Author: A.S. King
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: May 11, 2021
A surreal and timely novel about isolation and human connection from Michael L. Printz Award winner A.S. King.
Tru Beck is a teenage girl from Pennsylvania who lives in a world that has become trapped in a fold in time and space, where “real” time has stopped but humanity continues to mark artificial time based on a website called N3WCLOCK.com. Tru lives in a house that has a switch at its center. No one knows what the switch controls, but her father continually builds larger and larger boxes around the switch (Tru lives in Box #7). Tru leaves the box through a Tru-shaped hole to go to school, where she pays no attention to the new “Solution Time” curriculum. In fact, the only interesting thing that’s ever happened to Tru at school is when she discovers (on her first try) that she can throw a javelin farther than any human has ever thrown anything before in human history.
In June 2020, time stopped counting. The world became trapped in a fold in time and space and a website called N3WCLOCK started keeping time. Tru Beck had to deal with a lot of other issues during this time. Her house had a switch in the middle of it, but no one knew what it controlled. Her father began building boxes around the switch to protect them from it. Her brother was moody and surrounded by strange rumors of an inappropriate relationship with a minor. Then, Tru discovers that she can throw a javelin in track and field faster than anyone ever has before. No one knows where Tru’s sudden talent came from, so they’re suspicious of it. Tru has to deal with all of these issues while also figuring out how to fix time.
This was quite a strange story. The concept of time stopping in 2020 was a relatable aspect. With the pandemic, it felt like time stopped last year. A company reacted by creating a new way to stop time. Whenever we think that one system is gone, another one sneaks up and replaces it, sometimes doing the same thing but with different packaging. This new website was able to take over and profit on time.
Tru’s house was one of the strangest parts of the story. Tru’s father obsessively build boxes around their house until their rooms were all just numbered boxes. The house became unstable and started flipping over. It was hard for me to imagine this concept. With the exception of this idea of time stopping, most of the story could have been set in the real world. The way the house behaved was a little too strange for me to believe.
Switch is an unusual dystopian story.
Thank you Dutton Books for Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Have you read Switch? What did you think of it?