who decides he has to keep going until he's home. Along the way he meets and connects with others who share the same thing, they're travellers. Each one from a different world but linked somehow through space and time. The book is written in such a way as to be understood without losing the reader completely in technical and scientific terminology. I'll be honest, this is a subject myself and my husband often discuss, parallel universes/different times etc.. so this for me was an extremely interesting read. As we travel from world to world with this band of travellers we discover, in essence, the grass isn't always greener. We go from modern day Chicago, to a dystopian society, to the Syrian desert in the midst of battle. The author/s write with certainty and knowledge to give us a book that is interesting, fantastical and yet somehow, wholly believable. The storyline was excellent and well written, and awarded the characters the depth they deserve. I really enjoyed this book and would definitely look for more from this pair. Thank you Netgalley, the publishers and the authors for this ARC. Although received as such, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
If you could change something about your life or travel to a different universe, would you? If you find a switch, in the middle of nowhere would you switch it? This was a very fun read for me and an interesting book. I enjoyed the Multiverse part of this book. I was immersed in what the switch was and if the characters should use it and what a great imagination the author had for this book and in this story. *This book was given to me for free at my request by Netgalley and I provided this voluntary review.*
I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
On the way home from school with his best friend, Connor, Jacobus Rose sees a red house that he has never seen before. They both decide to enter it and find a huge switch. It looks very out of place in his house so they decide to pull it. After a couple tries because it’s really hard to pull, they finally succeed and fall on the floor. When Jacobus gets up, he is surprised to see that Connor runs away from him. He gets even more surprised when he gets home and finds that everything in his life is different… He then understands that he has been switched into a parallel universe.
I mostly enjoyed this book. I found the plot to be interesting and unpredictable. The different universes were very well painted, original and interesting. However, I didn’t really like Jacobus. He mostly annoyed me and I couldn’t connect with him. The side characters were ok, but nothing more. I really didn’t fall for any of the characters. Also, I had trouble getting into the “science” part of the book. And it mostly sounded like illogical nonsense to me. I also found there was many things that didn’t make sense to me and I finished the book with even more questions than answers...
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book in return for an honest review. I really enjoy a book that makes you think, go aha, then think again. The Switch absolutely makes you stop and think about science, the universe and the possibilities for moving through time and space. What would happen if you suddenly found yourself living a totally different version of your life - people who were your friends are now your enemies and vice versa? You look in the mirror and you are not the same person you were when you last looked. Jacobus Rose, a teenager living a fairly benign existence, finds himself on the adventure of many lifetimes when he and his best friend, Connor, enter a peculiar little house and pull an oversized switch, somewhat like a circuit breaker. He now finds that he has opened the pathway to other worlds and he begins traveling through them as various forms of 'the switch' are pulled. Jacobus finds that Connor is not always the Connor of his world and that there are others traveling through these paths as well. Moses, Jemma, and Gordan become part of his many new existences and significant pieces of the puzzle that he must solve in order to find his way back to the person he once was and the world that it all began in. I really liked this book because it challenged me to really see the world in a new way. All the characters and their relationships were quite convincing though I do think perhaps Jacobus was set a little too old for some of the naivety within his belief system. There were times when I probably would have been more convinced if he was a fraction younger but that really didn't stop me from enjoying the adventure. Certainly, some people look at life with different eyes so why not have a fifteen-year-old who hasn't become too jaded to see life simply. Each world Jacobus found himself in was well shaped and most times I was able to get lost in what the authors were creating. There were only a couple of times when the need to think about what they were explaining broke the magic of the story being told. Overall this is a story well worth many a young adult's attention and one that would work for any science fiction fan.
Note: I received a review copy of this book via Netgalley. This in no way influences my opinion.
I first discovered this book on Netgalley. The cover is eye catching and the premise sounded extremely promising - so of course, I had to request it! However, for me, this book fell flat and didn't live up to its promise - I ended up DNFing.
I think my biggest issue with this book was the writing style itself. Whilst I don't mind the author breaking the fourth wall and having the characters' speak directly to the reader, it has to be done right for it be successful. For me, it wasn't done right and was written more as if the character was stood with me talking to me, rather than hooking me into the story itself. The writing was very much "and then this happened, and then that happened..." which irritated and bored me. The writing style itself affected the execution and it just didn't work for me.
