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Switchback

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3.70  ·  Rating details ·  207 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Ashton Hamid knows everything about gaming. His D&D battles are epic; the video game tournaments he organizes, multi-day tests of endurance with players around the world. Real life, however, is a different matter. So when he and his best friend—outspoken "A" student (and social outcast) Vale Shumway—head out on a camping trip to Waterton Lakes National Park with their Phys ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 28th 2019 by Swoon Reads
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Skye Kilaen Vale is aromantic and asexual. LGBTQIA is a more inclusive set of letters! :)

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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  207 ratings  ·  90 reviews


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Vicky Again
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I ENJOYED THIS SO MUCH! also we love our aroace icon Vale <3333
Lost in Book Land
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Happy Wednesday!

I have been trying really hard to pre-write posts and get them set to post at certain days and times so my release schedules get a bit more steady, hopefully, it all works out! In today's review, we are going to talk about Switchback a book that just came out yesterday! I had two ARCS of books that came out this past Tuesday so I wanted to be sure to read those and get these reviews up in a timely manner to help everyone decide what to spend time reading in the next few summer mo
...more
Anniek
I woke up, started this book, and read it in one sitting. It was good, solid fun, but also entirely predictable and just all the more proof that survival stories aren't exactly my thing.

I also kind of disliked how the aro-ace rep was presented as "not wanting sex or romance" rather than "not experiencing sexual or romantic attraction", which is already a common misconception, so it was a shame to see that in this book as well.
...more
Dylan
Mar 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
*This was sent to me for review from Swoon Reads. As always, all opinions are my own.*

1 star.

Well uh, this was bad.

I LOVE YA survival stories. I have such a fun time with the thrill of it all and it keeps me flipping pages, but that trope can't save this for me.

Quite frankly, the writing is pretty bad.

"Ash's thoughts were slippery." is probably the worst quote in the book and there isn't really any bad specific quotes but the writing is just....bad??? It's SO incredibly dramatic (even for teen
...more
Monti Tanner
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, canadian
The harrowing realities of survival in the fierce Western Canadian wilderness is highlighted in Danika Stone’s newest novel Switchback, published by Swoon Reads (2019). Featuring two very relatable, flawed, and ultimately human teenagers, this novel takes readers up an impossibly high mountain with shadowy valleys and brilliant summits in both literal and emotional ways.

Ash and Vale are high school friends who become separated from their teachers, guides and classmates on a mandatory overnight h
...more
Emily
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, contemporary
This was a great read (and a fast read)!

The setting in the mountains was so atmospheric and the fast-paced plot really kept things moving. But what I loved best were the two main characters. Their different personalities combined with their friendship (not to mention the predicament they found themselves in) made their interactions feel very real and nuanced. It was such an interesting idea, to look at what would happen if two teens got lost in the mountains.
Jill
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-and-owned
This is a fantastic tale.

But, city-folk (like myself), I must warn you... there are bears. And mountains, fire and ....lions and tigers and.... well, just the bears.

Join Vale and Ash on their Canadian wilderness adventure. These friends will battle the elements and local cuddly wildlife to get back to the relative safety that is highschool.....
Jess Crafts
Apparently this has ace rep 👍
Victoria Robinson
(I received an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review)

I love my children okay thanks
Vale is actually me
Katherine Paschal
May 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen, suspense, survival
**3.5 Stars**
Review can be found at https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/

Ash would much rather spend his time online gaming in his mom's basement than actually go outside, so when the class has their mandatory overnight hike he is less than thrilled. Vale loves the outdoors and hiking, but is dreading the hiking trip for another reason- the never ending bullying that she is the brunt of. When the friends find themselves left behind during the hike, they never expected that they would have to sur
...more
Sandy Krausnick
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Engaging from the start and captivating through to the end. Great characters with a satisfying slap-down at the end. A YA book that both boys and girls would identify with. Once you pick it up, you won’t want to put it down.
Nessa Luna [October Tune]
I pre-ordered this book immediately when I heard there was going to be an asexual protagonist. Then I kept picking it up and putting it down. This month, I finally read the entirety of this book in less than 24 hours, staying up until 5am to finish it, that's how much I enjoyed it. Vale is asexual and aromantic and honestly, I could relate to her SO MUCH. I loved her as a character and I loved her friendship with Ash. (view spoiler) ...more
Sarvenaz Tash
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book kept me on the edge of my seat and reading well into the night. It's a harrowing tale of survival, a vivid ode to the beautiful but unforgiving Canadian wilderness, and a gorgeous story of friendship all rolled into one. You'll want to hunker down with a good, warm blanket as you embark on this thrilling, unputdownable ride. ...more
Kaisa
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book! It's a great survival story, but also a story of friendship. The two characters manage to work together and overcome their situation of being lost in the Rockies. They have to work really hard and truly trust each other with their lives. I couldn't put the book down! There's also the perspective of those looking for the two main characters from time to time which adds a lot more tension and makes the whole story more interesting since you get to see a different side o ...more
Peyton
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a good story. The characters were realistic and it was nice to see an aro-ace protagonist. The ending was a little unclear and could have been described a little better to make it easier to understand. It was really nice to read about an area I knew. It made it more real (and also makes me not want to get lost in Waterton). I really enjoyed it and recommend it to people who want to read an adventure story.
Candyce Kirk
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
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. Va
...more
Lori Johnstone
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-contemporary
***Spoiler

This book was a departure from what I usually read in YA, I am not even sure if I have ever read a survival story that is realistic! That being said, I do live in the Rocky Mountain region of Canada that the author describes, and I felt that she was very adept at portraying the region and the obstacles you might encounter while in the wild here.

