{ARC} Book Review: The Swap by Megan Shull

September 7, 2014 Review 0 ★★★½

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{ARC} Book Review: The Swap by Megan ShullThe Swap by Megan Shull
Series: Standalone
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on 2014 August 26
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 382
Format: E-book {ARC}
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon

"You be me...and I'll be you."
ELLIE spent the summer before seventh grade getting dropped by her best friend since forever. JACK spent it training in "The Cage" with his tough-as-nails brothers and hard-to-please dad. By the time middle school starts, they're both ready for a change. And just as Jack's thinking girls have it so easy, Ellie's wishing she could be anyone but herself.

Then, BAM! They swap lives - and bodies!

Now Jack's fending off mean girls at sleepover parties, while Ellie's reigning as The Prince of Thatcher Middle School.

As their crazy weekend races on - and their feeling for each other grow - Elli and Jack begin to wonder if maybe the best way to learn how to be yourself is to spend a little time being somebody else.

There’s just something about The Swap that made me all warm and relaxed.   I admit that it wasn’t the best middle grade contemporary that you’ll find in the market. As a matter of fact, if I had just unleashed the calculator side of my personality, The Swap will no doubt get a 2-star rating from me.  The plot driver was obviously nonsensical and everything happened so fast.  Fortunately, The Swap had this ability to evoke all the right emotions from me.  It was hilarious, poignant and everything that I can ask from a middle grade contemporary.

If someone will ask me to describe this book in one sentence, I’ll definitely say that “It’s a tamer version of Mean Girls and a calmer rendition of Freaky Friday.”  I don’t know but anything that concerns body swaps/ switches always has a soft spot in my heart.   And The Swap was not an exception.

The story started with giving us a glimpse to the lives of Ellie and Jack, two students of Thatcher high.  The characters were both clichéd since Ellie was your typical insecure and shy schoolgirl.  And Jack was, of course, the campus heartthrob.  There’s really nothing new about these characters but I found myself cheering for them as they gradually discovered themselves after the body swap.

The body swap happened in a manner that is unbelievable.  A plot device was thrown in and presto, we have Jack in Ellie’s body and vice versa.  This would have alarmed me in normal circumstances but as I’ve said earlier, there’s just something about this book that calms me and urges me to focus on its positive aspects.  Setting aside the horrible plot device, the plot in general moved nicely.  It was hilarious and there’s not a second that I got bored.  I devoured The Swap within three hours because it was so fun. The journey to self-discovery our characters have taken was short but undeniably worthwhile.

There’s so little romance to be had in this book.  But was it really romance?  If it is then the author is leaving things aplenty to the imagination.  Given the age of our main characters, 12 and 13, not taking the romance route is possibly the most sensible thing an author can do.

Summing it up, The Swap was surprisingly fun with its light tone, adorable characters, strong emphasis on familial relationships and self-discovery lessons.  Highly recommended for people who are into contemporary middle grade books and are craving for a quick contemporary read.


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