Another issue I had with this book was the plot. Whilst the premise sounded extremely promising, I don't feel that the plot lived up to my expectations. It was relatively repetitive, which made me want to put the book down and do something else. I loved the idea of multiple realities and all of them being different, but I would have liked to have seen more of the reality that he switched to before he switched again. The multiple switches in such a short space of time meant that we didn't really get to see a lot from the other characters and how they changed etc.
Which brings us to the next issue, which was the characters. They fell mostly flat for me, but I think that was because the authors didn't give us enough time to really get to know and care about the characters before switching them out for another reality and a new set of personalities. I didn't have that reader/character connection because I felt that I wasn't given the opportunity to really get to know anyone other than Jacobus
All in all, I was pretty disappointed with this book. Whilst the premise itself was extremely promising, I don't feel that it lived up to that promise. I gave this 1/5 stars.
**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Curiosity Quills Press in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. Thank you for this opportunity!**
Jacobus Rose isn't completely happy with his life. It's not absolutely terrible, but he wishes some improvement could be made. As he's walking home with his friend Connor, the life he knows is suddenly flipped upside down. The boys stumble upon a small red house sitting on a truck. Even more odd, the house contains one single (somehow lit) light bulb, and a large factory-standard switch. In typical 15-year-old curiosity, they decide to pull it. Suddenly, Jacobus finds himself thrust in another world, one parallel to his own. He soon meets Gordon Nightshade, a seasoned traveler of this sort. A scheme to get home is hatched, but to Jacobus's dismay, he keeps spiraling into newer and weirder worlds. How many realities can there be? Will he ever find home?
This book was honestly a lot of fun. The characters were all so vividly portrayed and gave so much to the story. The main character had such a genuine and unique voice. Though the characters are so great, this is a highly plot-driven novel that keeps you on the edge of you seat to the very last sentence. Honestly the best word I can think of for this book is "gripping." I'm not sure I could have gotten more invested in this story. It's not just the characters that entranced me here. These authors put so much thought into every aspect of this book. The science and logic behind it all is highly intriguing.
If you like puzzling through theories and physics, this book is for you.
If you like being dazzled by creative world building instead of science, this book is still for you.
If you're a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, this book is DEFINITELY for you!
Seriously, it's only $4.99 on ebook for such a stellar read, so why wouldn't you read it?
i received an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. thank you to curiosity quills press!
i'm as big as the universe.
This book was so good, I barely have words for it. It really reminded me of Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter, though without the competing with your alternate selves element.
I loved all the different realities, and how they kept getting weirder and weirder. They all had really interesting concepts, and it was a great idea to kind of have a character from each world - Mose from Jerrold’s reality, Jemma from the dystopian reality, Connor from the beach reality, etc. Each had their own experiences and feelings, which contributed to a really interesting group dynamic. And everyone learned from each other, which is always important.
I loved Gordon! He’s probably the smartest youngest character I’ve ever met. I love scientific discussion about time travel/wormholes/alternate realities, and Gordon definitely fulfilled that, though I couldn’t always understand him. But neither could Jacobus or Mose, so it was nice to have some of it simplified. His catcher’s gear being his “protection” was a nice touch, because even though it seemed weird at first, it ultimately meant something to him, and the universe, as the Mapmaker gave it back. The Mapmaker was such a cool concept. They were so obviously wise, and I’m so glad they provided answers to questions the group (and I) had. I was so sad when Gordon was left behind, but it was nice knowing that he was doing an important job, one he was meant to do. And it was even better seeing him at the end! That was a really great cameo, and doesn’t leave the readers with questions about where/how he ends up.
Jacobus was an amazing narrator. He was very personable and relatable. Like, he’s traveling through different realities, but he still felt down to earth. He seemed to be so persuasive, since he usually got his way - like when he went back for Jemma and Hartūn. Sometimes that felt unrealistic, because while he’s smart, he’s still just a teenager. I’d hoped that he’d be wrong at least once, so he could learn from the mistake and use that knowledge for the next time. I really liked that he based most of his decisions on his gut, because with all the talk of “the you inside never changes” it meant that he was still listening to his true self. I also loved that he learned as he traveled. He never pretended to be the smartest of the group, but he always listened to everyone’s theories and tried to understand everything, so he could step up when he needed to. I wish we had met his parents before he switched realities. He was very eager to get back to them, but since they were never properly introduced, I didn’t exactly know what he was going back to.
