Change Places With Me by Lois Metzger

Be transported to a time not so far away in a place somewhat similar to our own, known as Belle Heights. In this place the buses are powered by hydrogen, lab dissections are virtual, teeth can be straightened in under an hour and there’s this special procedure known as Memory Enhancement.

So meet Rose a reborn women in her sophomore year of high school trying to make friends and reestablish herself. Right off the bat we see Rose dying her hair, beginning to wear makeup and completely change her wardrobe. Which instantly garners her more attention and allows her to break into new social groups, but something is amiss for Rose. She is making everything perfect, but it just doesn’t feel real or perfect to her. Which then leads us to the rest of the events of the novel.

Now, onto my opinions of this book! It is a short read and conceptually very interesting but incredibly convoluted. There just isn’t that much consistency or continuity throughout the novel to allow me to fall into Rose’s world, instead I keep dragging myself out of the world in order to set names straight, timelines and perspectives/pronouns. Which took away a lot from what is a pretty beautiful and powerful story. It also drew attention away from the very complex and compelling character of Rose who is a very confused, insecure and struggling teenager that a lot of us could identify with but it is hard to fully understand her and follow her development because of all inconsistencies of her pronouns, perspective and thought process that jumps around quite a bit similar to an actual teenager but makes it quite difficult to understand what is happening, happened or going to happen.

Alright, the reason why I wanted to read this book was because it claimed to be similar to Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not which was an amazing neo-science fiction novel. Now, there are a lot of similarities in these novels especially that they are what I consider neo-science fiction  which is when the world in very similar to our own aside from one or two things that are totally ahead of our time. In this case is was the Hydro-buses and Memory Enhancement which were pretty cool and well executed in the story.

So overall, I thought that this book was conceptually very interesting just not perfectly executed. However, I do believe that Rose’s character has some merits and a story worth being told. Also, this book would be good for anyone else interested in this neo-sci fi thing.