"But a name was--well important. It gave you a place on earth that was yours alone." -- Pg. 129
I've said this before, but it bears repeating. I'm not sure what I just read. Change Places With Me by Lois Metzger was one of the more unique books I've read this year. Unique in a good way. I loved A Trick of the Light, also by Lois Metzger, and was intrigued by the premise of her latest book.
In Change Places With Me, there's something different about Rose. The people in her life are the same, but Rose is practically a new person. She used to have a different name, now she wants to be called "Rose." Why? She believes it's the perfect name to match her new outlook on life. After not caring about her appearance, Rose is now dressing to impress not just for her "friends" but for a cute boy named Nick. After years of grieving over the death of her father, Rose has finally learned to be nice to and have compassion for her stepmother, Evelyn. She's developing a friendship with her upstairs neighbor. She's building new "friendships." Her new friends happen to be some of the most popular girls in school. Girls who once hated Rose, but are now tolerating her. She's even reaching out to her estranged best friend, Kim.
Once a miserable teenager, Rose is now bursting with optimism. Anything and everything is possible. But....something might be wrong. Rose's bubble of optimism just might burst. Why? Rose is starting to have doubts herself. She's having trouble trusting her own thoughts and memories. Did something happen to Rose that she's trying to forget? Is her sudden optimism just a mask? A way of coping with pain? A way of coping with grief over her father's death?
This is a compulsive read. This is a short book, but it's not clear right away what the hook is. What's the meat of the story? It took me more than half the book to finally understand what was going on. I kept turning page after page because I wanted to know what's wrong with Rose. I can't say a lot about the second half of the book, I don't want to spoil it for people who haven't read it. I will say that this is an interesting perspective on how teenagers deal with grief and depression, and worth reading!
Rating: Give it a try
Note: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.