24 Oct 2016

#Review: CHANGE PLACES WITH ME by Lois Metzger


Author: Lois Metzger
Source: Purchased at Chapters
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: June 14, 2016
Rating: 1.5/5 stars

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.

I was really excited to read this one. I pre-ordered it then waited and waited so that I could read it as soon as I got it, but I was really let down. The premise sounds SO intriguing and as if there is a bit of a mystery to it + speculative fiction is literally my jam. But I am SO disappointed with this one and I think the main issue I have with it is that it was too short to do everything it wanted to do. This wanted to look at if it is your memories or your outlook that affects your personality, but it totally fell short and flat on that.

First of all, the society itself confused the crap out of me. This is supposedly like near-future SciFi where we should be ~scared~ because something like this COULD HAPPEN TO US!!! But really, I didn't get it. I was confused about the whole backdrop and society to this story that I couldn't get into it at all from the beginning. Also, I don't understand why people are allowed to just randomly change their name whenever they feel like it. That wasn't explained at all and is super confusing in context. So one day you wake up and say "I'm not going to be Jamie anymore, I want to be called Fiddlehead" and people are going to just go along with it? Why? Because of a personality shift? I needed it to be explained a bit more to me for me to fully understand and go along with it.

Next: Rose was so annoying and like all over the place tbh. It was so painfully obvious that her "new friends" were using her and that she had something done to her from the first 5% of the novel. But on top of this her personality went from 0 to 100 to 50 throughout the course of CHANGE PLACES WITH ME. It was like a mild case of whiplash trying to figure out what personality she wanted to have. And she basically did choose what personality traits she wanted and then she tried to copy a girl's style and stalked her a bit? I was very unnerved by this portion of the book where Rose decides she is going to stake out a bus station so she can ask a random girl that she saw for approximately 0.00000002 seconds about her life so she can try to hypnotize herself to have the same personality. I feel like instead of altering her memories, Rose needed a therapist. Also, what kind of stepmother lets her teenage stepdaughter get this kind of surgery just because she throws a tantrum. That's not good parenting.

On top of all this, the writing was so stiff and the dialogue actually made me cringe. This book should have taken me maybe an hour, hour and a half, tops and it took me like 3. That is not a good sign. But the way it is written made me want to set it down for good. I only didn't because it was so short. It seemed as though there were specific points that had to happen in the novel but no logical way to get there so it was forced and unnatural to have it happen.

This book reads like a first or second draft of a novel and definitely needed to be longer. I think there is so much potential here but not enough guts for anyone to be able to take anything substantial away from it. There was a quote I REALLY liked in it and that's why I'm giving it a star and a half. Also her friend, Kat maybe?, was really interesting. I would have liked to learn more about her.

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