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by Lauren McLaughlin

Series: Cycler (1)

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18421111,414 (3.46)8
Seventeen-year-old Jill is a fairly normal high school senior whose focus is on getting a certain boy to ask her to prom, but four days a month she transforms into surly Jack who decides it is time he had his own life and a chance with the girl he wants.

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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This was an okay book. The premise is pretty unbelievable but it's interesting. Basically Jill is a girl most of the time but for four days a month she literally and physically turns into a boy named Jack.

The premise is pretty far-fetched. There is mention of Jill going to tons of doctors to figure this out without an results; I am surprised that everyone would just leave her alone with such an outstanding condition. I think Jill’s family’s response (which is to suppress Jack) is a strange one that I had trouble understanding.

The story would have been much more interesting if it had focused on Jill/Jack figuring out why this happens to them. Instead the story focuses on Jill’s efforts to get a boy at school to ask her to the prom and Jack’s efforts to become more independent and seek out a girl he has a crush on.

There are a lot of GLBT dynamics to the story. For example Jill and Jack are completely straight but they obviously both have to deal with some complex boy/girl identity issues. Jill’s boyfriend ends up being bisexual; which actually didn’t have a ton of impact to the story other than Jill’s strange reaction to the information.

The story pretty much just stops as the book is getting interesting. I was frustrated that, just as things come to a head and Jack/Jill are actually going to have to start actually dealing with their coexistence in an active way, the book just ends. Very disappointing; it looks like there is a sequel to this book called Re(Cycler) that might address some of the unfinished issues, but given how this book ended I won’t be reading the second one.

The book itself flows well and has some fun snappy dialogue. Some of the slang included throughout gets a bit old. McLaughlin has her teens using the term “mal” and “deeply” to describe a lot of things; I am not sure if this was an effort to sound hip and teenish...but it mainly is just annoying.

Overall an okay book with an interesting, if far-fetched, premise. I felt like the story focused on the wrong things and then once it finally started to focusing on the “right” and more interesting topics the book just ended with absolutely no resolution...very frustrating. I don’t plan on reading the sequel. ( )
  krau0098 | Nov 3, 2016 |
Every month for 4 days teenager Jill turns into Jack. Sounds crazy right? I had high expectations for this book with such a unique concept, however it kind of just went on a bit. Jill wants a guy to ask her to the prom and goes out of her way to try and get him. However she doesn't know who she will be when prom night arrives. Other than that, chuck in some annoying teenagers talking about school and fashion, wierd parents and a bi student and that's it.
I read it in 2 days. It was OK. I'm not a young adult so this may be a great book for the target audience. ( )
  Nataliec7 | Jan 13, 2016 |
This one may have been the longest on my "to-read" list. All I knew was that it was about a girl who turns into a boy for five days every menstrual cycle. I was expecting a different story, one about girls versus boys. Differences between masculine and feminine. Today's societal issues. I thought it was going to offer some enlightenment and insight into how we treat each other based on gender. But this is more like a comic novel.

The girl is obsessed with prom. Right off the bat, I was disappointed. How shallow can you get, starting with a girl who has this gift that provides incredible perspective on a giant issue in high school. And all she cares about is the most asinine thing secondary education has to offer. I really couldn't tell you one more thing she's interested in besides prom.

And when she's a boy, they trap him/her in his/her room for five days, where he has his own fridge and porn. There is no plot in this story until halfway through, when the boy decides he's in love with his/her girl-ego's buxom best friend. Not to mention the unresolved storylines, like her family's dynamic with a mom and dad who are living separate lives in the same house. And that she doesn't tell her two best friends her secret until the very last line. Dude! That is not where you end your novel, that's where you end your first act!

There's a fantastic commentary locked in this story concept and it's wasted on petty YA junk like making plans for how to flirt with boys and shallow stereotypes and the importance of popularity. It focuses on what some Hollywood executive thinks are problems. ( )
  theWallflower | Apr 22, 2014 |
YA,gender issues,Amazon received
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
The concept was just too odd to pass up, so what the heck. I'm in the midst of a "read a couple dozen ya books really fast before going back to the serious stuff again" and this one caught my eye. An interesting take on the usual teenage angst, and just twisted enough to be interesting. It was a fun way to kill a couple of hours and i'll probably pick up the sequel, just to see how the characters evolve. ( )
  ScoutJ | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This is a book that the kids in your life really need to read, a gender-bending piece of speculative fiction aimed at young people that manages to say novel, useful, and challenging things about gender and sexuality without ever descending into squicky fluid-exchange or soapy romance.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Aug 26, 2008)
I really enjoyed this book. It’s funny, that time of the month for a girl can be a real big pain. Especially when for four days you transform into a boy. But changing genders isn’t the only thing that takes place. A new persona known as Jack lives inside of Jill and is living life through her eyes most of the time. The book is not only about learning to cope, but like any teenager, Jack searches for his identity while Jill tries tirelessly to get rid of him. Identity is something that everyone will struggle with. Now try imagining what it must be like living inside another person’s body. Who is Jack really?
added by SPSVLibrary | editSPSVLibrary

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Cycler (1)
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For Carol and Tom McLaughlin
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I am all girl.
Let me tell you something about Jill. The girl's life is a friggin' fairy tale.
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Seventeen-year-old Jill is a fairly normal high school senior whose focus is on getting a certain boy to ask her to prom, but four days a month she transforms into surly Jack who decides it is time he had his own life and a chance with the girl he wants.

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