4 May 2010

Review: SWAPPED BY A KISS by Luisa Plaja *****

Rachel hates her life and everyone in it - she even has suspicions that her on/off boyfriend David might not be entirely trustworthy. However, when David invites her to a music festival in England featuring their friend's band, she jumps at the chance for an overseas adventure. Hoping to surprise David, Rachel arrives at the festival early, where she runs into a nasty surprise of her own - she sees David kissing their friend Jo.
Distraught, Rachel runs off, wishing she could leave her life behind...the next thing she knows, she's back with David. But not as herself...She's now in Jo's body! Can she keep the swap a secret from David until she can work out exactly what's going on and get her revenge?
Over the course of a very weird weekend, Rachel puts herself in someone else's shoes and finds that her own maybe weren't as uncomfortable as she'd always thought. But can she ever be herself again?
This is a sequel (well, sort of) to Split by a Kiss, but instead of by Jo(sie), this book is narrated by her (gothically inclined) friend Rachel. She's decided to surprise her boyfriend David at the music festival in England, but when she turns up, she sees him kissing their friend Jo (from Split). Rachel's been through some tough times recently, both with David and her family - she's had enough of her life and she wishes she was Jo, thinking her life would be perfect then. The next thing she knows, she finds herself in Jo's body and it takes her a while to figure out she actually got her wish!

So this book is mostly narrated by Rachel (in Jo's body!), who's learning to have fun at the music festival while trying to get her revenge on David and trying to find out if he really is the cheating 'dastard' she takes him for. At the same time, she also learns some surprising things about why Jo's boyfriend Albie has suddenly disappeared and learns that being in Jo's shoes/body is hardly as fun as she imagined, but at least it helps her let her hair down for the first time in her life (since she doesn't have to pretend to be tough) as well as put things into perspective ...

What about our girl Jo, you ask? Well, when she unexpectedly finds herself in Rachel's body, she's so confused that people around her think she's taken some serious drugs or really gone crazy so she's taken to the hospital for some tests. She's soon transfered to a posh private hospital where she visited by her (err, Rachel's) mum and no one else. We learn about her part of the story through the (hilarious) diary she keeps to cope with her (err, Rachel's) supposed 'anger issues'. Being alone, she has plenty of time to think about her life and relationship with Albie (have they broken up or not?) and at the same time she also learns a lot about Rachel ... But gosh, pretending to be mean like Rachel is exhausting work, heh ...

How fantastic was this book?! Let me tell you - VERY fantastic! I adored everything about it and I have no complaints whatsoever!
The plot itself was great - I mean, doesn't everyone get tired of their lives and wish they could be someone else, someone less flawed and with a supposedly perfect life? And since this isn't possible in real life, I found it immensly enjoyable to read about in this book - even if the ending is half expected, the story itself was still fantastic. It was just the right mix of hilarious scenes (the Glow Pants Girl thing had me in stitches, LOL) and tackling some more serious topics, and it all connected and it worked!

The writing and the dialogue were brilliant and both narrators were fabulous - I loved Rachel's snarkiness and Jo's (private!!) diary entries were downright hilarious! I found myself relating to Rachel quite a bit, seeing how I was also very angry and appeared tough and wore nothing but black when I was her age. I know how difficult it is to drop that 'image' and Rachel got a perfect chance to let her hair down without worrying about what people would say.
In my review of Split, I said I found some of the characters (mostly the meanies) slightly stereotypical - well, luckily I cannot say the same for this book as I thought ALL the characters were really well portrayed and had dimension, even the side ones (Clyde, Tamber, Hailey, Tori, Stumpy Braids, Heavy Lids et al.).

Lastly, the cover is gorgeous and it makes me want to hug the book, it's just too cute. Oh and there's a special treat in it for Jenny from Wondrous Reads - she gets a special mention on the Dedications page and even a small shoutout in the book - how cool! :D

Anyway, can't you tell I loved this book? I really enjoyed reading it and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, it was fantastic! If you've enjoyed Split by a Kiss, then you're going to love this one - and if you haven't read either, then what are you waiting for?! ;)

overall rating:
plot: 5/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 5/5 | cover: 5/5

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blueicegal said...

great review girl! :)

Emidy said...

This sounds so fun! I really love books that make me laugh, so I should start this series.

Vampires and Tofu said...

Thought the cover of this one was cute (love the goth looking girl), now that I've read your review I am adding it to my wishlist =)

Ria- The Beaucoup Review book blog. said...

My copies on the way- but all the blogs are reviewing it now, so I really can't wait!
And I'm glad Tori's in it again.
Thanks for the review! xxx

Nina said...

Glad you liked it. I don't know if I already said this on your blog, but they translated the first book into Dutch! Happy me! I went to the library to borrow it, but somebody already picked it up. So now I am on the waiting list for the book. I'm excited to read it. Thanks for the great review, and aren't those covers just so sweet!

Rhiana said...

I just got Split a couple of weeks ago, so now I'm really excited to read both! Great Review!

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