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Game Changer

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  61 reviews
All it takes is one hit on the football field, and suddenly Ash’s life doesn’t look quite the way he remembers it.

Impossible though it seems, he’s been hit into another dimension—and keeps on bouncing through worlds that are almost-but-not-really his own.

The changes start small, but they quickly spiral out of control as Ash slides into universes where he has everything he’
...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: February 9th 2021 by Quill Tree Books
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Beccanox As much as I like Scythe, I think this book addresses some important issues beginning with concussions in sports and ending with the need for bigger p…moreAs much as I like Scythe, I think this book addresses some important issues beginning with concussions in sports and ending with the need for bigger pockets in women's clothing.
And, yanno, racism.
So I like the idea that this one will get made first. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  90 ratings  ·  61 reviews


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Tatiana
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, sci-fi, 2020, ppb
2.5 stars

It's understandable that a lot of authors are now grappling with the hot button issues in the world - racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. and want to express their new found feelings in their works. And a lot of these authors haven't exactly written on theses topics much before, like Shusterman. As you can imagine, these earnest works are... a mixed bag.

Game Changer is a well-intentioned novel in which the author tried to address many ills of the current time, but he might have missed, in
...more
Ashley Marie
No idea what this is beyond NEW NEAL SHUSTERMAN
Monogamist
Dec 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook-copy, arc
Ash is a normal (white privileged) high-school student. He plays for his school American football team on Friday and then goes for burgers with his friends. During one game, something goes incredibly wrong. He is used to taking massive tackles from adversaries, but when he is slumped against the field and bumps his head, he feels something is different. He dismisses the headache and concussion scare as normality, considering the sport. He starts to slowly notice that after this tackle a few thin ...more
✨Emily | Procrastinating • Bibliophile
New Neal Shusterman book? Sign me up.
Celia McMahon
Dec 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you Edelweiss and the publisher for the e-arc. I am deeply delighted to read another one of Neal's books, and forever indebted to this platform for allowing me to read them ahead of their release dates.

I originally marked this book as a DNF, but had to go back to it. LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED!

I believe part of the low rating was that I recently came off of reading The Toll, and I was in the mindset that I was getting something along those lines, or perhaps something like Unwind. The overall
...more
Bex
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews, arc-s
I appreciate what Shusterman was trying to do here, and he does do a lot of it well, but there are so many things trying to be addressed at once that it becomes a watered down commentary on the flaws of society (racism, homophobia, sexism etc), instead of really hitting where it hurts.

Game Changer centres upon 17 year old Ash, a football player who gets concussion and suddenly starts to see his life a little differently, then a lot differently, and then discovers he may have more of a say in wha
...more
Kim
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: #NealShusterman is one of my favorite authors of all time, so I have been looking forward to #GameChanger, and it did NOT disappoint. The book follows Ash, a high school football player who--every time he gets hit--finds himself transported into other universe or timeline where there is always something different from the one before. As this is an advanced release, I will not give away any spoilers. However, like all Shusterman novels, and what makes him so great, is that he tak ...more
Joan He
Oct 23, 2020 marked it as to-read
the cover is everything and if anyone can get me to read about football, it's neal shusterman ...more
Marie
Jan 01, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-releases
New Neal Shusterman?!?

[image error]

I have no idea what this is about but I already know I'm going to love it.
...more
John Moore
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*disclaimer: I work for Neal’s publisher*
This book is something else. Not at all what I expected from the blurb but it is classic Neal Shusterman Sci-Fi excellence with more heart than I’ve seen in his books before. It tackles race, sexuality, sexism, all in a wonderfully mad parallel universe jumping meets American Football mash up. You’re all going to love it in February next year.
Karen Barber
Dec 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Game Changer will, I think, be one of those books that will polarise opinion. I’m grateful to NetGalley for granting me access to it prior to publication, and I think I would recommend it to people, but there are issues that make me wonder if this was quite the right way to get the intended result.
Our story focuses on Ash, a fairly typical privileged white American boy. He plays football. He has relatively open relationships with his friends and family, but there’s a sense of things being held b
...more
Bruna Oliveira
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for the digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Ash - short for Ashley, yes, his family were huge Gone with the wind fans - is a high school student and football player in the school team. After he was hit in the field, he starts to notice his reality is a bit different from what he's used to. Then he realizes he's jumping to different dimensions.

First of all, I have to say I really appreciated the author's note in the beginning of the book saying how imp
...more
Jenny Ashby
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
I hate to give only two stars to a Shusterman book as he is one of my favorite authors, but the more I think about this one the more disgruntled I'm feeling about it. When describing his books to others I have said for a long time that I feel like the books fall into two categories: really well written and thoughtful OR not as deep/kinda cheesy(?) stories that are just fun to read. The latter description mostly applies to his earlier work such as Red Rider's Hood or Eyes of Kid Midas. As I start ...more
Sacha
Dec 14, 2020 added it
Thanks to NetGalley and Quill Tree Books for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I’ll post that full review upon publication.

