Tag Archives: identity

Changers Blog Tour: Book Review + Unselfies!

Today the Changers blog tour is stopping here at The Bibliomaniac! Enjoy my post ^_^

CHANGERS BOOK REVIEW

Published 12th January 2016 by Little, Brown.

27256347Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

My Review: As soon as I heard about Changers, I was so eager to read it – and it really didn’t disappoint. As it’s now out in the UK, I can’t wait to see what other people think of it!

The premise of the book reminded me of Every Day by David Levithan, which was why the book piqued my interest. However, getting into it, I realised it’s definitely quite unique – Changers is a rather interesting blend of contemporary and fantasy, as the Changers are actually an underground, secret species of humans.

I wasn’t too sure on the beginning – the scene where Ethan wakes up as Drew seemed a little cheesy in its dialogue and stuff, but the story definitely does improve. With many scenes conveying the general awkwardness of high school and growing up, it’s almost possible to forget the fantasy element in places! I really love how Changers openly discusses identities – I think the premise of this whole series is a brilliant, accessible approach to an important topic for teenagers.

Drew is an incredibly relatable character – taking out the shape-shifting element, she’s such a realistic teenage character. She’s working out life, high school, crushes, and forming her own opinions about the world around her and the situation she’s been thrown into. I really liked how the authors made sure she was still very ‘Ethan,’ the person she was before her Change – Ethan’s identity is still there and the blend of two very different high school students is so interesting to read about.

Overall, Changers is a really great (and relatively short) read that I would undoubtedly recommend to anyone who wants an engrossing story. It’s got a really important message at its core, woven into the plot, and I just really love the whole concept. I’m excited to read book two, and see what the protagonist’s next Change has in store for them!

My Rating:

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I received a copy of Changers from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

CHANGERS UNSELFIES

In Changers, there is a references to a site called wearechangers.org, which is set up by a separate group of Changers who are kinda rebellious. wearechangers.org is actually a website, run by the authors of the book, and coincides with the book’s message about identity and aims to spread positivity and empathy. I think it’s such a great idea!

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Checked out the website? Awesome, so you might have seen the #unselfies project on there. This is my favourite thing about the movement – the idea of turning the camera away and ‘focusing your attention outward.’. So, here’s my #unselfie!

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i thought this photo i took would be a cool unselfie because  ooh calm waves and disrupting the norm and ooh metaphors

Enjoyed this post? Check out more about Changers on the rest of the blog tour stops, and be sure to share your own #unselfie online and on the wearechangers.org project!

Book Review: Every Day by David Levithan

Published September 2013 by Electric Monkey.

17451795Goodreads Synopsis: Each morning, A wakes up in a different body. There’s never any warning about who it will be, but A is used to that. Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. And that’s fine – until A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply.

My Review: Upon finishing Every Day, I was in… an emotional mess, to say the least. I know it’s a book I will go back to and read over and over again. In one word, it was beautiful. Levithan’s poetic writing style; his unforgettable characters; the original concept; the wild love story – It was all so beautifully written and captivating. Every Day is one of the best books I’ve read this year. Close contender for the best book I’ve read this year.

I’m not sure why I’d left this on the TBR pile for so many months, since reading the blurb when I bought it when it was first released had me really intrigued: Waking up in a different body every day, having to leave no trace of your true self anywhere, not being able to attach to anybody… The whole concept just sounded like a brilliant premise for a novel.

As I was starting, I got a bit worried I’d just get really confused – having to get used to a whole new character that protagonist A is inhabiting for every different chapter. However, David Levithan just made it work. I kept track of everybody and I was left thinking about all of the characters A inhabits just for a day, long after I put the book down.

A, the protagonist, has no gender, no ethnicity, no true body aside from each one A inhabits every day. A is just simply… A. Despite not being able to picture a face for the A, I found A to be one of the most memorable YA characters I’ve ever read about. A has such a memorable and complex personality that I instantly resonated with. On the other hand, Rhiannon is just an average teenage girl – but I fell in love with her character as much as I did with A, I think! She felt so three dimensional and I loved how she believed in A and went to huge lengths for him. They had such a great chemistry.

