Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Title: The Art of Shifting Gears
Author: Chi Yu Rodriguez
Series: Standalone
Edition: Paperback
Publication: April 2017 by Anvil Publishing
Source: Copy provided by the publisher
Pages: 120
Genre: New Adult, Romance

Rae de los Santos was en route to a perfect adult life. She knew what to major in, she knew what career path she was going to pursue, and she knew who she was going to be with all the way to the realization of her dreams—until her seamless journey made a turn for the unimaginable and skidded to a stop.

All of a sudden she was facing every roadblock possible, and the people she held dear ended up running over her heart.

For a year, she distracted herself with hot lead and burnt rubber, using karting as a lifeline until she was strong enough to face the world that shunned her.

But during Rae’s junior year in college, she was again blindsided by signs that weren’t supposed to be there. Will Rae go full speed ahead? Or will the seduction of the past slow her down?


The Art of Shifting Gears is another #romanceclass book that I enjoyed! I think this is the first book in the history of MY ever that I met a racer/mechanic female protagonist! Though our Rae is set to become a teacher, her hobbies and abilities are not limited to it and that's a character arc I've tremendously loved.

I was just a little bit - for the lack of a better term - unsatisfied. The story happened within a year and it left so many questions unanswered. Not sure if it was intentional to keep the readers imagining. As a reader however, I would like to have an understanding of what have happened in the past in order to have better judgement. But I was left guessing the following:

a) What really happened to Tessa, Rae and Mike? (Like, I get the gist but shouldn't there be more to it)
b) When did the parents pass? Money started to become an issue? (From the looks of it, yes. But it also sounded that they're well-off in the beginning, so what happened?)
c) What Jason supposed to be an LI as well?
d) Where is the follow-up on the racing encounter with Mike?
e) How did Rae end up with Jason when there is really no chemistry? Wait, what? REALLY?
f) What's the podcast for, to be honest?

and more. The fluidity of the story wasn't as smooth as I expected, it really felt like half of the story is missing and tropes that were mixed up just didn't work well together. But what I loved most are family dynamics, diversity and the rawness of life struggles. I want more racing, I want more car scenes and I want more girl power.

The Art of Shifting Gears is 5% cars, 50% life problems and 45% boy drama. But banters are to look forward to. The story has so much potential but needs a little bit polishing in my opinion. Would have been a lot better if 'sub-scenes' (or back story) have follow-ups and if prose didn't just jump over one another.

Thank you, Anvil Publishing, for the review copy!

"When things left unsaid and emotions left unexpressed have been stewing for so long, they become dense. They weigh a person down, the grime of pain sticks to their skin, forms a permanent lump in their throats that keep them from breathing normally ever again."

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