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Switched

Narrated by: Joel Leslie
Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

Non-member price: $38.95

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Publisher's Summary

Israel Ingham's life has never been easy. He grew up in a house devoid of love and warmth. Nothing he ever did was good enough. The fact that Israel is gay just added to the long list of his father's disappointments.

Then a letter from Eastport Children's Hospital changes everything.

A discovery is made, one of gross human error. Twenty-six years ago, two baby boys were switched at birth and sent home with the wrong families.

Sam, Israel's best friend, has been his only source of love and support. With Sam beside him every step of the way, Israel decides to meet his birth mother and her son, the man who lived the life Israel should have.

Israel and Sam become closer than ever, amidst the tumultuous emotions of meeting his birth family, and Sam finds himself questioning his feelings toward his best friend. As Israel embraces new possibilities, he needs to dissect his painful relationship with his parents in order to salvage what's left. Because sometimes it takes proof you're not actually family to become one.

Contains mature themes.

©2016 N.R. Walker (P)2017 Tantor

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  • DPiazzi
  • 15-06-2018

A story to fall in love with.

It took me a while to pick up this book by N.R. Walker. For the life of me, I don't know why. I love the author's writing and always fall in love with her characters. I'm a fan of the switched at birth trope, not that there are a lot of books featuring that. I also love the narrator, Joel Leslie. He is great at creating voices. So despite owning the ebook and having Switched on my audio wishlist, I didn't pick it up until I was offered a copy to review.

There is something subtly amazing about the author's writing. It probably sounds strange but every time I read a book by this author I find myself surprised at how much I love it. Like I never expect them to be as good as they are. Maybe because there isn't really a lot of other things going on outside of the characters relationship and their semi-normal lives. For the most part, there aren't secondary plots with action or danger. Her books are just very sweet romances with so much heart that you can't help but be drawn in and fall in love with the characters.

Israel has a close knit set of friends. I have to mention that I love their nickname for him because his initials, I.I. sound like aye, aye. He is called captain. It is brought up so often in the book and I thought it was cute, especially their singing of the Spongebob theme song. His good-natured acceptance of it doesn't make the joke get old as the story goes on. Israel's very best friend is Sam. And while he plays a big part in Israel's life this book is mostly about Israel.

Israel has never quite felt like he fit in his life. Raised by distant parents and nannies he hasn't felt welcome in his family especially after he came out as gay. It feels real easy to dislike his parents throughout most of this book. There is so much lack of communication between them, that it takes learning about a mistake the hospital made in switching babies for them to ever really talk. Even then, they skirt around real feelings until Israel can't take it anymore and forces the issues of how they treated him his whole life. Family secrets are revealed and hearts are opened but there is much healing for them. Oh, the feelings!

Isreael's friendship with Sam is tested throughout this book, also. He wants so much to lean on his friend but worries about becoming a nuisance. And has fears of rejection or losing his friendship. The truth is that he has had more than friend feelings. So does Sam. I usually feel frustrated when two friends keep pushing back their feelings instead of admitting things to each other. I do understand the worry about wrecking the friendship but still I am usually frustrated. Usually. I wasn't in this book at all. There was so much that Israel needed to go through and work out, I felt, before he could really be ready for it. And when they finally do get together, my heart sighed and sang. The author is really good at bringing out the emotions of the characters and allowing the reader to feel them.

I mentioned that the story is really about Israel and a lot about his parents treatment of him. I do need to mention how great the other characters are. First, Sam. He is a great character. He was raised with wealth but he is humble. He is a very likable guy whose family just happens to have money. Sam's family is just like him and are more like a family to Israel than his own in the beginning. Israel's birth mom and the (now) man he was switched with are great. Donna is the reason that Israel explored the feelings he had for Sam and Nick becomes a brother figure. There are other brothers and sisters from that family too that become Israel's family.

The end of this story was great with all these important people really coming together around Israel and Sam. There is a lot of healing for Sam and for the parents that raised him, the family he lost, and the family he made. My heart was extremely warmed by all the different types of love. I must remind myself in the future not to hold off on reading or listening to this author's books. I love being surprised over and over again by the depth of emotion in her writing.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • kasono Mwanza
  • 08-11-2017

THE BEST!

