By Heather A.
4 out of 5 stars ★★★★☆
Rose has changed. She still lives in the same neighborhood and goes to the same high school with the same group of kids, but when she woke up today, something was a little different. Her clothes and hair don’t suit her anymore. The dogs who live upstairs are no longer a terror. She wants to throw a party—this from a girl who hardly ever spoke to her classmates before. There’s no more sadness in her life; she’s bursting with happiness.
But something still feels wrong to Rose. Because until very recently, she was an entirely different person—a person who’s still there inside her, just beneath the thinnest layer of skin.
First of all, just have to say that the cover is gorgeous and I highly recommend going to a bookstore or library to look at it (then read on to find out why you should read it). The cover shows two stitched roses–I found it to be very striking and authentic to the story.
At the start of Change Places with Me, the main character wakes up a completely different person, she goes by Rose now. As she goes about her normal days, the people around her question why she is so different. She does not realize that anything is amiss, until she starts to notice gaps in her memory.
Metzger weaves a tale in a near future where certain procedures that alter the mind are as common as plastic surgery. And that’s when the reader discovers Rose is not who she may seem. I was pulled along the narrative to find out more. Why has she changed? What motivates her to stay as her new self?
The titular moment for me is when Rose sees a woman with the stitched roses on the back of her jacket and she has the thought, “Change places with me.” At that moment, I found myself having such a visceral reaction along with Rose–her ideal self just walked by and she had this vision of who she wanted to be. Isn’t that what we have all thought at one point or another? Especially as teenagers. The sense that the person we are is not our best self and how to change it.
The novel also focuses a lot on grief and how people process those emotions. For some it may be extreme, while for others, it’s a quiet process. The author’s exploration of this idea is a central theme throughout the novel, well thought out and manages to pull at one’s emotions (at least for me).
This kept me moving until the end. I would recommend this for fans of Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. Stay tuned tomorrow for a spoiler-free interview with the author!