Switch by Tish Cohen

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Title: Switch
Author: Tish Cohen
Release Date: May 9, 2011 (paperback)
Publisher: HarperTrophy Canada
Pages: 254
Source: Copy provided by publisher for blog tour

Overall: 4 Stars

Good girl, honour-roll lifer, Berkeley-bound, mildly neurotic, high strung twelfth grader Andrea Birch just wants a bit of privacy. Oh, and perhaps a bit more of a social life. Or just a life in general. But when your mom and dad are foster parents who can't turn away a child, trying to carve out a little space for yourself while tending to the needs of everyone from twin toddlers to angst-ridden adolescents is nearly impossible. And then Joules Adams, daughter of internationally famous rock star Nigel Adams, jumps into Andrea's car, setting off an improbable car chase and ending in detention.

For Andrea, it's the last straw. Why is it that Joules, breaker of all rules, living a life of luxury, gets off so easy? Why does she have everything, including a cool famous dad, and Andrea has nothing, not even her parents' full attention?

In a modern, hip take on the classic Freaky Friday story, Tish Cohen delivers a fresh look at wishing your life was someone else's.

My Thoughts:
Have you ever heard that saying, "Be careful what you wish for..."? I'm sure you have. It's the immediate tagline that entered my head the first time I heard about Switch, the latest YA novel by Canadian author Tish Cohen. We've all had the time when we wished we could switch lives with someone else... and that's exactly what happens in Switch when Andrea and Joules, two very different teenage girls, switch bodies (thanks to a rather unexpected source!) after wishing to be each other.

Andrea really did draw me to her side right away. I could understand her frustrations with her parents for their lack of attention in a household filled with many foster children and one in which she has always been expected to lend a helping hand without very much time (or attention!) for herself. I felt really bad for her, and it was easy to see why she would wish to be Joules, the beautiful daughter of a rock star and girlfriend of Andrea's longtime crush, Will. So when she switches bodies with Joules, you'd think she was catching a break, but Joules' life is less than perfect too and it's only with some time that Andrea will realize just how lucky she's been all along...

The novel is told solely through Andrea's point of view, but a part of myself was definitely curious to see how the perspective would have changed if we had the chance to view some of the events through Joules' shoes. My first impression of her was a teenage girl who was used to getting everything she wanted but she did eventually show some depth in her personality. I would have loved to have seen how her personal thoughts compared to how she carried herself around others. Don't get me wrong, Andrea's narration perfectly pulls off the novel... but I think seeing the effects of the switch on Joules through her point of view could have been great too.

The only other novel I've read by Tish Cohen is Little Black Lies but I would definitely say I enjoyed Switch a whole lot more. It was nice to see Andrea grow as a character as she gained an appreciation for her own life and family. Heartwarming and full of laugh out loud moments, yet still touching on more serious topics, Switch will prove to be a wonderful contemporary read.

Thanks so much to HarperCollins Canada for sending this review copy!

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  1. Other people may LOOK like they have it all, but they don't! You never know what happens behind closed doors, right? This does sound like a fun read :D

  2. Great Review, Liz! I loved this novel also, it was my first by this other but I purchased Little Black Lies and can't wait to read it!

  3. The premise of this reminds me of Freaky Friday. I would love to switch lives with someone but I'd want it only for a day or so. You might end up having a better life but you could also get stuck with one you'd be less happy with and I wouldn't want to take that chance.

  4. Great review! I had the same thoughts about the story being told only from Andrea's perspective and I would have probably understood Joules more if I could get into her head.

  5. I definitely want to check this one out... it seems like a fun read, especially for summer.

  6. I really liked Freaky Friday, so a new take on it sounds great! I think Switch definitely sounds like my kind of book, I'm glad you enjoyed it :). It looks like a really fun read. Thanks for the great review!