I️ belly laughed, I️ cried, was turned on, was truly touched, and felt the full gamut of emotions throughout this book! This is the story that would translate well onto the big screen, truly the story every romantic needs to read/listen to! The writing is SO GOOD! The small expressions, the detail, and the word choice... SO GOOD! Worth every second of your time!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex
  • 27-10-2017

Outstanding Tearjerker from the Land of Oz

Aussies talk funny and they drink waaaay too much, but you will need a box of Kleenex to get through this one. Very emotional ride well worth the ride, but with a happy ending (Thank God!).

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • ShortiiDoWop
  • 15-06-2019

SLOOOOOW Story

While not boring its more humorous than romantic (until near the end). Sam and Israel are best friends that find out Israel was switched at birth. Good story line but the main characters ping pong of emotions was kind of annoying. The last like 7 chapters are rushed and I hate that most of all.
All these chapters and the authors wait until the end to tie up loose ends, cliched!

Its still a good listen and Joel Leslie does a decent job, you can definitely tell whose talking and whats being said rather than thought. He brings the characters to life which is all that really matters, right?

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  • Janice Birnie
  • 12-05-2019

A superb friends to lovers novel with a twist.

Switched is a story of family with a twist. It’s about blood and made family and how the best ones aren’t necessarily planned. It’s also a beautiful friends to lovers story that kept me riveted from the first page.
Joel Leslie’s voice acting is superb and the combination of his narration and N.R. Walker’s flawless storytelling is not to be missed.
Highly Recommended.

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  • t
  • 10-05-2019

Slow burn with great characters, but...

I've never read/listened to an NR Walker book before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The story definitely did not go how I expected (which is actually a good thing because I can usually tell the ending from the beginning). The blurb made it sound like the story was truly focused on Iz being switched at birth. And while that did affect his actions, most of the story focused on him and Sam.

I adored Sam - I do mean adored. He was behind Israel every step of the way, was so wonderfully there for him. He's the kind of best friend/lover I would love to see more of in a story. (And I would have loved more scenes with his family and Iz because they were such a wonderful juxtaposition of how they treated him vs how his parents treated him. It would have been nice if Iz had recognized them as a truer form of parentage since they'd been his second parents since he was 15.)

I liked Israel, but he was a bit too angsty for me... not that he didn't have reason. He did. Just not my kind of character.

The narration by Leslie was good, but I've heard him and his English and Australian accents and he seems to have only three voices -the female voice used for all females, and two male voices. If he could keep them separated enough, that works. However, in this book, Iz's voice changes several times. Sometimes he sounds like himself, other times he sounds like Sam, and in one long scene, he sounded like Donna.

However, that said. I do highly suggest the book. Even if it's only to fall in love with Sam like I did.

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  • Aerielle
  • 09-05-2019

Amazing story

This is an amazing story about self discovery and finding family. Israel and Sam were so sweet together. Friends to lovers is a favorite trope of mine. Joel Leslie nailed the narration like always.

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  • Ms ddne
  • 05-05-2019

bittersweet story about love and family

I enjoyed this audiobook a lot more than I thought I was going to. narrator Joel Leslie was good as usual. sometimes I laughed sometimes I cried. love the HEA.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 13-04-2019

As always, a great heart warming story

NR Walker is one of my favorite authors. This story has humor, family and a great love story. Please don't stop. You've handled very touchy subjects with humor and love. I almost didn't listen because of the topic. But I thought, she wrote 4 books I love to listen to over and over.
I wasn't disappointed... thanks for the great story.

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  • Clark S.
  • 23-03-2019

Enjoyable, simple story line, but enjoyable.

Different story line. The major issues would be that this narrator always portrays the main character as on the edge of a nervous breakdown. The other issue is the "sprong" style of sex, but if the sex was a major issue you'd be listening to erotica instead of romance. I wish it would have delved a little more into the characters history.

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  • NiRo
  • 03-12-2018

Loved it!

Beautifully sweet but emotional story, rich loveable characters and my favourite narrator. Couldn’t ask for more!

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  • mee
  • 12-08-2018

Hmm

Enjoyed the book, it's all Israel discovering who he is; dealing with his family and the sudden attraction he feels to his best friend. I want a friend like Sam!

As an audio though, listening for too long a time is tiring. Not the best Australian accent and an overwrought performance. Seriously, all that emotion in packed into every sentence! Character voices are a bit odd, combined with the accent deeper ones don't sound natural and the women... are there really no Australian narrators out there?

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  • Stephen
  • 15-11-2017

Not what it seams more about sexuality than switching

Should warn it is very explicit about homosexuality than family I fact hardly about switching at all

0 of 4 people found this review helpful