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Recycler Paperback – Bargain Price, August 25, 2009

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Paperback, Bargain Price, August 25, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—This sequel to Cycler (Random, 2008) brings back the same characters, though Tommy's fans will be disappointed by his brief appearance. Freshly arrived in New York City, Jill and Ramie are looking for balance between grueling jobs and busy social lives. It's a bigger challenge for Jill, who still shares her body for four days out of the month with her brother, Jack. While Jack's happy dating Ramie, Jill's looking for someone new to mend her broken heart. However, the siblings' irregular schedule starts to fray their relationships with Ramie, and when they find themselves abandoned, each looks to a different place to find comfort and strength. Readers will need to have read the first book, since there are many plot points that carry over. Brief moments of discussion regarding gender, identity, and perception are so spare that casual readers may overlook them. McLaughlin's own voice occasionally creeps into the tale and dominates the narrative, but she soon relinquishes the flow back to the characters. Jill and Jack each receive a signature typeface, which is a nice visual cue rather than a boring gimmick. Moments of quirky humor help move the narrative along, but it feels slow at times. Fans will enjoy the open ending and eagerly anticipate the next book, but most other readers will quickly place it back on the shelves.—Chris Shoemaker, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lauren McLaughlin spent ten years in the film industry. Her Web site and blog are available at

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037585195X
  • ASIN: B005K67VM4
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,247,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lauren McLaughlin grew up in the small town of Wenham, Massachusetts. After college, she spent ten years as a screenwriter and producer before abandoning her screen ambitions to write fiction full time. She lives in New York and London with her husband and daughter and is currently at work on her fourth novel. When not writing, Lauren can be found at the piano, in a dance studio, or in the kitchen inventing new desserts.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James F. Booth on December 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed the first book in this two-book series and was so excited to read the sequel ever since turning that final page. The first book was left on a big cliffhanger and this book explains a bit about what happens, but it picks up a few months after that climactic final scene. Jack and Jill are both very fun to read about, and there's more Jack this time now that he's out and about doing things. The character interactions feel so real and are so compelling; even though it's inanimate, one of my favorite "characters" (of sorts) is this one-armed mannequin that lives in Jill/Jack and Ramie's apartment who becomes this sounding board for the characters (mainly just Jill and Jack) and is part of the most hilarious scenes in the book, in my opinion. There are of course many interactions between real characters and not just real with inanimate objects interaction.

What I love about this series is the inventiveness of it. It's definitely not something you've read about before (or at least, I've never come across anything like it) and it's just done so well. Aside from that, there's a lot of issues brought up about gender identity, sacrifices, love, trust and so much more. The book is hilarious and clever, but it also has some real depth to it. It's got the best of both worlds.

I was satisfied with the ending, but am also curious as to how things play out. There are a couple questions left unanswered and I really want to know what happens next, but I think with something like this, it can be hard to wrap things up completely. When you're sharing a body with someone else, there isn't necessarily going to be a happy ending (unless one of the bodies is gay and they can find a bi person who accepts them; too bad Jack is straight.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As with the previos book, Cycler, I find some important literary flaws in this book. Nevertheless, I do recomend the reader to pick it up because it's enjoyable.

Jack is a like sort of kid who finally grows up at the end. However, from a literary POV, the process could have been depicted better and his personality further developed. Much time is lost in his worrying about Ramie without an actual develpment of his many other character traits, which would have thus enriched the story.

Also, the lack of communication between Jack and Jill works against the plot. They should have found a way to talk to each other and work as a team. It would have made the difference between the previous book and this one, a fact that would have increased the reader's experience.

Ramie is actually written-off from is book and used only for the purpose of Jack's coming of age, but because, as I said before, the coming of age is poorly developed, Ramie is completly wasted. In the previous book it is hinted that Ramie knew that Jack was Jill. Therefore, a potential romantic interest in Jill is hinted as well. A love triangle It would have interesting, moreover because in this book Jill moves in with Ramie. Sadly, it is not developed and exploited at all.

Anyway, the story is nice, albeit the ending is sort of anticlimatic. If you liked Cycler, with it's own literary flaws, you'll enjoy Re-Cycler. So, go ahead.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cycler is a fantastic book, and it ends on such a cliff-hanger that I couldn't wait to get hold of Recycler, and I wasn't disappointed. Recycler builds really well on the foundation laid by Cycler. It was great to see the characters start to mature and adapt to the situation in which they find themselves. I also liked being able to spend more time with Jack and see him interact with more people.

Cycler and the sequel Recycler are really original books which cover sexual and gender identity in a way which I have not seen elsewhere, getting to the heart of the matter. I loved Cycler, though I found the teenagy language and manipulative girl stuff a bit heavy especially at first, but I recommend persevering if this puts you off. Thankfully the characters develop and I found Recycler easier to read because it had less of this stuff.

Although the language and characters put these books squarely in the teenage or "young adult" fiction category, I would also recommend them to adults who are interested in identity questions especially around gender.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on October 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
The characters from CYCLER are back in (RE)CYCLER for a sequel. If you're like me, I was confused at first when I kept seeing (RE)CYCLER listed as a future release. The synopsis kept repeating the same blurb that was the CYCLER synopsis. But I finally stumbled across the book at the book store and realized that this was indeed the continuation of the story of Jill and Jack.

The total humiliation that was the prom has passed and Jill has graduated from high school. Her future is undefined. She has the option of traveling across country with Tommy or moving to New York City with Ramie. Jill is torn, but she chooses New York City, in part because it will benefit Jack, as well. Tommy is saddened that she won't join him, but he understands. So he sets off without her.

Jack is overjoyed at the prospect of having actual freedom. He's been confined to their bedroom for his entire existence. But now he has Ramie all to himself during his four days each month. But Jill is missing Tommy. With the help of Ramie, Jill is determined to get over him and her broken heart.

The story takes places in alternating Jack and Jill chapters during the course of the fall. Jill becomes more confident in herself while Jack faces some hard truths of what he thought and what is reality. During this time, Ramie seems to be pulling away from both Jill and Jack. Jill can handle the separation, but it is tearing Jack apart.

(RE)CYCLER shows more depth in the characters than was seen in CYCLER. Jill and Jack are learning to live within the confines of one body and are learning to accept each other. The two begin to interact with the world around them.
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