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...
Katy Cannon is my go-to author for contemporary YA with a solid heart of gold. I loved her previous books 'Love, Lies and Lemon Pies' (read my review here), as well as 'Secrets, Schemes and Sewing Machines' (read my review here).
Katy's latest book 'The Switch Up', was high on my list of titles I was looking forward to being published this year. It is the perfect summer read for either sitting with on the beach or reading during some downtime on a city break. I devoured it in one sitting and am now desperately hoping that there will be a sequel.
'The Switch Up' follows in the same vein as Freaky Friday and The Parent Trap. It features two girls, Alice and Willa, who on the spur of the moment, decide that they will swap lives for the summer. Willa ends up in London and Alice in Italy, pretending to everyone around them that they are someone else. The book alternates between the two girls as they face new adventures, make new friends and ultimately learn some big lessons about themselves.
Alice was my favourite of the two because I seemed to identify with her more. She likes to please people, she likes to feel in control of things around her and she likes to have everything planned out. Spontaneity is not something that is normally associated with her but when she has a chance meeting with Willa at the airport, she is convinced to swap places and ends up spending the summer in Italy with Willa's Aunt Sofia and her foster children. There are lots of layers to Alice's story and I thought that Katy Cannon handled this with a deft touch. She highlights some of the stresses and insecurities that Alice has been dealing with, while also allowing her to blossom and grow in confidence.
Willa ends up in London with Alice's potential stepmother Margo. She meets a friend of Alice's called Hal, who helps her to hide her real identity. Willa is extremely confident and outgoing but she too has secret worries and fears, as well as family problems to face up to. I enjoyed seeing her become more aware of others around her and their feelings, as she discovers some painful truths about herself.
'The Switch Up' was a sparkling read which I thoroughly enjoyed. Katy's storytelling is exceptional and her books are the perfect reads for young teens. The story explores common issues such as family, identity and friendship, while also weaving in light touches of romance. While I was reading, I could almost feel the sun on my face and the sand in my toes. A superb contemporary YA that was enormous fun to read.