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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  4,933 ratings  ·  980 reviews
Things usually do not go as planned for seventeen-year-old Noah. He and his best friend Walt (aka Swing) have been cut from the high school baseball team for the third year in a row, and it looks like Noah’s love interest since third grade, Sam, will never take it past the “best friend” zone. Noah would love to retire his bat and accept the status quo, but Walt has big pla ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Blink
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Ann I don't think most 11-year-olds are ready for the romance or the abrupt violent ending.…moreI don't think most 11-year-olds are ready for the romance or the abrupt violent ending.(less)
Noah This book is amazing because of the writing style of the poems. Each poem is different but works so well together. The story is also heart-wrenching a…moreThis book is amazing because of the writing style of the poems. Each poem is different but works so well together. The story is also heart-wrenching and discusses themes of love, friendship, and the many social prejudices that plague our world today. Swing pulls you in and doesn't let you out. (less)

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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,933 ratings  ·  980 reviews

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Pernille Ripp
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars for this one, much to love but also much that could have been left out for the story to come alive more. The ending while heart wrenching came out of nowhere and seemed like it didn’t fit. It will be interesting to see how my students react to this one.
Clare Lund
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I just finished listening to the audiobook, and if you have the chance to do the same, I highly recommend it! Author Kwame Alexander reads it himself and brings the story to life, and I loved the jazz music played in between chapters. I am still in a state of shock from the heartbreaking ending, so I'll have to come back and write more later. Ages 12 and up. ...more
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a very enjoyable book to read , it was fast paced and the plot was entertaining , that is until the very last 100 pages. Did not see the ending coming , it kind of put things into perspective and tries to make a point regarding cultural differences . This book deals with PTSD, love, friendship, current racial issues and idealized love.
Krista Regester
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Please keep reading.
Please keep learning.
Please start changing.
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
I didn't really know what to expect going in with a book named 'Swing', but wow, now that I've read it, 'Swing' is a pretty genius name that blends all the motifs of this book together.

- Follows Noah, a Black teen who is in love his best friend. When his best friend Walt (who calls himself 'Swing') introduces him to the Woohoo Woman Podcast, fate leads him to a thrift shop, where he finds love letters written in the 1960's - and he starts writing anonymous love letters to his best friend.
- Given
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Kwame Alexander is a gift to YA literature. He brings readers like me, a middle aged white adult, to a world I know only from the media, making me feel like I was part of Noah’s community. For teenage YA readers, his books have wider appeal, including for reluctant readers who have yet to find stories and writing styles to engage them. SWING tackles issues of friendship, family, mental illness, dreams, sports, music and the scary realities of a rush to judgment.

I recommend anything he writes.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is
One of those times that I
Some books that
Are written in verse
Would be way
More powerful and
Less disjointed narratives
If they were
In another
The forced
Didn't help matters
With my rating.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was surprisingly good! I've got into it totally blind and I like it. Day to day casual life of a group of teenagers. Nothing that would normally blow me away, but I like the pace, the style, it felt true, the characters were interesting, funny and we get attach to them easily. A simple story but well executed! A good read! ...more
Susan Crowe
This was one of the AudioFile Sync choices for the first week in 2019.
This was cute until the end. Then it was sad. I did enjoy it. And the author was also the narrator and he did a great job.
Becky R.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Swing is one of those novels that you won't soon forget. While I really enjoy novels told in verse form, I can't say that I've gotten lost in the story quite as much as I did here. The development of the story is slow but thoughtful, helping you to fully connect to all the characters involved. The most important characters are Noah and Swing. Told from Noah's point of view, we come to see how his friendship with his best friend, Swing, works. I love their friendship, their connection to baseball ...more

The end of this was absolutely heartbreaking! I don't even have the words for it.

I'd like to sit down and reread this one in the future, instead of the audio. For whatever reason, I was under the (WRONG) impression that this would be a continuation of Solo, and it is definitely not. This book follows Noah and his best friend Walt, who everyone calls Swing. They've been cut from the baseball team for the third year in a row and Noah's long time crush doesn't seem that it will ever pass the
Freda Mans-Labianca
Dec 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Again the narrator is the author. If you read my review for Solo, you will know my feelings on this already. I have to say though, I felt like there was better separation and pauses in his narration, so it didn't meld together as much as the first book I listened to. So that was good, at least for me.
In this story we follow Noah, (Swing), around. We follow him all over the place too. Seriously, this story was everywhere and nowhere at once. Just when I would get pulled into whatever was happenin
Queen Cronut
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, verse
This book had a lot of good ideas and themes presented throughout the storyline but they quickly got bogged down by the romance.