I also loved Mose. He kept the mood light with his jokes and teasing, but he was definitely much more than just comic relief. He contributed a lot and his vibe was very different from the others, which was a great addition to the group’s overall tone. Near the end, I was confused whether he would continue traveling or stay in Jacobus’s reality (because he wasn’t looking for home, he was looking for the world in which his mom was safe and happy), but I’m so happy he stayed.
Jemma was adorable. The sly smiles and coy looks to Jacobus in the beginning were so cute, and I’m so glad she was intelligent and capable - way more than a damsel in distress. She practically saved herself in the dystopian reality! However, Jacobus frequently said something along the lines of “Jemma isn’t scared, so I shouldn’t be either.” That’s awesome, but seemed unrealistic for how many shocking things they came across. Jemma’s allowed to be brave and afraid - isn’t being truly brave overcoming your fear to do what needs to be done? But she and Jacobus were really cute, and their “falling in love” didn’t take up an entire storyline, which was refreshing.
Connor wasn’t a very likable character for me. I didn’t think there was enough of him in the beginning to understand his friendship with Jacobus - which is enough for him to risk his life to save Connor - and his first true appearance (in the beach reality) didn’t make him look good. It may have been the drugged drinks, but even after, he wasn’t very nice, even to Jacobus, who saved his life. It would’ve been nice to see more of his character to understand why Jacobus loves him so much.
there is always a little something deep in here...that says, i left someone behind. this is how we become wise.
The idea of recurrents was fascinating. It was so cool to see these familiar faces popping up in unfamiliar realities, sometimes with completely different personalities. The Duke’s role in the dystopian reality gave me chills. When he seemingly breaks apart? I don’t have words. I also loved that Jemma seemed to be Jacobs’s anchor. Her appearances in each reality kind of defined those realities for him, and it’s amazing that he knew he needed to save her in the dystopian reality - and then she knew the real him! I didn’t have as much sympathy for Harkūn’s character as I feel I should have. His role in Jacobus’s home reality was a bad first impression, and we didn’t see enough of him in the second reality to reconcile that. Even the GameBoy element didn’t redeem him for me, because it was too short and didn’t feel as important as it could have. It wasn’t enough to understand why Jacobus had to save him.
It was quite a jump when they get to the dystopian reality; I wasn’t really expecting it. But maybe that’s what made it so good - I was really shocked when it was revealed that they all looked the same. Every element kind of gave me shivers - the Duke’s appearance, the zombies and their pursuit of the group, the bug-like guards, etc. It was all so fascinating that I was engrossed the entire time.
Finally, the ending was so nice! The group stayed together, everyone got to see Gordon one more time, and Jacobus got a new dog, which is always a positive. And I love that the science teacher started traveling through realities - kind of like the story is continuing on, even when the book is finished. Overall, The Switch was so amazing and I recommend it wholeheartedly!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA.
Pros: Rich, impassioned tale where science (real and potential) meets philosophy, adventure, danger, friendship and a touch of romance. Characters with authentic voices who get under your skin. Cons: Might require a re-read in order to grasp all the concepts. Some of the alternate realities are not accounted for. Will appeal to: Those who like to rack their brains. Those who are in for a great adventure with a number of twists (well...switches ;)) and a lot of soul.
First off...DISCLAIMER: I am a semi-regular reviewer of Curiosity Quills titles (like this one), but if you look back at my ratings, this never prevented me from being unbiased. It's just that they have so many (sometimes underrated) gems under their belt.
As a reader, multiverse is one of the genres I'm most interested in. But it's so rare to find a book that - though still leaving you with questions - plays it right and at least tries to explain the gist of it, all while having you ride along with a great cast of characters. The Switch does just that. It relies on many theories - some of them I understand are scientific material - and they are great to read, if not all easy to grasp or always making total sense...but at its core, this book is a celebration of human curiousity and courage, genuine friendship, and a reminder that choices always bear a weight, no matter how many universes you visit. I would be tempted to say The Switch is also one of those books that close the gap between YA and MG - it's clean but not artfully so, some of its characters are slightly younger than your average YA, and it's the kind of adventure that plays like a videogame, with each "level" getting increasingly complicated. On the other hand, some of the concepts this story is built on and around are - as I said - not easy to grasp. I'll say that this one can be enjoyed by younger kids, but will be better savoured by teens and even adults...like me ;). [...]
