Monday, 25 January 2016

Book Review: Drew [Changers #1] by T. Cooper & Allison Glock-Cooper

Title: Drew
Author: T. Cooper & Allison Glock-Cooper
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction
Series: Changers #1
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: 12th January 2016
Rating: 3.5 stars

Tell Me About It
The Cheerleader, The Nerd, The Jock, The Freak. What if you had to be all four?

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.

Fans of the books of John Green, the Joss Whedonverse - and empathy between humans - will find much to love in this first of a four-part series that tracks the journey of an average suburban boy who becomes an incredible young woman...who becomes a reluctant hero...who becomes the person she was meant to be.

Because, while changing the world can kinda suck, it sure beats never knowing who you really are.
Em•pa•thy: noun. The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Their mission statement is....
WE ARE CHANGERS is a movement to get thinking about what it might feel like to be another person. To see life from another’s perspective. Because when we take into consideration how another person feels, even for a split-second before acting or reacting to something, the world is that much better of a place.
To help spread this message you are asked to upload an UNselfie to thier website.
The task: Instead of capturing your physical self in a photo, try to capture what you’re feeling with a photo.

How? Turn your camera around. Show us what other people see. Or what you see in other people. What you see in the world.

My UNselfie is a picture from a few years ago. I found it really hard to choose a picture to upload, I wavered between pictures of my family, my pets, and then to things that make me happy. In the end I settled for this picture I took from my flat. Snow is the one thing that makes me happy, makes me feel like a child again, and has me taking midnight walks to the supermarket to be the first to leave prints in a car park full of clean snow. Every time there is a mention of possible snow, I wish for a flake. I love watching them fall, I love seeing them build up to leave inches of snow behind, and I love the crunch of a foot in snow.

My Thoughts
When I first saw this book on NetGalley the synopsis alone drew me in, with its unusual description I had to find out what this was all about. But as soon as I began reading I will admit to having a moment where I was wondering what I had left myself in for, but the more I read the more that moment went away and I enjoyed what I was reading. Getting to experience this change at the exact same time as Drew somehow made you experience her feelings and thoughts, which looking back on it now really worked.

Drew was someone who took me a while to like, but based on the circumstances of her arrival, it did take Drew a while to like herself too, I loved the feelings of confusion and anger and loss and how they were portrayed within the pages of the book, I would probably have reacted in a similar way if I had gone asleep a female and woken up a male.

Drew makes you think about a lot of things when reading it. How your perception can change the minute you wake up the opposite sex. Seeing how Drew saw the world as 'Ethan' before, and how it's perceived as 'Drew', the looks, the stares, even down to the way she initially dressed. However, activities that Ethan used to do no longer appeal to Drew, and while I did like seeing some of these new activities, some made me sad to see them lost. I'm a lefty, and seeing Drew give up on skateboarding just because of a fall (switching genders also brings with it the possibility of switching dominant hands) made me question why it was abandoned so fast, why not get back on that board and try again, I'm pretty sure the first attempt to skateboard by Ethan wasn't met with a perfect ride. I was glad to see Drew branch out and try out for cheerleaders, although given the description we have Drew, she seems like the perfect fit, and that she fell into it too easily.

I liked the friendships and dynamics between the characters in the book, although I do think Audrey was just a tad too needy for my liking. I enjoyed taking this journey with Drew, not only learning about herself, but also about the Changers society and those opposed to it. Once she got over the shock, Drew made an effort to carry on with this life, although I do think it was slightly mean of her parents to not even drop a little hint about what may happen.

Overall Drew was an interesting read, and I'm eager to see the other forms that are to come, and which one remains after it all.

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