Changers: Drew (Book One) by T. Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper

Posted in Books

Damn Dannie, back at it again with the book hoarding.  I wish I had a perfectly valid and understandable excuse as to why I hoarded this particular book for so long, but I don’t.   Let me make amends by telling you what I thought of Changers: Drew (Book One) by T. Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper.

Changers Drew (Book One) by T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper - Famous in Japan

Changers: Drew (Book One)

Publication Date: 12 January 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown

The Cheerleader, The Nerd, The Jock, The Freak. What if you had to be all four?

Changers book one: DREW opens on the eve of Ethan Miller’s freshman year of high school in a brand-new town. He’s finally sporting a haircut he doesn’t hate, has grown two inches since middle school, and can’t wait to try out for the soccer team. At last, everything is looking up in life.

Until the next morning. When Ethan awakens as a girl.

Ethan is a Changer, a little-known, ancient race of humans who live out each of their four years of high school as a different person. After graduation, Changers choose which version of themselves they will be forever – and no, they cannot go back to who they were before the changes began.

Ethan must now live as Drew Bohner – a petite blonde with an unfortunate last name – and navigate the treacherous waters of freshman year while also following the rules: Never tell anyone what you are. Never disobey the Changers Council. And never, ever fall in love with another Changer. Oh, and Drew also has to battle a creepy underground syndicate called ‘Abiders’ (as well as the sadistic school queen bee, Chloe). And she can’t even confide in her best friend Audrey, who can never know the real her, without risking both of their lives.

Fans of the books of John Green, the Joss Whedonverse – and empathy between humans – will find much to love in this first of a four-part series that tracks the journey of an average suburban boy who becomes an incredible young woman…who becomes a reluctant hero…who becomes the person she was meant to be.

Because, while changing the world can kinda suck, it sure beats never knowing who you really are.

When I first heard about Changers: Drew (Book One), I was rather intrigued.  At first glance, it sounded like a story about a transgender teen.  However, I soon found out that it was actually more of a sci-fi story.  As sci-fi isn’t a genre I read, I kept pushing this book further down my To Be Read list.  In the end, guilt got the better of me and I made myself sit down one afternoon to finally read it.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Changers is a series of books following Ethan, who discovers that he is part of an ancient race of “Changers” when he wakes up one morning in the body of a girl.  As part of his initial life as a Changer, he must live as a different person for a year, for four years.  At the end of the four years, he must decide which person he wants to continue living as and no, he can’t go back to being Ethan.

Despite my initial worries about the genre, I found Changers easy to read.  I didn’t have any difficulty getting into the story, and it was easy to get back into if I had to put it down.

Whilst Ethan wasn’t a character I fell in love with, he was an okay character.  I appreciated how Ethan’s inner voice didn’t change when he became Drew, which does add a slight transgender aspect to the story in my view.  However, I do feel that most of the characters in the novel came across as flat and one dimensional.  I think the authors could have spent more time developing them.  The “bullies” for example, were rather confusing.  They were mean to Drew, then a few pages later they were being friendly? They also said “beyotch” a lot.  Hello, the 90s called, they want their expression back.

*Please note that there is a scene of attempted sexual assault if this is something you find triggering or upsetting.*

Turning to the Changers aspect of the novel…. Well.. it was a bit silly.  I felt like the information about the “Changers” race was literally “dumped” on us far too early in the novel.   I’m pretty sure if I woke up as a boy tomorrow morning, I’d want more than a few hours to digest it.  I would definitely not want to go to a new school, in a new body!  It was like “hey guess what ur part of an ancient race of changers here’s the manual lolkthnxbye”.  Also, Ethan seemed to accept being Drew rather quickly.  He didn’t seem that interested, or particularly confused, in his new body or anatomy.  In the whole of the novel, Drew has one period, her first one in her new body, and that’s it.  There is no further mention of periods, which is strange considering this book takes place over the course of a year and Drew should have had 11 more, no? #MorePeriodsinYAPlz

Looking back, Changers was a short book in comparison to books of a similar genre.   I’m sure the story will continue to expand in the later books, but to be honest, this book should have been more substantial to keep me interested in continuing.   Nothing particularly happened.  With this in mind, I’m not sure if I will continue on with the Changers series.   Whilst this book was ok, it didn’t grab me enough to keep me interested in the following books.    If the next books in the series are available in my local library, I might pick them up out of curiosity, but I’m not desperate enough to buy them – sorry!

Changers is definitely an unique story, and not one I have come across before.  I appreciate that the books have a focus on modern issues that affect today’s teenagers.  I believe the first book, Drew, is focused on gender roles, with the second book focusing on race, and the third focusing on body image.  I’m not sure what the fourth book is about… as it isn’t out yet.   Changers would be best enjoyed by younger readers; mature readers will want something a little more substantial.  I therefore award Changers: Drew (Book One) 3/5 stars an enjoyable book, but it could have been better. 

Dannie x

A copy of Changers: Drew (Book One) by T. Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper provided in exchange for an honest review.  No further compensation received.

April 8, 2016
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