The pace of this book is quick, I loved the various social aspects and challenges a teen might face in high school and dealing with a**hole k
...more
Solly
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I really wanted to love this and then I just... didn't. I liked it. But that's pretty much it?

I did love the characters. Ash was funny and reminded me of that one guy I was friends with in middle school so I kinda wanted to hug him all the time. Vale was AWESOME, an aroace smart girl and I loved her very very much. I picked up the book because of the aroace rep. It was good!! It wasn't a big part of the book but it was well done. Makes me ache for more rep, though.
I love
...more
Gillian French
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
SWITCHBACK is:
-Gripping.
-Suspenseful.
-Tearjerking.
-A chilling plunge into the Canadian wilderness where literally anything could be waiting around the next bend in the trail.
I was so into this book! I love any kind of survival story, and SWITCHBACK upped the ante by providing two incredibly real, warm, likeable teens, Ash and Vale, best friends who will do anything to help each other survive after getting separated from their school group during a mandatory hike in Waterton Lakes National Park.
...more
Samantha Hastings
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A survival story set in the Canadian wilderness that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. This is a refreshing friendship story between Ash (guy gamer, friend to all) and Vale (a girl who is aromantic and asexual, friend to few, bullied by many). Their school trip ends in disaster when they clean up another schoolmate’s litter and lose their group in the fog. Vale will have to use all of her knowledge of the outdoors and Ash will discover adventures in the real world are differe ...more
Sarah Dawson
Aug 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
An aro-ace main character should be refreshing, but I found this painful. The awkward scenes between her and Ash read like fanfiction tropes. The dialogue meandered aimlessly, complete with ellipsis, dashes, italics, and caps on nearly every page. Each character had essentially one personality trait: being aro-ace for Vale and games for Ash. I wanted more than the surface considering they were together for days and trying to survive.
Amanda
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cbmr-reviewed
Ash and Vale have to go on an overnight hike with their PE classmates in order to pass the class. Ash hates the outdoors and he’s never been hiking. Vale hates the bullying she receives from her classmates. Naturally, neither of them are excited about the hike to begin with, but it turns out to be worse than they expected. On the first day, Ash and Vale get separated from the rest of the group. Their absence isn’t noticed until nightfall, and the town begins a frantic search for them. By that ti ...more
Shellie Brewer
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I loved it!

I love survival stories and usually end up reading about zombies as it is hard to find a really good survival story in YA. The bullying brought me back to my school days of hell. I was glad at the end of was not sugar coated and had the bullies think they were cool now and just stopped. Bullies never stop they get worse until you stand up for yourself. The story was amazing and very realistic. Loved every minute of it!
Jordan Mackinnon
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a treat to read! It was a roller coaster from start to finish and Danika almost made me nervous that the kids were not going to make it out alive !! I really enjoyed the setting of the book as i myself have visited Waterton Park on many occasions and it was a pleasure to read about it and have it describe by Danika in such a manner.

The friendship in this book is so precious and so important ! To have it be a book on just friendship and nothing romantic about it is so refreshing to
...more
Jenevive Desroches
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Captivating storytelling, as always. I handed this one to my 15 year-old when I was done with it. I got it back the next day. "Did you read it?" "Mom, I finished it before lunch. It was *good.*"

Well done, Stone, well done.
...more
Brenda
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed. Felt like I was in the mountains with the characters. Learned some survival skills too.
Michele
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
survival story in the mountains with 2 best friends who seem very dissimilar. reading about vale's bullying is super hardcore depressing. people are SUCH flat-out jerks. but, it is a fast paced read mostly with a lot about survival and good storytelling. the lack of romance is also appealing and aro-ace representation is handled well.

Thanks to the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
...more
Adam Sockel
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this in one sitting. It was incredibly quick and well done. Like hatchet but on a mountain. Danika manages to create two teenage characters who feel realistic and relatable despite being placed in an extremely not relatable situation- being stranded in a mountain valley facing certain death at every turn.
Cindy Anstey
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent! Didn't want to put it down. ...more
Christy
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
You think you’ve met authors who put their characters through everything and then you meet Danika + Switchback and learn how very untrue that is!
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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 (Switchback, All the Feels and Internet Famous) and adults (Edge of Wild, The Dark Divide and Fall of Night). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventure ...more

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“This was another thing Vale’s mother never understood: Vale was aro-ace, both aromantic and asexual. She’d told her parents she just wasn’t interested in dating any number of times… But they never seemed to get it. To them, Vale’s sexuality was a ‘phase’ that they were certain she would one day outgrow. Their obliviousness was a raw spot for Vale.” 7 likes
“The teens had gathered in an open clearing. Behind them, the banded lines of Avion Ridge formed a ragged edge between sky and ground, a rock wall looming above the trees. Ash shivered. The hikers stood in shadow here, the warmth of the day gone.” 1 likes
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