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3.57  ·  Rating details ·  175 ratings  ·  24 reviews
One of Australia's finest young cellists, 16 year-old Hugh Twycross has a very bright future. A future that has been mapped out by his parents, his teachers, by everybody, it seems, except Hugh Twycross.
Hugh has a secret, though: he loves cars and he loves car racing. When his newly discovered grandfather, Poppy, asks him to go on a road trip to Uluru in his 1970 Holden H
Paperback, 228 pages
Published August 31st 2009 by Penguin
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3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  175 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was pretty good with an interesting storyline(plot).
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a delightful book about seventeen-year old Hugh who goes on a road trip with his newly found, hippie grandfather, Poppy. Hugh is a self-confessed partial nerd (a ner or erd) who hates sport, plays chess, is a talented cellist with a bright future and comes from a rich, conservative family. However, he is obsessed with cars - especially Holden muscle cars. So when Poppy suggests Hugh takes him, and his 1969 HT Monaro GTS 350 V8, to Uluru to clock up some hours in his log book Hugh finds i ...more
Oliver Eastwood
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was pretty good. It had a good plot, good jokes, good fun stuff; but I thought that the characters were a bit weak. Shame, because everything else was great.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
It took me a little while to get into Swerve but once I did I really enjoyed it. I think the "voice" of the narrator took a bit of getting used to - he sounded older (maybe even from a different generation) than his 16 years. Plenty happens on the road trip that Hugh takes with his newly discovered grand father. They make new friends, help people, almost get killed (more than once) and form a beautiful bond. Hugh learns a lot about "real life" on his travels to Uluru with his grandfather and Bel ...more
Jan 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Hugh Twycross has it all figured out. He’s a Sydney private school boy on a mission . . . a mission to get good grades, become a concert cellist and keep impressing his mother and father with his budding brilliance. And if that means keeping his lust for Holden muscle cars a secret, then so be it.

And then Poppy turns up. Outside Hugh’s private school gates, Poppy looks like a hippy cultist and he has some wild claims about being Hugh’s grandfather . . . a grandfather Hugh was always told had die
Sarah (That Teenage Feeling)
Hugh Twycross is a guy who knows where he’s going in life. A private school boy with a cello audition at the prestigious Conservatorium, Hugh is not one to diverge from the straight and narrow path of his life. That is until Poppy, the grandfather Hugh never knew existed, suggests a road trip to Ayres rocks in his 1969 Holden HT Monaro GTS 350 V8. And from than on out the straight and narrow starts to get a bit curvy as Hugh and Poppy venture out into the dangerously beautiful Australian terrain ...more
Jess - The Tales Compendium
I absolutely loved this story and couldn't put it down! The writing is fantastic and it was great to read another YA fiction book that is not fantasy/science fiction or teen angst-y. As Hugh participates in a sort of 'right of passage' road trip from Sydney to the Red Center, he discovers there can be more to life than following all the rules. Gotta love Poppy as well, such a great character!

Reading this book took me back to the YA books I used to read almost 10 years ago, from the fantastic wor
Sacha O
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Plot summary: On the last day of school, Hugh's grandfather rings him and suggests that they drive from Sydney to Uluru so Hugh can clock a bunch of hours for his learner's permit. The only problem? Hugh has a big cello audition in less than a week. But when his grandfather tells Hugh - a car fanatic - that they'll be making the trip in an HT Monaro GTS 350, what's a guy to do?

Thoughts: This was a funny and fast paced read. Hugh is pretty clueless about the world around him, and it's not long b
Kirsten Knott
I'm not a slow reader but usually it takes me a while to find time to read, then a while to get into it, and I always seem to find something else I need to do (the main pitfall of moving out of my parents' house).

Swerve, however - a story about a recent high school graduate who takes a spontaneous road trip with his once-estranged grandfather to Uluru - hooked me and within a few hours I'd finished it.

It feels almost designed to be a quick read, with a lot of things skipped over in favour of a b
Get Ahead Kids
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Swerve is a young adult novel that tells the story of 16 year old Hugh Twycross, a talented cellist with a bright future.

After discovering his estranged grandfather, Hugh unexpectedly joins him on a journey from Sydney to Uluru in his 1970 Holden HT Monaro.

Hugh loves cars and racing, a passion that does not fit into his mapped out life. His grandfather encourages his passion and during the trip teaches Hugh things that have not been touched in his formal education.

This book is a journey of self-
May 24, 2011 rated it liked it
A coming of age road trip. Not the most outstanding YA novel but nevertheless, an enjoyable jaunt through the countryside with Hugh and his "elderly hippie" grandfather. The scenery of the outback features, as does a vintage Holden Monaro, both of which are almost characters in this adventure of a lifetime.

Would appeal to readers wanting an easy, escapist, holiday read.
Pam Saunders
Aug 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I was not sure about this book when I first read it but it has grown on me. The quintessential Aussie road trip story. Would a cello fit in the back of a Holden Monaro? I assume so but it irked me during the reading.
May 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
I guess I've got a thing for Gwynne's books - loved Deadly, Unna; liked Nukkin' Ya; now thoroughly enjoyed Swerve (after struggling through a couple of other books today that I felt like I was supposed to enjoy, but had to work at it). This one, I wanted to read.
Enjoyable and fast paced. Good to see Phillip Gwynne back in the YA arena. It fits him so well. He fits it so well. A match made and all that.

Not at all preachy, and no excessive angst. Just strong characters and a well constructed plot.
Tadashi Hamada
The story was great, but I don't think Gwynne's style of writing did it justice. I would love to see this get turned into a film though.
Feb 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Had to read this quickly - as I start teaching it to my Year 10s this week! Was good - my boys will like it!
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
A great book about a boy and his granddad (poppy) going on a road trip through Australia! Great Aussie book.
May 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Not a bad book, plenty of Australian humor. Would make a good movie.
Mrs Mac McKenzie
I read this fabulous story in one sitting on a plane. Good fun, with many great characters and humour. A great adventure, that is easy to read.
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
A nice easy read. Simple story but flowed along quickly enough to maintain interest.
Sacha O
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Rating - 3.5
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Mar 14, 2015
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Atish Uniyal
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Sep 19, 2015
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Oct 14, 2014
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Feb 22, 2015
Zachary Harless
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Jun 21, 2015
Mar Christian
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Feb 25, 2016
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Phillip Gwynne's first novel Deadly Unna? the literary hit of 1998, has now sold over 180,000 copies. It was made into the feature film Australian Rules for which Phillip won an AFI award. The sequel, Nukkin Ya, was published to great acclaim in 2000. He has also written The Worst Team Ever, Born to Bake, and A Chook Called Harry in the Aussie Bites series, and Jetty Rats. Phillip's latest novel, ...more
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