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Transformed Paperback – December 13, 2011
"Book has some humor as well as interesting information and begs for a sequel."- Lee and J.J. MacFadden, Double Take, Bristol Herald Courier
About the Author
After graduating from Cornell University with degrees in Biology and Education, Debbie Kump taught middle and high school science in Maui, Seattle, and the Twin Cities and worked as a marine naturalist aboard a whale watch and snorkel cruise. Debbie lives in Minnesota with her husband, two sons, and three Siberian huskies. She especially enjoys writing early each morning; teaching; coaching youth soccer, hockey, lacrosse, and baseball; and dogsledding her kids to school. For more information, please visit her website: http://sites.google.com/site/debbiekumpbooks/
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*Beware of possible Spoilers*
Jess hasn't had it easy thus far. Her father has died; she has known grief and difficulty. She dreams she is an eagle, free to fly. At first I thought her dreams were an escape from reality, but they're much more. After waking up she notices some physical changes. First, she doesn't need glasses any longer (as someone who has worn glasses since 7th grade, I would LOVE IT! if that happened to me.) I loved how Jess' ability to shape-shift was revealed. It is an inherited genetic condition.
Once Jess shape-shifts, not of her free-will, the story picks up pace. She ends up escorted to Pokapu Island for training. There she meets others like her including Shredder. Jess is different than the others, more if you will, but no one realizes the extent.
Jess' journey to Pokapu Island is beautifully descriptive. I felt as if I were flying over those area as well. She also has her first experience with eating, as an eagle, and it's pretty darn funny.
I had difficulty connecting with Jess initially. She seemed incredulous about everything. Her inner dialogue went something like this:
"This can't be happening, can it?" And then it did happen. It got a bit old, her denial or the new reality. Just when I thought all was lost, she shows some spunk. Her inner smart-ass jumped out and she wouldn't take crap from anyone. Jess matured! It was great. Krump did well with character development.
There are a lot of layers to the story. Jess deals with difficult lessons. She has to struggle to develop control. It's not an easy road and it's made more difficult by certain people on the Island. Jess handles herself pretty well considering. I think Sanford's faith in Jess is a bit misplaced at this point. I think she needs to grow up a lot more to be able to handle future challenges.
I loved the save the planet theme. It's refreshing for a group of young adults to care about their impact on the world. They devote their lives to helping others.
Transformed is great for young adults. Krump addresses bullying, being different, loss and much more throughout the story. I think Transformed would be a great book club book. There's so much to discuss.
This review and more at openbooksociety dot com
Transformed tells the story of Jessica Davis, a 13 year old girl who suddenly finds herself thrown into a world she had only believed existed in stories. One morning she wakes up with perfect eyesight and her body full of feathers and she is totally confused by the whole situation. Her mum soon explains to her that this is a genetic trait and she should be proud that it has been passed down to her, the only thing left for her to do now is move away to a special school where she will learn how to control her new shape-shifting abilities.
I really enjoyed this story, it was well written and edited, the plot was steadily paced and gripping, it does however lack individuality, there are many similar stories on the market at the moment. The target audience is the 10-14 age range and I feel this book is ideal for that group.
As I am not the intended audience it is not a book I would have chosen for myself, it lacks the `edge' that I, as an adult enjoy to read, but I have no doubt that my teenage daughters will find the book to be a worthwhile and fulfilling read.
I really wanted to rate this book 5 stars because it was perfect for the intended audience, but the story is not unique therefore I have reduced it by .5 as per my usual rating system.
Copy supplied for review