Thank you NetGalley for what must be one of the oddest reads I’ve had in a while. The idea that you could change tiny details of your life by flipping a switch is highly appealing, and for Jacobus Rose it comes true. When he and his friend Connor find a switch in a red house they pull it. Nothing immediately seems to have changed, but then they start to notice little discrepancies between their memories and the reality they find themselves in. And so begins the story that I can’t quite place. Initially it read like some kind of alternate reality gaming set-up, but it soon becomes evident that Jacobus and his friends are time-travelling and the focus is on the theoretical possibilities of alternate universes. Thankfully, the science is never done in such a way that feels incomprehensible and the relationships between these characters really carries us through the story.
This is a fine middle grade multiverse book. Sure, for adult readers I'm happy with a bunch of physicists sharing quantum gobbledygook while standing around a big humming piece of equipment. But put yourself in a kid reader's shoes. How do we launch ourselves into the multiverse, have an adventure, and get back home wiser and more mature? This book provides the answer.
So, you need a clean hook, a grand adventure, some creatively weird worlds, and, of greatest importance, a kid hero and his companions you can like and relate to. This book checks those boxes.
First off is our multiverse macguffin. In this book there's a big switch in an empty room. Flip the switch and flip your world. I'm a kid reader and I get the general idea of multiple parallel worlds and I get the idea of a big switch. Mission accomplished. All of the later chat about the multiverse, switching tracks, and traveling is then just bonus time.
Second, we get just the right kid. I don't want a whiner or a drama queen or John Carter of Mars or Richard Feynman Jr.. I want a smart, decent, observant, thoughtful, sometimes childish or inappropriate, real kid who can reach down to find the hero within and who can cope with the craziness in a way that I can relate to. Here, our hero Jacobus fits that bill well. Indeed, as he moves among panic, acceptance, anger, understanding, desperation, and resolve, this kid is like a study in what a solid middle grade hero feels like. (Jacobus is supposedly 15 but he usually acts and reads more like 12. That was fine by me because 12-ish felt like the target audience for this book.)
Finally, we get a progressively weirder series of worlds that are nicely conceived but not beaten to death. Sometimes authors put so much into world building that they forget about plot and characters and pacing. Here, we a good balance - intriguing without overkill. This is all spiced up by some excellent supporting characters. It's something of a mixed bag, (the author likes his stereotypes), but many of the other wanderers Jacobus meets have style and distinct personalities. The interactions between Jacobus and each of these other characters adds variety and color, and allows for exposition without transparent lecturing.
The upshot, for me, was that this was engaging, well constructed and written, and both suspenseful and sciencey in a good way. A happy find.
(Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
*thank you to NetGalley and Curiosity Quills Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
1.5 stars. Ohh. Try as I did, I just didnt enjoy this. The description sounded great though so I was pretty excited to find out I was given a copy to review and for that I am thankful. But unfortunately, It just wasnt for me. I dont think that there was anything wrong with it, It just didn't hold my attention. I really like the cover though and while I didnt enjoy it, I would recommend it to people who love Ya, sci-fi, time travel, and alternative worlds. I do want to give this another try at some stage and see if I get a different feel for it.
This was just a fascinating read. It is rare to find a book where the characters, their interactions, responses, and motivations are all so simply and rightly done. There really wasn't a point where this didn't seem to work, and no point where I was just over it.
This is the story of Jacob (properly, and inexplicably, Jacobus) and his friends Connor, Moses, Gordon, and Jemma (and sometimes Hartun) as they experience and (mostly) unwillingly explore the multiverse in and around Chicago. The setup is simple - Jacob has a rough home life, is bullied at school, and has a case of Crush On 'Unattainable Girl', 1 of. As an aside, that is the second book with this in a row, and it feels old. Not the authors faults, I picked them, but still...maybe YA/NA needs to retire this one a bit. Anyway, Connor leads Jacob into an abandoned house to check it out, and they find the oversized mad scientist switch you see on the cover. Working together (as there is substantial resistance), they pull. And reality shifts.
Without telling too much, this causes major impacts on the kids. Life as they knew it is radically different - in almost all respects. This leads Jacob to return, and try again. And again, and again. Always hoping the next switch would be the switch home... Ok, it isn't Quantum Leap. The Switch does, however, owe a lot to that show - because there is the hope they will get home, and there is the Sam Beckett 'inhabit the body' aspect as well. People undergo slight physical changes on switching - nothing drastic, they are still themselves. But minor differences.
