Changers: Drew by T. Cooper & Alison Glock-Cooper (eProof) - 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. From Goodreads.
I was really interested in Changers: Drew by T. Cooper & Allison Glock-Cooper when I first heard about it; but I'm sad to say I found it quite disappointing.
Ethan wakes up the first day of high school to discover that he's a girl. Absolutely terrified, he has no idea what's going on. Then his parents tell him; he is a Changer. With a Changer parent, he has been chosen to undergo a mission in empathy, to make the world a better place. Every year of high school, he will become someone new. This first year, he is now Drew. Drew must start school in a new town, make friends, and face the usual challenges that come with starting high school, while she has no idea who or what she really is.
My main problem with this book is the world building. I still have no idea why there are Changers and what it is they're supposed to do - and neither does Drew. It's all cloaked in secrecy, and there's enough to know that there is something to being a Changer other than changing bodies for four years, but I've no clue as to what. Except that it's not all the Changer Council claims it is. Which we find out from the very, very beginning, before the Prologue, when we're kind of told, in brief, about the amazing things Drew (or whoever she will become) is involved in, in a "before all this stuff happened, he was a normal boy" way. But it's a hint that there's a huge amount of stuff to come. But in this first book? Nothing major, in the great scheme of things. It's like it's setting up the story, without giving you much to go on.
However, there are a lot of elements to this story that were really interesting. As you can imagine, there are some trans themes; before she gets used to who she now is, Drew felt a lot like her body didn't match up who she was - at the time, a boy. What's different is the sudden change from being male, having known being and feeling male, to then being female. What was really interesting about this was a guy seeing how girls are treated, the other side of the coin. There are some really feminist moments; Drew realising what it's like to receive unwanted attention, expecting to look and dress a certain way by society, and so forth. It was really interesting for her to realise just what it's like to be a girl, and I would have loved if there were more moments like this. For this book, it's where the empathy comes into play.
When she was Ethan, Drew was attracted to girls. Now as Drew, that hasn't really changed, and she is kind of confused when she starts falling for her best friend Audrey, because she's now a girl. At the same time, when she starts finding herself attracted to a boy, she reacts even worse. She still feels like a boy, and now she's finding herself feeling things for a boy, and she's so confused. Drew's feelings and her sexuality are developed as the story goes on, and it's really interesting to see how this element to the story, and her coming to terms with this new side of her and her feelings.
The book did take me a really long time to read, though. I found I didn't emotionally connect to Drew, and she was quite a young character. I didn't care enough about her or her story to keep picking it up, I just wasn't interested, and would find other things I was more interested in doing. Saying that, as the story was starting to end, there were hints that the story would progress into something more interesting, so I might have a look at the second book, Changers: Oryon. For the general premise of the story of waking up as a different person, it was fascinating, but as a story with a sci-fi element, I was pretty disappointed.
Thank you to Atom via NetGalley for the eProof.
Published: 12th January 2016