Review: Changers Book One: Drew by T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper
Author: T Cooper & Allison Glock-Cooper
Series: Changers #1
Publisher: Black Sheep, an imprint of Akashic Books
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Format/Source: Paperback/From Publisher
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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)
I picked up an ARC of Changers Book One: Drew at BEA last year, and was intrigued by the plot. It sounded like a kind of different version of Every Day by David Levithan, and I really enjoyed Every Day. But I never got around to reading it. Then I was contacted by Akashic Books, who wanted to send me a finished copy for review. I was excited to read the finished version, because I was told that there had been some changes since the ARC. So I finally sat down to read Changers Book One: Drew, and I was extremely pleasantly surprised.
This book is similar to Every Day, but it is quite different as well. In Every Day, the main character wakes up as a different person every day of his life, and he has never known anything different. In Changers, Ethan has been himself up until the first day of high school, when he turns into the female Drew. His parents know about it because his dad is also a Changer. And Ethan will be Drew until his first day of his sophomore year, when he’ll change into someone else, and he will change again for his junior year, and again for his senior year. And then he will choose who he wants to be for the rest of his life, but he can’t go back to being Ethan. This first book is all about Ethan turning into Drew, the adversities he faces being a female, as well as his struggles as he comes to terms with being a Changer.
So while the plots of Changers and Every Day have their differences, I really felt like the themes in both stories were similar. Both books look at gender inequality and sexism, and both aren’t necessarily LGBT books, but they share the theme of what it means to be a person, not just a gender, and what it means to love someone regardless of their gender, their appearance, etc.
And I loved the writing in Changers. It was sarcastic and hilarious, and had me laughing out loud quite often. But then there would be some great, profound and poignant moments that made me think, “Exactly!” These authors wrote seamlessly together, and they were spot-on with the issues that teen girls face, and the way that a lot of teens act and think. And I found myself almost instantly wrapped up in this story. And right after I found out that he had to decide, after he graduates high school, who he wants to remain for the rest of his life, I already wanted to know who he was going to choose. I also really loved the added plot point of the Abiders–people who know about Changers and think that they’re unnatural and want to eradicate them. I think that added an extra element to the story as a whole, as well as the RaChas, or Radical Changers, who wanted the Changers to make themselves known to the rest of the world.
T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper get some of my bonus points for the following reasons:
- A Spider-Man reference = 15,000 points.
- Star Wars references = 50,000 points.
- A Lord of the Rings reference = 25,000 points.
- The letter from Ethan/Drew’s grandmother. If this theory I have pans out, I’ll be super excited. = 50,000 points.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. (Thanks, Akashic Books!) I was not compensated in any other way for this review.