Blog Tour | Swing by Kwame Alexander

Looking for a new YA novel that's realistic, poetic and will pull at your heart strings? Check out my review of Swing!

Title: Swing

Author: Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess

Age: Young Adult

Genres: Realistic Fiction, Poetry,

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Blink

Source: Hardcover

Purchase: Hardcover | Paperback (July 23, 2019) | Kindle | Audible | B&N | Kobo | Play Store | iBooks 

Things usually do not go as planned for seventeen-year-old Noah. He and his best friend Walt (aka Swing) have been cut from the high school baseball team for the third year in a row, and it looks like Noah’s love interest since third grade, Sam, will never take it past the “best friend” zone. Noah would love to retire his bat and accept the status quo, but Walt has big plans for them both, which include making the best baseball comeback ever, getting the girl, and finally finding cool.

To go from lovelorn to ladies’ men, Walt introduces Noah to a relationship guru—his Dairy Queen-employed cousin, Floyd—and the always informative Woohoo Woman Podcast. Noah is reluctant, but decides fate may be intervening when he discovers more than just his mom’s birthday gift at the thrift shop. Inside the vintage Keepall is a gold mine of love letters from the 1960s. Walt is sure these letters and the podcasts are just what Noah needs to communicate his true feelings to Sam. To Noah, the letters are more: an initiation to the curious rhythms of love and jazz, as well as a way for him and Walt to embrace their own kind of cool. While Walt is hitting balls out of the park and catching the eye of the baseball coach, Noah composes anonymous love letters to Sam in an attempt to write his way into her heart. But as things are looking up for Noah and Walt, a chain of events alters everything Noah knows to be true about love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.

In Swing, bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) present a free-verse poetic story that will speak to anyone who’s struggled to find their voice and take a swing at life. 

My Rating: 

Quote(s) I Like:
"If you'd rather focus on the No, that's on you. I choose yes." - Walt

"A setback is a setup waiting for a comeback" - Walt 

"Quit thinking negatively. Don't build more walls to block what's possible. Crash through, Noah. Crash the heck through." - Walt

My Thoughts:
This book was not only funny, but realistic to the problems in America now. This book was way more than just a cute romance, but it tore at my heart strings and made me cry. I loved the beauty of the poetic feel to this and how easy it was to read.

Noah seems to be this pessimistic, quiet kid who just lets the chips fall where they may. He doesn't seek to be at the forefront. Walt aka Swing, Noah's bestfriend, is the complete opposite. He is loud, outgoing and always looking to be front and center. Sam, Noah's love interest and friend, was a bit of an annoying character. She never knew what she really wanted and she pissed me off with the romance. She was really aggravating.

I enjoyed the mix of sports, art and music in this book -- it helped to add a bit of depth to the story. I loved the songs Walt spoke about it and the images shared by Noah.

That ending was totally unexpected and made me cry for the final few pages. That turn of events was so real to today's time with black men being shot and killed by cops without a true reason. The situation with Walt's brother takes a deep look into PTSD with those who serve our country. The friendship between Walt and Noah was just amazing.

Overall, this was an interesting read and I would definitely recommend it for a quick summer read that has some depth.

Author Bio
Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times Bestselling author of 21 books, including THE CROSSOVER, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Passaic Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages. His other works include SURF'S UP, a picture book; BOOKED, a middle grade novel; and He Said She Said, a YA novel.

Kwame believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his PAGE TO STAGE Writing and Publishing Program released by Scholastic. A regular speaker at colleges and conferences in the U.S., he also travels the world planting seeds of literary love (Singapore, Brazil, Italy, France, Shanghai, etc.). Recently, Alexander led a delegation of 20 writers and activists to Ghana, where they delivered books, built a library, and provided literacy professional development to 300 teachers, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program he co-founded.

Mary Rand Hess is a poet, screenwriter, mixed-media artist, and New York Times bestselling author of notable and award-winning books such as Solo and Swing (Blink YA), coauthored with Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander, Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures (National Geographic Children’s Books), also coauthored with Kwame Alexander and Deanna Nikaido, Little Larry Goes to School (National Geographic Children’s Books), written with renowned photographer and filmmaker, Gerry Ellis, and the forthcoming picture book, The One and Only Wolfgang: From Pet Rescue to One Big Happy Family, coauthored with Steve Greig of @wolfgang2242 Instagram fame. She is currently at work on a few novels in verse, picture books, and screenplays.

Tour-Wide Giveaway
- Starts: 7/22/19
- Ends: 8/9/19
- 5 BLINK Summer Reading Tour Book Bundles (A Touch of Gold, Meet the Sky, No Place Like Here, Pretty In Punxsutawney, and Swing by Kwame Alexander) (USA)

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