by A.W. Hill, Nathanael Hill
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Pub Date 29 Aug 2017 | Archive Date 17 Aug 2017
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?
Average rating from 15 members
Getting this as an arc from netgalley, I wasn't fully sure what I was getting into, which I don't mind. That is why I love netgalley, I get to find gems I would have never known about otherwise.
This book was great and I loved the story and the characters. Jake was a great main character and I really connected to him, which is a huge deal for me as I read books. If you like time traveling, life lasting friendships, heartwarming moments, and finding their way back home types of books, you'll definitely love this like I did.
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.
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.
The most salient feature of The Switch that stood out to me is the voice that is employed in the story. This is a humorous, entertaining, and all-in-all believable young voice that I believe would engage many of the young readers I have worked with.
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.
I love a story that whets my appetite and makes me want to learn more. The Switch did that for me. I've had Brian Greene's 'The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos' calling me for way too long and I long to read that and then come back to experience The Switch again, this time as a sciencey-type person.
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 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.
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!
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!
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