Review: Change Places With Me
Rose wakes up one Sunday morning with a bright red light behind her eyes, an ache in her jaw, and feeling strangely happy and excited for change in her life. She tells her step-mother, Lynn, she wants to start going by her new name, Rose, she wants to buy new clothes, get a haircut, she gets a job at a vet, and throw parties at her house. This all from a girl who recently hated her step-mother, was afraid of animals, and hardly ever talked with any of her classmates. Rose can tell something is different about herself, but that is the past and she is happy and excited for the future. Rose continues to wake up with the red light behind her eyes which lasts a little longer each morning and the pain in her jaw increases. One day she asks Lynn for money to go shopping she sees a receipt for $1,600 from a place called Forget-Me-Not which her step-mother says is just a flower shop for her clients. The name of the shop sounds familiar to Rose, but she deems it not important and sets out making the best of her new outlook on life. As Rose goes through school and outings with her new friends she begins to notice inconsistencies with her memory.
Change Places With Me has allusions to the Snow White fairy tale, but this is not a retelling and there isn’t a happily ever after. There are subtle mentions that clearly show that Rose thinks of her life before Forget-Me-Not as being Snow White before she falls in love. What drew me to this book originally was the short page count, the advance reader copy I read is 214 pages, compared to the large number of other fiction titles that we get that are usually at least 300 pages. While this does have a shorter number of pages compared to other books, it isn’t a book that I would recommend for reluctant readers because of the sophisticated and dreamy aspect to the narration that I think could bore a reluctant reader.
This book is split into three different parts called, Forget-Me-Not, The Glass Coffin, and You Are Here. The three different parts each tell about a life change in Rose’s life, after she wakes up with the red light in her eyes, what her life was like before Forget-Me-Not, and after she discovers what Forget-Me-Not actually does. I think this would be a great book to create discussions in a classroom about the changes that are occurring in Rose’s life and memories in each of the different parts of the book.
While I was reading it I found it interesting to contemplate who Rose would decide to be in the end and once she discovers what has happened to her. If readers can ease through Rose’s thoughts, feelings, and inconsistent memories they will eagerly continue reading to find out what ultimately happens with Rose’s memories, Forget-Me-Not, and her step-mother.
Change Places with Me by Lois Metzger. 9780062385536. June 14th, 2016. Gr 9-12.
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