The Cheerleader, The Nerd, The Jock, The Freak. What if you had to be all four?
Changers book one: DREW opens on the eve of Ethan Miller’s freshman year of high school in a brand-new town. He’s finally sporting a haircut he doesn’t hate, has grown two inches since middle school, and can’t wait to try out for the soccer team. At last, everything is looking up in life.
Until the next morning. When Ethan awakens as a girl.
Ethan is a Changer, a little-known, ancient race of humans who live out each of their four years of high school as a different person. After graduation, Changers choose which version of themselves they will be forever – and no, they cannot go back to who they were before the changes began.
Ethan must now live as Drew Bohner – a petite blonde with an unfortunate last name – and navigate the treacherous waters of freshman year while also following the rules: Never tell anyone what you are. Never disobey the Changers Council. And never, ever fall in love with another Changer. Oh, and Drew also has to battle a creepy underground syndicate called ‘Abiders’ (as well as the sadistic school queen bee, Chloe). And she can’t even confide in her best friend Audrey, who can never know the real her, without risking both of their lives.
Fans of the books of John Green, the Joss Whedonverse – and empathy between humans – will find much to love in this first of a four-part series that tracks the journey of an average suburban boy who becomes an incredible young woman…who becomes a reluctant hero…who becomes the person she was meant to be.
Because, while changing the world can kinda suck, it sure beats never knowing who you really are.
I found this book in my local library after hearing someone say they wanted to read it.
I went in knowing nothing about this book other than a boy wakes up in the body of a girl. The first couple of chapters were hard to get through. I wasn’t really interested in Ethan as a character. I felt him to be derivative and cliched. I thought about giving up on the book, slightly disappointed. I decided to give it one more chapter. And I’m glad I did.
The character of Drew (the girl Ethan wakes up as) was really engaging. She was sympathetic and likable. You could feel the confusion, the fear, the not knowing that permeated through her.
The reader finds out about the Changers and the Council with Drew. One thing that annoyed me was that the presence of the Changers (who they actually were) wasn’t explained. We were left to just accept what was happening without any of the Changers explaining where they came from. At the end of the book was a glossary that elaborated on the Changers, but it would have been nice for the characters to explain where the Changers came from when they were explaining everything else.
By the second half of the book, some strong themes are examined, and they are handled with a varying degree of success. I think they tended towards half addressing it and then moving on with the story, which I don’t think reflects the situation accurately (or maybe for some it does?).
There are strong correlations between the ‘Changers’ story and the current social issues of LGBTI. We have the Changers who prefer to hide in the world, and cannot pair up with one another or their race dies. There are the ‘RaChas’ (Radical Changers) who want to live out in the real world. And then there are the ‘Abiders’ who believe the Changers are an abomination.
Overall, a very interesting concept. I’m guessing that it will be a quad-rilogy, seeing as there are four versions (‘V’) that the Changers goes through before picking who they want to live the rest of their lives as.
I look forward to reading book two.