A Novel by Chantele Sedgwick, Sky Pony Press, February 2017.
* An e-galley was provided by Sky Pony Press and Edelweiss for an honest review.
Switching Gears by Chantele Sedgwick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sky Pony Press is starting to be my go-to publisher for young adult books. Their newest addition, SWITCHING GEARS, a follow up to LOVE, LUCAS by Chantele Sedgwick, is a wonderful example of what I think makes a great young adult romance. The writing is easy-flowing and never bogs down, the action is exciting and plentiful, and the lead characters have realistic flaws and grow throughout the story. And, of course, the heroine gets her HEA.
Seventeen-year-old Emmy Martin loves mountain biking. It's what makes her feel alive. As the story begins, she still mourns the death of her best friend, neighbor, and secret love Lucas, who died from cancer the month before. She strains to finish a race in first place but is passed by her nemesis, Whitney. Irritated at always coming in behind Whitney, she asks for a rematch. A cocky Cole offers to help her train, but Emmy chooses to do it by herself. She's afraid to get close to too many people, since she fears they might leave her. So she keeps only Kelsie as her friend and confidant.
Kelsie is Emmy's best friend and an exceptional one, too. She refuses to let Emmy wallow in her sadness, constantly pushing and prodding her to get out and enjoy life. She makes Emmy laugh, and she encourages her to give Cole a chance. She is perfect BFF material.
And then there's Cole. Hot, cocky and a mountain bike racing fiend. Emmy doesn't like him at first, especially after he's named captain of their school's mountain biking team, the one she started the previous summer. She's wary of him when he offers to train her for the rematch with Whitney. So Emmy turns him down. He continues to try and help her and eventually asks her out. He's supportive, treats her well and likes to tease her. But most of all, he cares enough to challenge Emmy to be her very best.
The story includes issues of abandonment, grief, self-doubt, guilt, and believing in yourself. It has funny parts mixed in with some sad passages, but it's a wonderful story overall. The only con is that it ended too soon. (I would have liked to see the last chapter expanded to include some of what happened through the year before the Epilogue occurs.) So I'm giving the book a strong 4.5 stars
SWITCHING GEARS is a sweet romance that should appeal to younger teenagers, but older teenagers and adults will enjoy the story too. And it's a book you'll want to keep on your shelf to revisit from time to time.
If You Like This, You May Like: LOVE, LUCAS and NOT YOUR AVERAGE FAIRY TALE by Chantele Sedgwick, LIFE BEFORE by Michele Bacon, THAT BURNING SUMMER by Lydia Syson, BY YOUR SIDE by Kasie West, FIRST YEAR by Sarah Hocut, STOLEN KISSES by Kerttu-Liis Kiili, SAINT ANYTHING and JUST LISTEN by Sarah Dessen
View all my reviews