For now, I will add that while I have thoroughly enjoyed many of Shusterman’s previous works, this one really rubbed me the wrong way. I will get into detail about why in the forthcoming review, but I do not recommend this novel, even to incoming fans of this author.
Jessica Marsh
7/30/2020: WE GOT A COVERRRRRRR! And that one line blurb!? Yes gawd!
Emmy Neal
earnest, but misses its mark multiple times. I have a more eloquent review being published but essentially: a white savior Chosen One novel. I was not impressed.
Ab
Dec 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Hmmm. I'm definitely on the lower end of this 3 rating, but not quite at a 2 ... and here's a bit on why. While this book is taking on some BIG issues (which should def be taken on), I'm not sure it's quite a successful take on these issues. This book is essentially based on the premise of the dangers of head trauma in American football, especially for young athletes. THEN, each head trauma sucks young Ash (white, 17-year-old, cis, straight Ash) into an alternate version of reality, each slightl ...more
Amy
Nov 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

OK, this book was pretty good, but my low(ish) rating is due to the fact that I just don't think this will have the mass appeal of some of his other books. This is a deeply metaphorical look at mutliverses and multidimensions (is there another you out there somewhere living a somewhat parallel life?) while also taking on huge contemporary issues of civ
...more
Amanda Cresse
Jan 08, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley

More often than not, I love Neal Shusterman's books; his writing style pulls me in and I get so wrapped up in his stories that most I finish in one sitting... Game Changer is a miss for me. While the plot had potential, it needed more editing. There are too many difficult topics that are treated too lightly. And, some of the social issues felt too forced.
I will admit that I have a bias regarding concussions and how seriously they can affect an athlete. Therefore, the choice to make light of Ash
...more
Elke
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Omg, this book is so good! I'll admit, when I first read the synopsis I wasn't sure if I would like it as it mentioned following a football player. I absolutely have nothing with sports so that put me off a little. But the mention of parallel universes made me very intrigued. As I have read more of Neal Shustermans books I decided to go for it anyway and boy was I surprised!
The writing is exceptional but I expected nothing less from Neal Shusterman. The story itself was amazing as well and left
...more
Pam
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I really loved this book even though it felt a little preachy and overly concerned with trying to correct all of society's ills. Our main character is a good guy who is trapped in a spiral of ever-worsening universes, all of them having to do with racism, homophobia, greed, selfishness, and jealousy. It feels a little like the author sat at home during the lockdowns and riots and poured out his anger, frustration, anxiety, and dreams for a better world into this book, and I think it resonated wi ...more
megan ♡
Maybe more like 2.5 stars but this just wasn't for me, unfortunately. I really didn't like the writing style at all - it felt very impersonal- and Ash, the narrator, was irritating. Yeah it just wasn't what I wanted or what I expected. ...more
Michelle Glatt
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Neal Shusterman's always make me think and think and then think some more.... ...more
Cláudia
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you, NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this book.
This is an ambitious book that combines YA and dystopian and I really enjoyed it. I was invested in it from page 1.
This book is challenging and thought-provoking Highly recommend it.
Lisa Nocita
Oct 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Thanks to #NetGalley for providing an advance reading copy of #GameChanger by Neal Shusterman.

Neal Shusterman has become one of my go to authors! I know I can always count on him to provide a great story that is both layered, nuanced, and bound to make you think and reflect! As Shusterman says in his author note, "I wish you an opening, thought-provoking, nail-biting, occasionally troubling but ultimately satisfying read! Game Changer is a story for now inspired by all that 2019-2020 has so far
...more
Alyce Hunt
First things first I’d like to say a huge thank you to Walker Books, who accepted my request to read Game Changer via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I have been so excited about reading a new Neal Shusterman novel. Having read and loved Dry and the entire Arc of the Scythe series, I thought that I might have discovered a new favourite author. I featured Game Changer in my most anticipated 2021 releases video, and I thought it was going to be an easy 5 star read to start off 2
...more
Elise
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
I enjoyed this book! It had a slow start but once things got going I couldn’t wait for the next dimension shift to see what would happen. I think this book will be well loved by a specific audience.

A quick premise, because I don’t think the publisher offered enough information to readers: We follow Ash, a defensive lineman on his high school’s football team, who starts to notice some weird changes in the world after a hard hit during a game. Soon, he realizes these really hard hits send him to d
...more
Hayley
Mr Shusterman has written many books and I have very much enjoyed those that I’ve read, so I was excited to get a review copy of this new one. Sadly, it’s a bit of a dud.

Ash Bowman attends a diverse high school. He’s on the football team and one night, when he makes a particularly hard tackle he gets a strange feeling and he slides into a different reality. It’s not that different - blue replaces red in stop signs and traffic lights - but the following week when it happens again he ends up in a
...more
Chris G.
Dec 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Ash is a white high school football player, son of middle class parents, an emotionally distant big brother, a good guy with a diverse group of friends, but when a hard hit at a Friday night game rattles his brain, he emerges from his brief moment of altered consciousness in an alternate reality. He is still himself, but important details have changed for him, his best friend Leo, Leo’s sister Angela, his math tutor Paul, semi-crush Katie and her controlling quarterback boyfriend.

As Ash is prop
...more
Alyssa
Dec 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Thanks to netgalley.com for providing a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Having read several of Shusterman's previous series', I knew he has never shied away from tough topics or moral dilemmas. This book, covering every social ill from racism to homophobia, seemed a bit rushed. With references to George Floyd and Covid, it seemed he was in a hurry to make this book relevant. Unfortunately you lose that relevancy when you try to text like teenagers and say things like U2 and becuz. Un
...more
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Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movi ...more

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