Though The Switch is billed as a romance, it’s the other aspects of the narrative that truly shine.
I could not believe how many times I suddenly felt like I was about to start crying. The emotions in this story are always simmering right below the surface, ready to bubble up with very little notice. O’Leary is excellent at making you feel what her characters are feeling, and I felt drawn into their lives immediately. There’s a surprising amount of depth for what is essentially a chick flick trope.
Honestly, the romance was an afterthought. It was pretty clear from the beginning that Ethan wasn’t a great boyfriend, and even though I did really like Jackson, there isn’t enough to justify Leena quite literally falling into his arms in the end. Eileen’s romance had a little more build-up and pay-off and was much more of a focus of her story, but it still wasn’t the most enjoyable part.
O’Leary’s writing is witty and charming, perfectly placing you in London and rural Yorkshire with ease. She captures the small-town vibe as Leena struggles to step into Eileen’s life and figure out her own. And while Eileen’s online dating is surprisingly successful, her meddling nature makes it impossible for her not to get involved in everyone’s business, which can be difficult in a big city where everyone is living their own lives. Unfortunately, with the split narrative, The Switch was a little too short for either side to feel fully developed, but it was still a very enjoyable read.