FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Random House LLC (via NetGalley).
Publisher: Random House on December 2, 2013
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (NA)
Cassie Mae redefines the New Adult genre with a novel that answers the eternal question: What do you do when you’re head over heels for your best friend’s guy?
Ever since high school, Kayla has been crazy for gorgeous football player Talon. But before she could muster the courage to tell him, he became a hot item with her beautiful BFF, Reagan. The only person who knows Kayla’s secret is Wesley, Talon’s best bud—and he’s got it bad for Reagan. Now they’re all in college together, hanging out 24/7. For Kayla, seeing the two lovebirds together is absolutely unbearable. So Kayla and Wesley hatch a plot to drive them apart before Talon has a chance to give Reagan the Christmas gift she’s been waiting for.
Soon enough, the once happy couple is fighting. Reagan suddenly can’t get enough of Wesley’s goofy sense of humor, and Talon seems to be paying more attention to Kayla than a guy who’s “only a friend” ever should. But just when everything seems to be falling into place, Kayla and Wesley accidentally spend a night together and discover a hitch in their plan they never considered: that switching partners may not lead to a perfect ending after all.
What do you do when you’re in love with your best friend’s boyfriend? Plot to break them up, of course! Kayla’s been in love with Talon since that day in elementary school when he first admired her freshly skinned knee. But when high school finally came around, Kayla’s best friend Reagan got to Talon first, and Kayla’s been left to pine over what could have been ever since. Stuck on the sidelines with her is Talon’s best friend Wesley, who just so happens to be head over heels for Reagan. But now that they’re in college, they have a plan.
First, they’re going to make Talon realize that Kayla is his meant-to-be, while Reagan will finally see the light and know that Wesley is her one-and-only. Then the targeted couple will break up — amicably and drama-free, of course — and give their blessing to the switch. Kayla will have Talon, Wesley will have Reagan, friendships will remain in tact, and they’ll all live happily ever after. And with a rock-solid plan like that, what could possibly go wrong?
It took me a chapter or two to get fully on board with the writing style and humor, but once I did, it was golden. The not-so-fearsome foursome hang out constantly, but thanks to their manipulations, Kayla and Wesley each get some bonding and alone time with the targets of their affections. The come back together to trade notes and conspire more, but when they find out Talon and Reagan are about to take the next step in their relationship, they decide to kick their mission up a notch. And just when it all seems to be coming together, everything gets turned upside down.
The characters were usually funny and often downright quirky — even Reagan with her ballsy and embarrassing gift habits. And while I expected Talon to be empty beyond his good looks, he turned out to be an amazingly caring friend. Kayla’s constant second-guessing, justifying, and self-questioning was something any girl who’s ever been attracted to someone she shouldn’t be can relate to. And Wesley… I dare you not to fall in love with him. He’s fun and gorgeous and silly and just perfect.
While I loved the quirky and truly genuine friendship shared by all the characters, the little twist at the end threw me for a loop. While it certainly wrapped everything up quite nicely, it seemed altogether unnecessary. View Spoiler »I might forgive my friends for lusting after my significant other, but I would have strangled them if they’d actually tried to facilitate a breakup. And coming up with their own conspiracy? Too much. With friends who cared about each other as much as these four obviously did, it would have made much more sense for Kayla and Wesley to have their makeout moment at the end, followed by Talon and Reagan simply realizing that they wanted to be together after all. « Hide Spoiler
This book made me happy — like ridiculous, stupid, giddy, grinning happy. Kayla and Wesley’s antics were awkwardly hilarious, and their banter was simply golden. Between the chapter titles and Kayla’s journal entries, I was all smiles for the rest of the story. Where many authors practically beat readers over the head with what’s supposed to be an undercurrent of unexpected attraction, Mae subtly threaded it into the story in a way that left me just as conflicted as Kayla was — though by the time Wesley and Kayla were both getting what (they thought) they wanted, I was ready to knock some sense into them myself! And when did mostly clean romance scenes get so hot? Avoiding the dreaded fade-to-black but not giving in to the porntastic trap that so many romances try on, Switched manages to sell every hormone-riddled second of lust in a way that just blew me away. All in all, this is an incredibly fun read, a great bit of fluff without abandoning substance, and it’s definitely going on my repeat reads shelf.