The Switch Up

The Switch Up

The Switch Up
Katy Cannon

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781788950404

WILLA Drama queen Fashion guru Spontaneous Looks like Alice ALICE Bookworm Allergic to fashion Planner Looks like Willa LAX Departure Lounge. Two girls board the same flight to London as complete strangers. When the plane touches down, it's the beginning of the craziest plan ever. Can Willa and Alice really swap lives for the summer? Things are going to get complicated... The first in a fun new series, this summer read is The Parent Trap meets Freaky Friday and is perfect for fans of GEEK GIRL and SUPER AWKWARD. Praise for LOVE, LIES AND LEMON PIES: "A delightful, delicious and feather-light romance that still manages to deal beautifully with some deep issues." - Robin Stevens, author of MURDER MOST UNLADYLIKE

Librarian's Book choice

Teenagers Willa and Alice meet by chance in the departure lounge in LAX airport, and immediately realise that they look so alike they could be mistaken for twins. Both girls are on their way to London; Alice is due to spend the summer with her father's new girlfriend, Mabel, whom she has never met. Willa was going to spend the summer with her actor father in London, and while she was there was going to take an acting course. However, at the last minute, Willa's dad has to go and work in Edinburgh, so Willa's plans are disrupted. Unable to go back to stay with her mother, she is being sent to Italy to spend the summer there with an aunt whom she also has never met before.

Alice, still mourning the loss of her mother, has no wish to meet or spend time with Mabel. Willa, desperate to attend her drama course, obviously does not want to go to Italy. When Alice jokingly suggests that, because they look so similar, they should swap identities - and summer holidays - Willa thinks it's a great idea. The girls successfully carry out their plan; Alice heads off to Italy where she meets Willa's aunt Sofia, her husband Mattias, and their foster children Antonio, Luca and Rosa. Willa stays in London with the unsuspecting Mabel, and attends her course.

This is a very enjoyable read. Willa and Alice are great characters, and the author describes them beautifully - Alice is quiet and organised with no interest in fashion; Willa is dramatic and spontaneous and is obsessed with her appearance. The girls swap their luggage and I loved the descriptions of them trying on each other's clothes!

The book is divided into alternating chapters, Willa and Alice each telling their story, which makes this an easy read. I particularly liked the use of sections of text messages between the two girls, which cleverly links their stories together. As a reader, I found myself really caring about these two girls, and really felt the tension increasing as they realise that their deception is going to be uncovered.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and can see it appealing to many teenage girls. The author shows how the two girls are changed by their experiences in their new environments. Willa becomes less self centered, and Alice begins to move on from the loss of her mother. Both girls learn a lot about themselves and about the value of family. The book ends very satisfactorily, and I hope the author is planning a sequel - Willa and Alice are very engaging characters, and I would love to know what happens to them in the future!

352 pages / Ages 11+ / Reviewed by Beverley Somerset, school librarian


The Switch Up4/5

The Switch Up

Katy Cannon


Willa and Alice meet whilst travelling to London. Both have been sent away by their parent(s) and are travelling as accompanied minors to stay with people they have never met before. Willa is being sent to Italy to stay with an aunt and family she does not know, Alice is to stay in London with a new girlfriend of her father's whilst still grieving for her late mother.

Spurred on by her desire to attend a prebooked theatre course in London, Willa persuades Alice to 'swap' summers with her and they embark on an adventure that will change their lives.

Not usually a fan of this genre, I quickly fell in love with the two girls and their stories. The author has clearly created two very different characters and this could have felt cliche, but has been handled well. The reader cannot help but be swept up in the two alternate storylines and become emotionally involved in the changes the girls experience. Accompanied by a cast of interesting characters with sub plots and broken up by text messages between the girls, this is an all round great read.

This will be devoured by teenagers and there is no bad language to consider for young, confident readers. Although there is a resolution at the end it would be great to see a sequel.

352 pages / Ages 11+ / Reviewed by Lorraine Ansell, school librarian

Reviewed by: Lorraine Ansell