Bookended by Cats was named after Milo and Otis. They are the short, orange, and furry brothers who, upon entering our lives in 2003, often bookended us on our couch. And who are we? We're a geek couple living in PA. We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Switchback - Danika Stone - book review

Dangrdafne book review - NO spoilers


The main reason for no spoilers is because you have to read this book for yourself. You need to take the roller coaster ride that this book offers. It is NOT what I expected but it was everything I wanted it to be in the end.

Switchback as defined by Merriman-Webster: a zigzag road, trail, or section of railroad tracks for climbing a steep hill.

Quite the understatement for this book. The switchbacks in this book were amazing. A Physical Education class trip gone wrong in so many ways and the crazy journey Vale and Ash go on, as does the reader, to get back home. 

It’s also a story about friendship, the most incredible friendship, and its survival at all costs. Vale and Ash are high school students, friends since elementary school, the outcasts, and the absolute best of friends. I loved them, I want to know them, I would definitely have been friends with them.

This will sound like a bad thing but hear me out. I kept getting annoyed reading some parts of the book and while that sounds bad it’s actually a sign of amazing storytelling. I wanted, needed to know what was happening so I just wanted to skip the small talk and get to it but I couldn’t because I would miss something that would be important to the story later. It was frustrating but frustratingly wonderful. I can’t tell you the last time I read a book with so much suspense. To use a common theme, it was a real page-turner. 

And while I loved the thrill and the suspense I have to say reading about a friendship between a boy and a girl was my true joy in the book. The things they learn about themselves and each other and how they have to support one another is perfectly lovely. It warmed my heart to watch two souls find themselves and each other and learn and grow together, and in high school students no less. This is not a love story, this is a friendship story and how often do you get to say that for a story about a boy and a girl. I appreciate it so much.

I was left with questions, good questions, not literally unanswered questions as odd as that sounds. Just more that I want to know. Pieces I want to fit in. Behind the scenes per say. Basically I just want more.

I keep identifying with Danika's teenagers and I think that is great, especially for a 50 year old. It means Danika writes well-rounded characters with whom the reader can imagine as a part of them or that they are people they know or have known or I guess in this case, want to know.

4 paws




I also very much enjoy Danika's writing. It is descriptive and crisp and easy to read. I look forward to the next books I have from her, a trilogy, the third book of which comes out in November. I have to decide if I am going to start reading the first two I have because I am sure it will be torture to wait until November to finish the story if I start the books now :)

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