About the Book ~
When America is not so beautiful, or right, or just, it can be hard to know what to do. Best friends Walt and Noah decide to use their voices to grow more good in the world, but first they’ve got to find cool.
Walt is convinced junior year is their year, and he has a plan to help them woo the girls of their dreams and become amazing athletes. Never mind that he and Noah failed to make the high school baseball team yet again, and Noah’s love interest since third grade, Sam, has him firmly in the friend zone. Noah soon finds himself navigating the worlds of jazz, batting cages, the strange advice of Walt’s Dairy Queen-employed cousin, as well as Walt’s own perceptions of what is actually cool. Status quo seems inevitable until Noah stumbles on a stash of old love letters. Each page contains the words he’s always wanted to say to Sam, and he begins secretly creating artwork using the lines that speak his heart. But when his private artwork becomes public, Noah has a decision to make: continue his life in the dugout and possibly lose the girl forever, or take a swing and make his voice heard?
At the same time, numerous American flags are being left around town. While some think it’s a harmless prank and others see it as a form of peaceful protest, Noah can’t shake the feeling something bigger is happening to his community. Especially after he witnesses events that hint divides and prejudices run deeper than he realized.
As the personal and social tensions increase around them, Noah and Walt must decide what is really true when it comes to love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.
New York Times bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) tell a lyrical story about hope, courage, and love that will speak to anyone who’s struggled to find their voice.
For more information about Kwame Alexander and his books, check out his website here!
For more information about Mary Rand Hess and her books, check out her website here!
My Thoughts ~
I fell in love with the lyrical, poetic writing style of this dynamic duo, Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess, in Solo...
And Swing did NOT disappoint! In fact, I think the authors raised their awesome bar to a whole new awesome level!
Swing follows the journey of best friends Walt and Noah from Noah's viewpoint. Their mission? Find their cool! Who among us hasn't tried to find their cool? I know I have! One of my favorite features was getting to see and study the artwork that Noah creates! Those details really pulled me into the story in a way that so few stories have. I also loved the jazz references. Whether you're a jazz novice or the Chairman of the Board to seventeen different jazz clubs, readers will find these references to be fun, inspiring, and profound! Walt and Noah's hilarious, awkward, and vulnerable moments will result in a ripple effect, encouraging all who read their journey to embrace a "hug life" philosophy!
The underlying message of Swing tackles some of the most painful social issues of the day. Race, prejudice, and division build until...until the reader closes the back cover with tears in their eyes. Swing took a painful subject and gave it a face and a name, hopes and dreams. And how can anyone not break when that is shattered? If only we could look at everyone like that...
Four Stars ~ Swing's powerfully poetic narrative will tug on heartstrings and hopefully inspire conversations. Swing is general-market fiction, but there are powerful faith/God messages mixed into the story. Swing is (to my knowledge) a standalone novel, but if Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess write another book, I'll read it. Period.
Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I was offered a eBook copy of this book from the author/publisher. I also purchased my own hardback copy from Amazon. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.
Any questions? Check out my Disclosures and Policies Page!
See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!
~V. Joy Palmer
V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.