Friday, December 30, 2016

Review - Change Places With Me

Change Places With Me
by Lois Metzger
Date: 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Reading level: YA
Book type: prose novel
Pages: 224
Format: e-book
Source: library

Rose has changed. She still lives in the same neighborhood and goes to the same high school with the same group of kids, but when she woke up today, something was a little different. Her clothes and hair don’t suit her anymore. The dogs who live upstairs are no longer a terror. She wants to throw a party—this from a girl who hardly ever spoke to her classmates before. There’s no more sadness in her life; she’s bursting with happiness.

But something still feels wrong to Rose. Because until very recently, she was an entirely different person—a person who’s still there inside her, just beneath the thinnest layer of skin.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I totally failed my Goodreads challenge for this year. This is only the third book I read all the way through. At least it was better than the other two I read in 2016... though not by much.

Please, dear author, I want some more...

The premise is about the only thing I liked in this book, and I can't even talk about it because it's one of those books that's all mysterious and whatnot in the beginning, and if you start to talk about any part of the plot, you'll give too much away. All I can really say is that it's a science-fiction tale set in the near future with some inspiration (though not necessarily any plot points) taken from the story of "Snow White".

It's all a matter of taste...

This is one of those books where you're either going to like the style or you're not. I didn't really like it. While it was edited fairly well and I wouldn't say it was badly written, it did seem a bit pretentious. The characters' voices never really rang true for me, and I spent a lot of the book wondering if that was because there was something weird going on that made all the teenagers talk like kindergartners, if it was a stylistic choice, or if the characters were just badly done. After finishing, I'd say it's more of a combination of options 2 and 3. I never liked any of the characters. I couldn't relate to the main character; I thought she was just a horrible, horrible person, and her character development wasn't believable. You know how good characters often change over the course of a story? Well, our heroine does change... but there's really not a great reason as to why. (There is a reason, but I thought it was pretty weak.)

Also, there's no climax. No high point to the story. I kept waiting for a twist, because I was nearing the end and I was getting really bored, and I thought, "Surely, something interesting is going to happen." But, nope. All we get is some weird, boring resolution with little explanation and absolutely zero emotional punch. How disappointing.

Let's get technical...

This book was surprisingly well-edited. I often end up highlighting a bunch of typos and grammar errors when I read books; those things just drive me crazy. But there wasn't much here to be bothered about.

The verdict...

Maybe I just didn't get it. I often have trouble with pretentious, literary-esque books with quirky characters or situations that just try too hard to be special. That's probably why I wasn't a fan of Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now or John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. But both of those books have audiences, and this one probably has one as well. It just wasn't me.

Quotable moment:

"Hey, we got lucky. This Sunday, Ball of Fire is coming to You Must Remember This."

For a second she forgot that Ball of Fire was a screwball comedy; it sounded like a plummeting meteor. "Sunday... I can't, I can't."

He looked really disappointed. "It's only playing that one day."

"I have to sleep--I don't know for how long."

"Really? Can't think of a better excuse?"

"I'm handling it the best I can," she said, "under the circumstances."

"What circumstances?"

"Here." She shoved the money toward him.

"Jeez, Louise, are we having our first fight?"

Premise: 4/5
Plot: 2/5
Characters: 1/5
Pace: 2/5
Writing: 2/5
Editing: 4/5
Originality: 3/5
Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 ladybugs


  1. I don't usually really get literary-style books either...or books with no true climax. It just throws me off?!? Sadness that you had 3 terrible reads this year!! I hope 2017 is better for you!!