While it mentions and attempts to discuss important and very relevant topics to modern day such police violence and women empowerment, the romance overshadows much of it and in my opinion, the romance between Noah and Sam felt very superficial. There wasn't any chemistry between the characters and it felt kind of forced- it could've been better developed so that there
Kim Clifton
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was going to be a five-star book until the sudden ending. Walt is probably my favorite character Kwame Alexander has written— he’s hilarious, passionate, and speaks in motivational posters and tweet-sized obituaries. I liked seeing his impact on Noah and following their respective relationship pursuits. What I didn’t like was how much other stuff was forced into this book. While I understand that no character lives in a vacuum, it still felt out of place that these characters were overwhelm ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ouch. What a magnificent book that would be perfect in all aspects and then the end - the punch in the gut that takes it from great to beyond.
A book with so many connections that could be made, so many trails that can be followed by hungry readers.
Jake Miller
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book had a lot going against it for my particular reading tastes: I rarely like YA that is focused a lot on romance, I rarely like verse novels that aren’t based on a highly tense/ emotional plots (this novel has emotional events but the story itself isn’t that emotional), and I always hate YA characters that are depicted as being super quirky. The romance plot (which takes up a majority of the book) is fairly annoying but maybe that’s cause I’m a Grampy to these kiddos now. I don’t think v ...more
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: high-school
Have you ever been best friends with someone but you really want to move past the friend zone into something more? Noah, Walt, and Sam have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Noah has feelings for Sam that go way past the best friend zone, but Sam only has eyes for the star baseball player (even though he treats her bad). To help move Noah and Sam's relationship on, Walt takes Noah to see the guru of love, his cousin Floyd who works at the Dairy Queen. Floyd helps produce a podc ...more
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Music, art, poetry, baseball, love, and war make this YA novel in verse unique. Noah has been in love with one of his best friends for a while, and he is inspired to start creating found art love poems for her after finding some love letters from the 60s. His other best friend Walt, aka Swing, is obsessed with getting back on their school baseball team, and he teaches Noah to appreciate jazz and to be more bold.

**Read via NetGalley
**Publication date: October 2, 2018
**Member of Swing Launch Team
Swing is a story about friendship, first crushes and trying to live a normal life in our world today. This story is very easy to read because it is written in verse form and beautifully so. I enjoyed the story and was full of hope and even sadness.
Dec 16, 2020 rated it liked it
My 4th my Kwame, and I got to listen to him read one of his books for the first time! I really enjoyed hearing him tell it.

It’s also the first time I’ve listened to a book in verse on audio. I appreciated the author’s voice to the rhythm of it, but I really missed reading the book in physical form. The parts where Noah is poetic were great, but I missed being able to read the other parts.

I’m definitely not the target audience for this book. Teens are definitely going to be drawn to it more than
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book broke my heart. Possibly my favorite Kwame Alexander book that I've read so far. ...more
akacya  ♡̷̷ˎˊ
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
this was an amazing story. i love how the audiobook included music!
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 12-15 year olds.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 02, 2020 rated it liked it
it was fine
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reads
*If you can get a hold of the audiobook, I highly recommend it. This story is best heard from Kwame Alexander himself. (And the jazz cuts between chapters are lovely.)

On the surface, Swing is another coming-of-age love story. Boy loves girl but girl has a boyfriend. Boy wants to tell girl how he feels but saying it to her face is out of the question. Cue boy’s best friend who has a brilliant plan. Let the journey begin. Foolproof plot.

However, Swing isn’t only about puppy love. Swing is about fi
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Swing is both a hit and a miss for me. The narrative tended to focus more on the things I didn't care as much for (Noah's crush on Sam primarily) and not on the things I really loved - namely Swing and taking about music and art. While Noah is rather bland in many respects, Swing was a stand out character and I loved every moment that he spoke. The middle dragged a bit with the love plot and there were too many dangling plot threads at the end to make anything feel super meaningful or resolved - ...more
They do it again!!

I’m always amazed that Kwame & Mary evoke such depth of emotion from so few words. This book is full of memorable characters and will leave you changed.

At one point in the story I did think there were too many plot points happening that diluted the story slightly but they tie them up, if not happily, then succinctly.

This is a story that will stick with me and is easy to champion for, much like this team’s book Solo and Kwame’s books overall. An accessible and essential voice
Oct 14, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
unfortunately couldn't really get into this one ...more
Will Keach
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: t2
The main character Noah and his best friend Walt aka Swing both share a love of baseball, although they never make their high school baseball team. Noah has a crush on one of his best friends Sam, but she already has a boyfriend named Cruz who plays on the baseball team. Noah starts to get jealous of him and asks Walt for help, Walt brings him to a "love guru" and he tries to help Noah find a way to tell Sam. At a thrift store, Noah purchases a travel bag as a birthday gift for his mother and in ...more
10 word summary: Noah finds love letters that inspire actions with fateful consequences.

#WhooHooWomanPodcast #getKleenexfortheending

🦔🦔🦔🦔 I've decided this one is well worth my time and yours too.
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Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times Bestselling author of 21 books, including The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Passaic Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children ...more

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“I sit behind
the steering wheel
and close my eyes
for a moment
that feels
as raw
as an open wound”
“The sign above
my seat
reads In Emergency Break Glass.

This is an emergency.
I feel broken.

Why haven’t I told her? WHY HAVEN’T I TOLD HER?!
Why haven’t you told her? the old man asks, in my head.
And don’t even think about breaking that window. It’s
Illegal. A federal offense.

So is loving someone
for this long
and not doing something
about it.”
More quotes…