Risa Green. Soho Teen, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-61695-200-6
Green (The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball) launches a series evocative of Freaky Friday and inspired by classic philosophy. California teen Gretchen Harris is part of the Oculus Society, a sisterhood dedicated to secretly preserving the Plotinus Ability, which allows participants to trade bodies/souls. When Gretchen’s mother, the head of the Society, is murdered, Gretchen vows to find the killer. She teams up with her best friend Jessica and, later, social rival Ariel, swapping identities to ferret out the truth, certain that the culprit is someone close to home. However, inhabiting each others’ lives is harder than expected. While Green’s premise is solid and the underlying mystery intriguing, the story struggles with pacing problems, including a significant two-year time jump. The theme of girl empowerment runs up against an oddly unfulfilled lesbian subtext—the fact that the girls must kiss in order to exchange bodies is an oft-mentioned subject and plot point, yet the book shies away from a deeper exploration of sexual identity. Nevertheless, it’s a strong start for a series with potential. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/05/2013
Release date: 09/03/2013
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-4230-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-4829-4231-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-4232-3
Paperback - 282 pages - 978-1-61695-454-3
Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-61695-201-3
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