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Switch by Janelle Stalder

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**This review may contain a spoiler or two**

Switch is a new adult dystopian novel from Janelle Stalder, an author I hadn't known about until seeing mention of her from another book blog. Intrigued by the premise of this book, I decided to buy it and give Janelle a chance to impress me. Boy, was I glad I did. Impress me, she did.

Switch is the story of Charlotte Hatcher, a sixteen year old girl who lives with her mother in London. Her father is MIA, and she hasn't seen her sister, Bridgette, in so long, she doesn't even know if she's still alive. The year is 2040, and the world is in ruins due to the nastiest war the earth has ever seen. Everyone is doing what they can to survive. But they also have to deal with the Rebels and the New World soldiers.

Charlotte has a secret: she can read minds. Only her family members know she can do this. And she refuses to use that power until one fateful day. When the New World soldiers come to her home looking for her father, who they believe is a Rebel, Charlotte refuses to believe it. But when she sees how her mother is acting, she reads her mother's mind and discovers the cold, hard truth: that her mother is willing to sacrifice them both in order to keep her father safe.

The soldiers don't take kindly to being lied to, so they shoot Charlotte's mother as a warning. Then they turn their attention to Charlotte. Without realizing what she is doing, she reads one of the soldier's minds and answers his questions out loud, even though he hasn't asked them. Discovering her secret, the soldiers take Charlotte with them and decide to use her as their greatest weapon.

Fast forward five years later. Charlotte is now 21 and has been with the New World soldiers for those five years. She is, in fact, their greatest asset. Her name is now Dinah, but most know her as Weapon X. Only the leader and some of the other soldiers know the truth about her. She's also the right-hand 'man' to Roman, the right-hand man to their leader. Charlotte has to wear a mask that only shows her eyes, as well as the New World uniform, which is all black. None of the regular citizens know she's a female, but they do know if she comes a-knocking, they'd either better be truthful and hope for the best, or they'll be suffering even worse once she uses her powers on them.

One day, she has a run-in with a Rebel and he discovers the truth that Weapon X is actually a girl. But he decides to keep her secret instead of ratting her out.

Pete, who happens to be friends with Charlotte's sister, who works as a dancer, is a Rebel and the right-hand man to the rebel leader, Douglas. Pete and his friends are faced with dealing with the New World soldiers one day, and Pete, who has a smart mouth, is dragged away and stuck in a room with Charlotte. She's unable to read his mind, and he eventually finds out that Weapon X is no more than a very attractive girl.

He can't seem to get her off of his mind, even though he knows he shouldn't even be thinking about involving himself with a girl, especially not the enemy. But there is something about Charlotte that Pete just can't seem to shake, and all he wants to do is be with her.

When Charlotte is given a mission to go undercover as a Rebel and infiltrate them, discovering whatever secrets she can, she thinks it will be easy. Pete is the only one who knows the truth, and he's not talking. What she doesn't count on, though, is falling for him.

Now I don't want to give too much more away, as this book is definitely worth reading, but I will say Pete starts to question things, Charlotte ends up discovering some very harsh truths, and Roman does something he thinks is for the best, but ultimately ends up regretting.

The ending of the book had me screaming at my Kindle, as well. Seriously, I was so...frustrated, and I just...I don't even have words. Now I am DYING to read Masked, which is book 2 in the series.

If you love dystopian novels, and you want something a little more adult in the romance department, definitely give Switch a read. I can (almost) guarantee you will love it. The characters are well-written and likeable, or in some cases, extremely unlikeable. The plot flows well and doesn't drag. I was thoroughly engrossed the entire time I was reading this. Switch is so worth reading. Get your hands on a copy today!

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