Annike: Hey guys, I’m here today with a review on a book called Switching Gears by Chantelle Sedgwick. I received this book off Netgalley, however I’m pretty sure it’s already out and available for anyone so you should definitely go and check it out! Now let’s get onto the review…
Still mourning the loss of Lucas Nelson, the boy she loved in secret for years, seventeen-year-old Emmy Martin turns to her passion for mountain biking to try to fill the empty void in her life. But just when things start looking up, Emmy discovers her mom has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Confused and angry that her parents didn’t tell her sooner, she throws herself into mountain biking like never before.
When Cole Evans, offers to train her for the biggest mountain biking race of the season, she accepts, determined to beat her nemesis, Whitney, and prove she’s good enough for a sponsor. The more time she spends with Cole, the more she realises he’s different than she’d expected. Torn between the feelings she still has for Lucas and her growing ones for Cole, she knows she must choose a path: one offers her the chance to love again, while the other is blocked by the overwhelming heartache for the boy she lost.
As she drifts further away from her family and closer to her dream of being sponsored, a terrible accident threatens any semblance of peace and happiness she has left. Instead of closing herself off to the people she loves, Emmy must learn to rely on those she has pushed away if she’s going to have any chance of getting her life back again.
So what I didn’t realise starting this book that this was kind of a lead off to Love, Lucas by Chantelle Sedgwick – a book I read and reviewed like last month or pretty recently. You can check out the review to that here but I don’t think either book was necessary for the other, they just both mentioned the other characters in them.
The book looks at the main character of Emmy, who recently lost her best friend Lucas and is still reeling from his death. Emmy is struggling with beating her nemesis in mountain biking, struggling with coming to terms with her mums illness and then also navigating her feeling for Cole who is adamant about coaching her about biking.
I quite liked Emmy as a character but at the same time she seemed to dodge a lot of the issues around her and didn’t act in the most grown up way which also annoyed me. I felt so bad for her mother, who she completely shut out because she was worried and scared. But to me, it felt like the Mum had it the worst and she really needed the most support.
Other than Emmy I really liked the other supporting characters like Kelsie, her best friend and her brother, Gavin. Gavin was an incredible brother to Emmy. He was probably my favourite character of the book because he was also really funny but super loyal and he seemed to fare a lot better than Emmy most of the time when it came to family issues and life in general. Kelsie on the other hand was a really good best friend and a character that really complemented Emmy, so while I wasn’t that interested in Emmy as a character, I did like a lot of the other ones.
The plot in the book is a little slow as most of it is simply the lead up to Emmy’s biking race against her nemesis, Whitney. But there was a climax part in the last 50 pages similarly to Love, Lucas. I’m not sure how I feel about the tragic accidents towards the very end of the book because it leaves a lot of things out with the book needing to wrap up very soon. I think I’d be interested to see these climaxes before the last section just so I could see it developed more. If you have read the book or Love, Lucas you probably know what I’m talking about but I don’t want to give that away.
Anyways, so that was mostly what I thought about the book. It wasn’t the most exciting book but I found it quite riveting and it was really interesting getting to read about early onset Alzheimers because it’s not a very popular topic. Switching Gears is quite an easy and almost fluffy book but I would definitely recommend people to give it a go.
Thanks for reading! We’ll be back early next week for another review etc.