Friday, August 7, 2015

The Swap

Ellie is about to start 7th grade, but what should be an exciting new start is hampered by her former best friend Sassy.  Ellie and Sassy have been best friends forever, but suddenly Sassy has turned her mean girls ways on Ellie.  Ellie isn't ready to let go, but every day with Sassy is a painful examination of all her flaws.

Sassy is obsessed "The Prince" Jack Malloy who seems to have everything.  He's popular, cute, and a great athlete, but no one knows the secret anxiety Jack feels every day.  Since his mother died, his father has been less a father and more a drill sergeant.  Nothing Jack does is good enough, and any show of emotion is weakness.

Things come to a head for Ellie and Jack on the first day of school when they end up in the nurse's office together as a result of separate altercations.  There's a strange new nurse who mutters something about switching places and standing up for yourself, and the next thing you know POOF! Jack and Ellie have switched bodies!

What follows is a weekend filled with hilarious and embarrassing situations as Ellie and Jack learn to navigate each other's lives.  Jack enjoys some nurturing time with Ellie's mom, and Ellie learns she's stronger than she ever thought from Jack's crazy and supportive older brothers.  The two form an odd sort of friendship, but it's not until they learn some gumption that they will get their own lives back.

I picked up this book because it's been very popular in the library, and now that I've read it, I know why!  This book is hilarious and heartfelt.  I love the way Megan Shull allows her two protagonists to see themselves through the eyes of someone else.  I wish we could all see our problems and our strengths from a distance like Ellie and Jack.  I highly recommend this book!  Just be aware that some of the hilarity arises from gentle references to normal parts of puberty.

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