The biggest differences are in the worlds themselves, and this is where it shines The authors use a simple thing - Orange Julius - to show the seemingly minor differences in the worlds. And once that is understood, it allows greater changes.
One of my personal interests is the how of things - and that is where the book falls short. We know a lot of the surface how, but little of the different worlds is explored. The most jarring shift has, oddly, the lease fulfilling explanation. And since some of the less drastic worlds have none, that is indeed saying something. But then, when the difference is somewhat less major than the ending of Back to the Future, exposition isn't really needed. But when you give the reader a major change - and not just in who people are, but in the entire world - you might want someone to give something more than was provided.
And when that is the biggest flaw...yes, this is a good book.
Time Traveling, friendship, defining what is ‘home’ and the unknown. Aren’t you the least bit curious?
There were so many uplifting moments to grab a hold of with this intellectually stirring story you’d be hard pressed to find anything wrong with it particularly thanks to the great character development of Jake and pals. They were so diverse yet so easy to see how their bond could form it made it easier to ride the journey with them. For a SciFi driven novel the heart of this story is its characters which felt so real you could believe in the multiverse without questioning the scientific or logical possibilities. It could be real right?
I can’t be the only one who thought of that really old show Quantum Leap as you’re reading this right? It did give me the feel of a mash up between that show and the Jet Li movie The One. Granted there are differences or maybe I just need to turn Hulu off at night and stop binging old shows/movies.
Aside from the time travel, which if you love the idea you’ll love this but if you’re tired of the idea just hang in there with me, cause yes it’s a time travel book BUT where the author’s talent lies is HOW that plot device really affects the story. Each time they flip the switch the world shifts so each time there have to be differences and similarities enough to know they aren’t in Kansas anymore but not enough so they don’t realize where they’re at and what part they play in this new world. It was actually a lot of fun watching how they set the scenes each time and intriguing to discover the new details they put into it as they not only had to alter the places but the people too from looks to personality changes and everything inbetween.
I liked it because it makes your brain work a little harder to mull over the scientific possibilities, the what ifs, would you take the offer to flip the switch, could you ever be satisfied with whatever world you find yourself in now, would you just keep flipping and the questions spiral on.
I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
The cover and synopsis had me intrigued from the beginning! I love stories that involve time travel and those kinds of weird paradoxes so I figured this would be right up my alley. The Switch did not disappoint.....but it didn't blow me away, either.
The premise was great! The execution was good. It certainly delivered. It was entertaining and had me wanting to keep reading. But it was too long; it was also confusing. I think part of the confusion stemmed from the first-person point-of-view storytelling. Even though Jacobus is telling the story after the fact, we only know as much as, or a sliver more than, he did when he was living it. And the hardest thing to grapple with when stories involve time travel (or universe travel, in this case) is keeping the rules straight. I never once felt like I had a good handle on the rules of this kind of travel. Nor did I feel like the characters had a handle on it.
I was a bit irked by all the philosophical discussions these teenagers had throughout the story (normally in response to a new rule they discover or figure out). I'm not saying teenagers can't have philosophical discussions but it made them seem older than they were supposed to be. I expected them to act a bit more like teenagers. And if they are capable of all this theorizing and philosophizing, surely Jacobus would know a word like enigma. It's nitpicky, I know, but it bothered me a little.
I wouldn't just blanket recommend this book to everyone but I would absolutely suggest it to a specific audience. Probably one closer to Jacobus's age.
This is an intriguing story about a group of friends, in various iterations, who spend a lot of time chasing around various realities, trying to find the way home to their original one(s). The moral of the story seems to be something along the lines of "the grass may look greener on the other side of the fence" - but that isn't necessarily the case... Many of the alternate universes that the kids discover themselves in are quite threatening and scary.
There is also a strong sense of the power of friendship. Things definitely go better for the grouop when they are together versus when they are on their own...
I'm definitely glad that this is a Middle Grade/Young Adult book, because as it was I was often lost in the Physics of the story...
There seemed to be a lot of unnecessary running around in realities that didn't appear to have anything to do with the end result of their mission. And I'm still not entirely clear on what the actual purpose of the Switch was supposed to be. But it was definitely an entertaining journey. One that I'm quite sure most adolescents (and adults) will appreciate, especially those who like a little bit of intrigue and brain stretching to go along with their adventure.
I received a free eBook copy of this title from Curiosity Quills and have willingly provided and honest review.
