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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ€TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Kill Switch Hardcover – April 17, 2012

2.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

* "Lynch’s writing, parched with desert-dry humor, is so fine that a breakfast table conversation is just as gripping as the paranoia-laced scenes of the trio evading a shadowy doom. A compact, frayed-nerves bundle of brilliance.--Booklist, starred review

"A great premise, developed with brilliant prose...characters are sympathetically and vividly evoked, and the brief novel is a model of good writing."--The Horn Book

"A psychological exploration that leaves readers with just as many interesting questions as answers."--School Library Journal

"Lynch’s masterly balance of life-or-death road trip and tender grandfather/grandson relationship makes this an unusual, first-rate thriller."--BCCB

About the Author

Chris Lynch is the Printz Honor Award–winning author of several highly acclaimed young adult novels, including Printz Honor Book Freewill, Iceman, Gypsy Davy, and Shadow Boxer—all ALA Best Books for Young Adults—as well as Killing Time in Crystal City, Little Blue Lies, Pieces, Kill Switch, Angry Young Man, and Inexcusable, which was a National Book Award finalist and the recipient of six starred reviews. He holds an MA from the writing program at Emerson College. He teaches in the Creative Writing MFA program at Lesley University. He lives in Boston and in Scotland.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: HL690L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; First Printing edition (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416927026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416927020
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,233,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I keep thinking of teen audiences and wondering what they might find to enjoy in Chris Lynch's KILL SWITCH. Let's start: They might like the economical writing style. Lynch's is a terse, to-the-point delivery that dispenses with much in the way of description, asides, or careful plotting. They might also enjoy the dialogue-saturated narrative. Young Dan Cameron and his "Da" (grandfather afflicted with dementia) do a lot of talking and Lynch uses it as his go-to method of characterization. But ah, there's the rub. How tough is it going to be when the characters you build are so thoroughly unlikable? (Rhetorical question, of course.)

By way of YA comparison, I think of Gordon Korman's POP, where Alzheimer's was handled sensitively and the book remained entirely realistic while winning the readers' sympathy for the victim and his family. Here we have the depiction of an aggressive form of dementia. Sure, this happens in some cases of Alzheimer's, and much could have been done with it in the case of its effect on his gentle and caring grandson, Danny Cameron, but something happens on the way to the compassion forum -- Da's gross behavior (which can't be helped) gets trumped by Danny's (which can be). How to explain this behavior? Lynch doesn't. At least not in a satisfying way so readers buy in. He's too busy being economical with the narrative.

The book's start is sluggish and it's ending is slugs. The violence will leave you scratching your head. And, when all's said and done, you'll be glad you're leaving the not-so-gentlemen of this "road book" which has grandson and gramps on the run from the law for greener narratives under other covers. Some may reasonably disagree, but for me this proved a short but difficult slog.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Kill Switch is an odd book that should have either been a much larger novel or a short story. The premise is intriguing, the characters are interesting and unique, and the descriptive writing is solid and often times lyrical. The story itself initially left me wanting more information, then wondering if the author's point couldn't have been more powerfully stated if this had been a short story.

It's the summer before Dan is supposed to start college, and he wants to spend every minute of it he can with his beloved grandfather, who is gradually deteriorating due to Alzheimer's disease. Well, it turns out that grandpa was a spy, and when he starts to receive a bit too much attention from his old co-workers, Dan decides to take him on the run. They enlist the help of his junkie cousin, and go on a trip to nowhere with no object in mind, except to "save Da".

There's a blurb on the front cover of Kill Switch touting this book as a young adult thriller. There's just not anything thrilling here at all. This is just a freaky little road trip story that never went anywhere. The most interesting aspect of the book wasn't developed until the very end, when Dan recalls his Da telling him about how everyone has a "Kill Switch". I won't spoil the ending, but the payoff would have been sweeter if I hadn't had to read through 140 pages of pointless, random plot elements and hard to follow dialogue to get there.

I didn't enjoy Kill Switch, and would be hard pressed to find any young adult who would find much to relate to in this story. I didn't find myself very interested in what was happening until around page eighty or so, and that's quite a long time to wait to feel vested in a story that is only 169 pages long. Parents please note that Kill Switch presents violence and drug use in a way that left a bad taste in my mouth and made me wish that my thirteen year old son hadn't read this book first. He didn't like it either. Not a recommend.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"All the best people are rascals..." declares Da, a retired "systems analyst for the Department of Agriculture" in "Kill Switch." If ever there were rascals contained on the pages of a novel, Da, his grandson Dan, and Dan's cousin Jarrod are those rascals. Written by Chris Lynch, "Kill Switch" is one of the most hilarious, most emotionally touching novels I have had the privilege of reading.

Dan's beloved grandfather, Da, is suffering from "memory loss." His stories have become wildly imaginative - or so Dan believes when Da's former colleague Largs denies their drinking beer together overseas and says they drank Budweiser together in Kansas. However, events transpire which cause Dan to realize his grandfather may be more aware of his memories and his past than the family thinks he is and the "company" would like Da to be. Enlisting the assistance of his cousin Jarrod, a college campus caretaker and stoner, Dan engineers Da's escape before he is committed to long-term "care." During the course of their escapade, the three get assistance from unexpected sources. Dan discovers hidden sources of resilience within himself, and he learns that every individual has a breaking point, a "Kill Switch," when he will do whatever is necessary to survive.

Chris Lynch writes a succinct, to-the-point narrative. "Kill Switch" never wanders into unnecessary detail or dialog; it makes its points vividly. Emotions are evident, but Lynch does not become overly sentimental or maudlin as he describes the heartbreaking loss of memory Da is experiencing or its effect on Dan and his family. Personalities are well developed; characters are appealing and their conversations are filled with humor.

"Kill Switch" is quick, satisfying read. The humor and emotion contained within its pages elevate this book above most being marketed today. "Kill Switch" is definitely worthy of 5 stars.
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