Nancy's Reviews > The Changeover

The Changeover by Margaret Mahy
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Aug 03, 10

Read in August, 2010

Laura's life is complicated. Her father, absorbed by his new wife, never visits; her mom is beginning to see other men. Her little brother Jacko is acting strangely since they encountered a very unpleasant old man in a shop. And there's a boy at school that she thinks is probably a witch.

When little Jacko becomes desperately ill, Laura enlists the help of Sorenson, the oddball boy at school, to find a way to heal him. I don't care much for Mahy's style - her characters talk in exclamation points (!!), and sometimes the writing seems sloppy rather than tight. But I did very much like the relationship between Laura and Sorenson, which is complicated, layered, and interesting. It's unusual to find a YA novel in which the younger, female character sets the boundaries of a burgeoning sexual relationship - and the older, male character moves from a sort of dominating attitude to one of respect. Sounds a bit prim? It isn't. This is a teenage novel that celebrates female strength and identity instead of dysfunction. Take that, Stephanie Meyer.
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