This book had an interesting premise that was sometimes hard to wrap my head around. It took a different spin on YA fantasy. There were no sparkly vampires or people hunting demons or anything like that. There were normal teenagers, learning that every time you made a choice, a world line was created where you made a different one.
When Jacobus and his friend Connor discover a switch, they are given a first class look at these other world lines. The problem is, once you start traveling, how do you get home again?
While reading this book, I kept wondering if they were ever going to make it home, or if the story would end with them continually wandering. It really seemed like 50/50 the whole way through. It was interesting to see the differences in the world lines as each switch was pulled.
There was one part of the book that was questionable if you have any religious beliefs, but besides that, it was a solid read that makes you think about how the little choices we make everyday can have an impact on the future.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Author: A.W. Hill, Nathanael Hill Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press Publication Date: 2017
Publishers Description: Five travelers lost in a parallel reality—If they get home, will it be the same place they left behind?
Review: A real interesting take on alternate or parallel worlds to our own that develop different realities.
For the first few chapters I wanted to discontinue reading due to Jacobus’ constant whining about his current state. The movement kind of pools at your feet and drips from your bleeding eyes. BUT, and it is not a real big butt, the pace quickly escalates into a world hopping adventure with plenty of strange interactions to motivate your interest. The characters are well built but lack a bit of depth due to stunted development i.e. what you see is what you get.
The world building is a bit crazy and at times not descriptively apt. If you are not a SciFi buff it may be confusing rather than riveting as attested to in a few reviews. I thought it was a great novel that demands a series.
3.5 stars rounded up to 4 I received an ARC of this novel from NetGalley and Curiosity Quills Press in exchange for an honest review.
Jacobus Rose's life isn't perfect and he sometimes feels that he was born into the wrong world. One day Jacobus and his best friend Connor stumble upon a strange house with only a very big switch and a lightbulb on a chain that doesn't seem to be connected to any power. The both decide to flip the switch to see what will happen. Jacobus learns that he has unwillingly become a traveler in alternate realities of his life. Jacobus gathers some new friends and fellow travelers along the way and together they must discover and flip switches in other strange multiverses in an attempt to return home.
The switch takes you on an expedition through parallel universes. I enjoyed this novel and the unique realities in which the travelers explored while learning more about themselves and the true meaning of home.
At 45, I am definitely not the target audience for a YA book, however, I have to say I was gripped from the Prologue.
The style of writing is such that the book would engage any age group and the premise considers questions that we all grapple with, regardless of our experience or maturity.
I loved the cover, the layout, the balance between description and speech, the compelling storyline; all of which were reminiscent of reading the Unraveling series by Elizabeth Norris, although the stories are not the same.
As a language teacher, I know how few students these days love to read, but I can guarantee with some certainty that any student of any ability would find this book absolutely fascinating.
I was provided with an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Note: I was provided with an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
This book wasn't bad, and it certainly has a lot of promise! Does the author, who I think really has potential with this sort of genre. I liked Jake, the lead character, and I thought he was a well put together MC. There were times throughout the plot when I felt a bit confuse and had to go back to double check things, but it was mostly cohesive all the way through. My one problem was that now and then it felt a bit laggy, and I'd find myself staring off into space or losing momentary interest. However, this was not a bad book and I think it could be really interesting for fans of the genre!
This is like Dark Matter by Blake Crouch for the Young Adult world!
Jacobus is a 15 year old that is not happy with the life that he has. That is until he and his Conner decide that it would be a good idea to flip a switch in a vacant house. At first things seem normal but once he is home he noticed that his parents were acting weird and by the next day of school he realized that The Switch caused the life he knew to be gone. No matter how unpleasant his life was he wanted to get it back.
I love how the science is given is small doses building up to a larger idea that would be impossible to understand without all the "education" we receive in earlier chapters. It has peaked my curiosity about some of the science it mentioned and I am not a big science person so that is saying a lot.
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend reading it.
This is a cute book and a quick, fun read. If you like parallel worlds, alternate realities, and stories about the multiverse then you might like this book. It is unclear from the books blurb if it is intended to be YA but it reads like it is a young adult book (the publisher lists the books as young adult/teens). The book is told from the view point of a 15 year old and a lot of descriptions that use comparisons and it is a fast paced story. I think kids as young a middle school could read this and one that parents can feel comfortable letting their young teens read. I received an advance copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.