Summary (kind of) (taken from the back of the book): "Don't freak out: it probably wasn't you I woke up in on that stormy night last July. Notice I said 'woke up in.' I didn't jump in or sneak in or steal in. I am not a body snatcher or a ghoul. I am a body switcher, which is totally different. I don't take over other people's bodies on purpose. And I always give them back."
And here's what I thought: Isn't that the coolest paragraph? I was totally intrigued. I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but I'll tell a little bit more than what's in that quote above. Claire lives in a small beach town, where nothing much seems to happen. Claire herself doesn't seem too extraordinary at first, either; she's got a nice mom, has an average body, and is a really good swimmer (in the ocean and in the pool). However, she's got a secret: ever since she became a teenager, when there's an electrical storm, Claire switches bodies. Usually, it's just for a few hours (or until she falls asleep and wakes up in her own body again the next morning). I said usually, right? Well, this time, when she switches, Claire winds up in the body of a pretty girl who's just come to Claire's town... and Claire gets stuck.
There were several things I really enjoyed about this story. First off, Claire is the kind of girl I think I could totally be friends with. She's smart and funny, and she sounds like a normal-looking person (I mean, she's not amazingly gorgeous like some characters I've encountered before). Other than this whole body-switching thing, Claire just seems cool and down-to-earth. Her personality and how she deals with switching bodies really made this story an interesting read, because she reflects on her experiences in other bodies, even if it's just for a small amount of time. For example, Claire has a pretty healthy body self-image, but one of her friends doesn't seem to. When Claire switches bodies with her friend, and sees how her friend's mom puts pressure on her to look different, Claire does something to make her friend feel a lot better about herself. I know this might not make a lot of sense, but it will when you read the book. Body image is something that is a small recurring theme in this story, and something I felt the author really dealt with well. When Claire switches with the beautiful new girl, she has a lot of fun trying on the girl's clothes, and enjoying being so pretty. This seemed real to me --- it's something we would all do, right? And Claire enjoys wearing some of the girl's outfits simply because she knows that in her own body, she'd never be able to wear those things. But Claire doesn't get down on herself and how she looks; she just gets a kick out of the experience of having a completely different body. And, the pretty girl's body, although beautiful, isn't perfect.
Claire really discovers a lot about herself, and the people around her, when she gets stuck in the other body. I really found reading this story interesting because of that; I felt like I was along on the journey. This was a relatively light read, but it made me think, too!
Where I got this book: Library!
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