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Change Places with Me Hardcover – June 14, 2016
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“Change Places with Me is a vivid, beautiful novel, a particular evocation of a story many of us have lived and all of us know. Read this to see what I mean.” (Kim Stanley Robinson, Hugo Award-winning author of Aurora)
“How I admire Lois Metzger’s thoughtful and suspenseful novel—the pacing, the sympathetic characters, the emotional astuteness, the believable near-future setting. It captivated me from the first page to the last.” (Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted)
“The austere, almost clinical nature of the story harks back to the Kazuo Ishiguro’s classic, Never Let Me Go. With a simplicity that belies its profundity, this title will linger long in readers’ minds.” (Booklist (starred review))
“An interesting, experimental near-future character study.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Metzger’s novel tackles deep issues: how to cope with painful memories; the futility of trying to be perfect. Touches of sci-fi and mystery glamorize this complex and introspective story of a girl growing up and moving on.” (The Horn Book)
“Metzger has created a unique work of speculative fiction that does a winning job of dealing with universal themes; it is strongly recommended for young adult collections.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
“Metzger creates a world only slightly altered by time to express what happens when one vulnerable teen’s desire to be someone else comes true. Whether or not readers agree with the decisions Rose makes, they may be inspired to examine how their own emotions affect their perception of the world.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A quick, mind-bending ride that combines high school politics with brain-altering medical shenanigans... compulsively readable and lots of fun.” (Baltimore Sun)
About the Author
Lois Metzger was born in Queens and has always written for young adults. Her novels include the acclaimed A Trick of the Light and Change Places with Me. She has also written two nonfiction books about the Holocaust and has edited five anthologies. Her short stories have appeared in collections all over the world; her writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, and The Huffington Post. She lives in New York City with her husband and son.
Top customer reviews
The book’s plotting is subtle and complex, not a word is wasted, and the story hurtles along, although what happens on the surface looks somewhat conventional: a teenage party, a visit to the zoo, an obsession with acquiring just the right jean jacket. But nothing is what it seems, just as Rose is not as she initially seems. At heart Change Places with Me is a fairy tale, a good one, with just the right well-earned bittersweet yet happy ending.
Bottom line: Change Places with Me is not just for young adults but for anyone who’s ever been a teenager, and ever known an ever-present grief. The book kept me anxious in just the right way: wanting to know what happens next, to understand what’s happening to Rose, to know how it’ll end. A perfect read and highly recommended.
Metzger is terrific—genius—at writing the sensation of suspense in (seemingly) normal daily life. In “Change Places with Me” you’re a little on edge from the first sentence, though not entirely sure why, as Rose, or rather “Rose,” awakens in her room in Belle Heights, in the borough of Queens, one Sunday in October, 2029. By the end of Chapter 2, all the pieces of the book’s delicate machinery of disorientation are in place and are ready to go into motion in this perfectly normal outer-borough neighborhood, as “Rose” (or is it Rose after all?) herself is faced with a mystery. A receipt from her stepmother’s purse gives her her first concrete clue, though she doesn’t realize that at the time.
This is a very visual novel, and throughout you’re seeing what she is seeing: as she sits on her front stoop that afternoon, there in residential Belle Heights, “the October sky was the color of concrete.” She reflects, “So the sidewalk matched the sky. Maybe it wasn’t the most vivid or gorgeous color, but there was something harmonious about this, like the universe was in balance.” We come to understand that the universe is seriously out of balance, however, and how seriously out of balance it is, and has been ever since her father died, when she herself actually had an entirely different name.
At Belle Heights High School the following day, at a Halloween party the week after, at her new after-school job, on a trip up to the Bronx Zoo, and then as she goes on to solve the mystery, a reader, too, can barely take in—at first, barely notices—the fact of the matter, which ultimately has to do with memory and grief. It is, incidentally, also truly consoling to read that in 2029 there will be high-school guys as charmingly weird as Cooper (named for Gary), whose parents run the neighborhood revival house, and who becomes her ally.
Lois Metzger is like an Olivia E. Butler for Queens. (Metzger is from Queens herself, and a brilliant range of the local intonations turns up here.) As with Butler’s work, this is an excellent book to reread—to take in all those tiny facets of this mystery you’ve now learned more about. Embedded right in the story, also, are any number of kind and wise intuitions on the nature of mourning and remembering, which could apply to any decade at any time.
And for a split second saw nothing but a cloud of red light.
Where am I? She could use one of those maps with an X, like at the zoo, that clearly say YOU ARE HERE.
Rose lives with her stepmother, Evelyn. Her father died when she was younger. And one day Rose wakes up and she's a totally different person. She is all happy and wanting to make friends at school. Have parties, not afraid of dogs any more and plays with the neighbors Dobie's. And I find it strange that most of the kids at school just go along with it. Yeah, some have questions but still.
The book is really good but just so bizarre and you want to find out what the freak is going on! who is Rose? What happened to her and why are there so many references to Snow White?
Let me tell you, it's really not what your thinking.
Who is Rose, Clara, Cora?
When she does find out, it's just totally weird. There are a lot of weird things in the book. But I liked it, even though I'm not too sure about a couple of things but I pretty much get most of it.
And it was so different reading a young adult science fiction book that's not heavy on the syfy and I sit wondering, is this for real?
It's just one of those books your going to have to read for yourself because it's out there in a way that you just have to find out. There is no big huge reveal so if your thinking there is some massive thing going to happen, DON'T. It's just a really good, short book with a little freaky deaky added in!
Most recent customer reviews
"'It's as if you're not here.'
Rose felt her throat tighten. 'So where am I?Read more