I can’t even write about the ending without spoiling it or crying so I’m just going to leave a gif here for David Levithan.

Overall, Every Day was evocative, emotional and beautifully written YA books I’ve ever read… I’m so glad I picked it up on a whim. I devoured the whole story in two sittings, but I really didn’t want to let it go at the end. I think I say that a lot in book reviews, but I really, really mean it – David Levithan had me completely caught up in the wild, devastating, but gorgeous love story he’s crafted, and I was much more attached to the protagonists by the ending than I thought I would be. Every Day really makes you think, about everything. About identity, living in other people’s shoes, and so much more. I know I’ll be rereading this over and over – if you haven’t already read Every Day, I really recommend it be the next book you pick up (:

My Rating:

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I purchased a copy of Every Day at a bookstore.

Book Review: Finding Jennifer Jones by Anne Cassidy

Published 6th February 2014 by Hot Key Books.

18482238Goodreads Synopsis: Kate Rickman seems just like any other nineteen-year-old girl. She goes to university, she dates nice, normal boys and she works in her local tourist office at the weekend. But Kate’s not really normal at all. ‘Kate’ is in fact a carefully constructed facade for a girl called Jennifer Jones – and it’s a facade that’s crumbling fast. Jennifer has spent the last nine years frantically trying to escape from her horrifying past. Increasingly desperate, Jennifer decides to do something drastic. She contacts the only other girl who might understand what she’s dealing with, breaking every rule of her parole along the way. Lucy Bussell is the last person Jennifer expects any sympathy from, but she’s also the last person she has left. Finding Jennifer Jones is the powerful sequel to the highly acclaimed, Carnegie Medal nominated Looking for JJ. It is a tense, emotional thriller about guilt, running away and wondering if you can ever truly know yourself.

My Review: Looking for JJ was brilliant… Finding Jennifer Jones completely blew me away. A lot of the time, the sequel to a book is never as strong as the first book, but I actually think this was even more thrilling and clever than the first title! I’ve left it a bit late before reviewing, so I don’t think I can do it enough justice.

Finding Jennifer Jones visits JJ, under yet another name, Kate, as she’s studying in Exeter University. After knowing the events of her horrifying past, the police immediately suspect Kate of a recent murder in the area. Kate, or JJ, realises that she’ll never be able to fully escape her past, no matter how many new identities she’s given- so she decides to revisit her past, by contacting Lucy Bussell: The girl who witnessed what JJ did nine years ago… I was so nervous to see how everything would unfold; I only recently read Looking for JJ and I wasn’t sure the sequel would be as thrilling. But, it definitely was, and I fell in love with it. It felt really nostalgic, going back to meet Lucy again- even though I only read about her in book one a few weeks ago!

I wasn’t expecting to read more detail on what happened to JJ, Lucy and Michelle, though there are more flashback scenes in Finding Jennifer Jones that reveal more about everything. I really loved the fact that at the end of these two books, now, I have a completely clear picture of the whole crime plot. It all fits together so, so well- and the ending to Finding Jennifer Jones- wow. I wasn’t expecting it, but I loved JJ even more for it.

JJ- or, Kate- is so well developed. I grew quite attached to her in book one, and I loved her character even more this time! She was even more confident and brave here. I hadn’t actually read the blurb to Finding Jennifer Jones fully when I started- I wanted it all to be a surprise- so I wasn’t expecting to hear from Lucy Bussell. I really felt sympathetic for her in Looking for JJ. It was really great to see her character developing a lot, years later.#

Overall, Finding Jennifer Jones was a breath-taking follow up to a great crime book. It’s well paced, original and addictive; I couldn’t come out of the story while I was reading it! I was really shocked at the ending, because that was the last thing I’d predicted Kate/JJ to do. But, it was a perfect ending. I really enjoyed the plot, and revisiting characters from JJ’s past, too. If you’ve read the first book, I really highly recommend buying this! If you haven’t- I really can’t recommend the books much higher. They’re captivating and thrilling.

My Rating:

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I received a copy of Finding Jennifer Jones form the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.