Rachael's Reviews > The Changeover

The Changeover by Margaret Mahy
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Nov 25, 11


I loved this book. Partly for the wonderful plot and setting (recognisably Christchurch), but mostly for the characters. There was absolutely nothing cliched about them. The teenage boy, Sorry Carlisle, is such a strange character, wonderfully full of contradictions, and the dialogue is funny and real yet different from any book I've read, especially one for young readers. I love that Margaret Mahy writes about whole families, not just teens having adventures while the parents fade into the background.

There was an interesting author's note in my edition, written in 2007 when the book was re-issued, where Mahy explains that the book started as a book for younger readers, with two girls as the main protagonists, but that she realised that she needed to add the tension and conflict of sexuality into the mix. It does that beautifully. I was too old for this book when it was first published, but I imagine I would have swooned over it as a 13 year old.

I feel I could learn a lot about writing and story telling from Margaret Mahy.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Johnston I recently re-read 'Memory' and 'Catalogue of the Universe' and was struck by the same things; honest sexual tension, real families, tangible, touchable characters. Fantastic, distinctive stuff.


message 2: by Bianca (last edited Nov 30, 2011 01:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bianca I was exactly 13 when I read this and it was one of the quintessential reading experiences of my adolescence. I thought it was perfection, and I swooned, big time. And I was totally mesmerically freaked out. I MUST read it again, as I have the world's worst memory for plot - I really only remember the mood of a book and whether or not I liked it.


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