The plot probably sounds gimmicky, but in fact does not disappoint as McLaughlin quickly transcends the novelty and humor to develop a truly interesting story about gender identity and acceptance. I found Jack a bit too stereotypical (although I suspect that women have the same complaints about the heroines that male writers create!) as a teen horndog, but he grows on you. And the story, while carrying a strong message, never sacrifices its entertainment value. Recommended, yet strangely overlooked by most of my peers. Seek it out!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Cycler, by Lauren McLaughlin
Jill has a terrible problem that comes around once a month -- she turns into a boy named Jack. And only after spending four days in a boy's body does she get her period (talk about nasty PMS!). But beyond that catchy premise, there's a story about identity as Jill and Jack struggle to find their place in the life of a single body -- a problem only complicated by adolescence, love, and the Senior Prom.