The Switch Up: L.A. Exchange by Katy Cannon
Published By: Stripes/Little Tiger Publishing
Released: 25th June 2020
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Looks like Alice
Looks like Willa
Alice can’t wait to visit Willa in LA – home of Hollywood, where dreams come true. Their plan is to explore the city and see the sights, but then Willa gets the opportunity to work on the film project of her dreams and she can’t say no! The only problem is she is absolutely 100% supposed to be taking part in a beach clean-up. Which, now she thinks of it, sounds pretty perfect for Alice… Can the girls really swap lives again? Cue plotting, outfit swapping and award-winning performances. But everyone knows that real life is nothing like the movies…
The second instalment in THE SWITCH UP series and the perfect read for fans of GEEK GIRL and SUPER AWKWARD.
I read The Switch Up last year and found it to be the perfect summer read, full of friendships and the importance of family. So, I was overjoyed to find out that The Switch Up: L.A. Exchange was in the works and was delighted when I received an early copy. I was excited to get stuck into yet another adventure with Alice and Willa.
The Switch Up: L.A. Exchange follows Alice and Willa, as Alice visits Willa in L.A. – the place where dreams can come true. The girls plan to explore the sights is place under jeopardy when Willa gets the chance to help work on a film project, but also has to volunteer at a beach clean up, which sounds like the perfect job for Alice. Soon the girls are plotting to swap lives again, but will it work a second time without them causing chaos?
This was an enjoyable, quick, easy read that had me feeling all summery in the process. It’s full of quick schemes and adventure that will have you laughing but will also leave you feeling emotional at some points. Being back in the lives of Alice and Willa was so refreshing and it was great seeing them back to their old tricks again. It made me realise how much I had missed these characters and I was engrossed in their lives again.
The setting of L.A. was one that I was hooked on. As someone who would love to visit that area of USA, I found it interesting to learn about and discover all the tourist attractions and being able to visualise it through our protagonists. The beach where Alice volunteers was a particular location that I found to be the most vivid in forms of description and it had me longing to go there. Maybe one day in the future I’ll make it there. Also, you could tell how much research Katy had put into the setting, and it had me thinking that she’s been there before by how intricate the details were.
Plot-wise, it was both entertaining and engaging, and despite it being a little bit predictable I still found myself enjoying the overall story. Having Alice and Willa swap lives again could be seen as repetitive, however, the arc of the plot was different to the first book in many ways and you don’t see it as being tedious. I think I enjoyed this storyline to that of the first book and this was mainly because we got to see the two girls come out of their shells in regards to both their friendship and their personalities. We see Alice become more confident in herself and learn that she doesn’t need to act like Willa. She has her adventure and when Willa isn’t acting like the best friend, Alice stands up to her. Willa, on the other hand, learns to think of others before herself, and she realises that she needs to treat her friends and also her family better. In a way the journeys of both the girls go off in opposing ways, but like they say opposites attract.
A few themes that are relevant to real-life are brought up within The Switch Up: L.A. Exchange, but the one that stood out to me was the environmental message. Alice is a huge advocate for environmental change and she does all she can to try and make the world more environmentally friendly. Seeing her volunteer at the beach clean up and going on the march was inspiring and has made me want to strive to do all I can to help the planet. She’s a proper eco-warrior and we need to see more characters like her in YA and MG.
The Switch Up: L.A. Exchange was lighthearted, pleasurable read that is perfect for summer reading and I have my fingers and toes crossed that there’s a third book. I need it.
* With everything that is going on in the world right now I couldn’t not talk about it. I am in huge support of the Black Lives Matter movement and am devastated with what I am seeing and hearing on a day to day basis. I couldn’t be silent about it and I urge you if you haven’t already to please donate, sign petitions and get involved. Please don’t stay silent. This link will take you to a list of where you can get information on signing petitions, donating and how you can help.