Fifteen year old Claire is a girl with normal and fairly easy teenage problems. Nate, the love of her life, sees her as a bro. Her body, while strong from swimming, isn’t going to turn any heads. She’s average. Well, she would be if it wasn’t for two things: she hangs out with her dead grandmother and she sometimes switches bodies with other girls.
OK, so everything is normal and quiet about her except for that whole switching bodies. Turns out that electricity does something to her and she wakes up as someone else. The first time it happened was quick and weird and the result of a science experiment at school. She tried to put it out of her mind. But the second time she woke up in a strange body she freaked the fuck out. Wouldn’t you? It’s the middle of the night, there’s a crazy thunderstorm, you wonder how you got into someone else’s room and then you catch sight of yourself in the mirror and HOLY SHIT THAT ISN’T YOU!!!
Luckily she falls asleep, wakes up in her own body, and her grandmother is all “Uhm, yeah. That’s a thing you can do now.”
So she does it. Grandmother Evelyn hangs out and when electricity shoots Claire into someone else, Evelyn slips into her body and holds it for her until she falls asleep and returns. The other girl sort of hangs out, neither dead or alive, asleep or awake. As soon as Claire falls asleep, Evelyn moves out of her body, Claire moves back in, and hover girl returns to her own body.
When the book starts, this whole thing is commonplace to Claire. There’s been a few uncomfortable nights, but for the most part she waits for a thunderstorm to roll in, closes her eyes, wakes up in a new body, goes back to sleep and wakes up back at home. Easy, breezy, lemon squeezy.
When Evelyn is hanging out somewhere else in the house, Claire gives herself one hell of an electrical shock. Not expecting to be shot into a new body, she sits up in bed and tries to figure out why this happened. Shrugging, she figures she’ll go back to sleep to reset the whole deal, but she is curious to find out whose body she’s in.
She looks into the mirror and falls in love.
She’s beautiful. More than beautiful. She’s perfect. The kind of girl who looks amazing no matter what she wears. The kind of girl who makes boys fall over themselves just to get a glimpse of her. The kind of girl who can roll out of bed and be stunning.
The girl that Nate has been trying to meet.
Larissa. Even her name sounds luscious. Gorgeous Larissa, visiting the beach town where Claire lives year round. Hating the beach town. Scornful of the boys who think they are worthy enough to even speak to her.
Things get fun for a bit. Claire, ever unhappy with her swimmer’s body, pulls out just about every article of clothing from Larissa’s closet and has a one woman fashion show. It’s like playing dress up Barbie, except it’s her body now and she gets to admire it. Well… it’s not permanently her body, but since she’s borrowing it, she’s going to squeeze as much fun out of it as she can.
But too soon she realizes that she needs to go to sleep so she can go home and give Larissa her body back.
And then she wakes up and she’s still Larissa.
For the rest of the book, Claire has to figure out why she’s still Larissa, how to get her body back, how to keep people from finding out, and what to do about her grandmother.
Also? She’s totally going to make out with Nate. Hard.
This isn’t too challenging of a book and I liked how much fun Claire had in Larissa’s body. At times she did feel a bit guilty for taking advantage of this body, but on the other hand… just look at this body.
I was a but surprised that she didn’t feel guilty or conflicted about her “relationship” with Nate. At some point Larissa was going to get her body back and have no memory of Nate. It’s pretty convenient that she’ll be leaving town as soon as this happens. Claire creates a fake email account so that Nate can stay in touch with her. Larissa. Claire. Claire/Larissa.
It’s kinda skeezy.
Getting back to the non-challenging parts of the book:
- There is a piece of foreshadowing that foreshadows so hard that the only way it could foreshadow more is if there was a bright red arrow pointing at it that said “FORESHADOW!!!”
- The set up of who Claire can switch with is a total cop-out. Snow didn’t want to write a book where Claire could switch into older and younger people, and definitely not boys, so she comes up with a pretty bullshit set of rules that dictates what happens. I get why she did it, but I rolled my eyes when I read it.
- There is very little fallout in this book. Everything ends well and life goes on. This goes back to my skeezy feeling about her and Nate. She knows he’s out of her league, so she’s happy that she got to make out with him as someone else and now she’s probably going to cybersex him all the time with Larissa’s fake email. Dude.
One thing that really pleased me about this book is that it was nothing like Wake by Lisa McMann. It’s a sort of similar premise and I was worried that this was also going to be shit writing and easy answers. Happily, the writing was good, there were some challenges in the plot, but it wasn’t anything that was going to keep you up at night. Well, unless you’re paranoid that someone is going to take over your body during a thunderstorm.