Reading level: Young Adult
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (August 26, 2008)
Rating: 4 stars
Buy at Amazon for only 2 cents! (If you buy it used):http://www.amazon.com/Cycler-Lauren-McLaughlin/dp/0375851917/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0
Jill McTeague is a normal high school girl. She's got good friends who are helping her to snag a date to the prom. Not any date, though. She's been asked by her science lab partner but brushed him off saying it was too early to plan for the prom. She'd rather go with Tommy Knutson. They have Calculus together and she catches him looking at her throughout class.
There's only one small glitch in her plans. As long as her cycle stays on course, she can attend the prom as Jill. But if there is even a slight miscalculation on her part, she may be Jack at the time.
Jack is the person she becomes for four days prior to her period each month. The cycling from female to male started three years ago. She and her mom have been to all the doctors and had all the tests done, but no one can explain it or give her any help. So the McTeague family has taken matters into their own hands. When Jill becomes Jack, he is forced to stay home from school (they've created an ongoing need for blood transfusions each month for Jill by way of explanation) and denied access to the outside world. Jack has no access to the Internet, or a cell phone. His only stimulation comes from the piles of books, DVDs and porn Jill or her mother procures for him (thanks to the sticky notes he leaves for Jill when he's visiting).
Things are going along smoothly for Jill and her crush, Tommy, has started noticing her, no thanks to the crazy J-bar incident at the local ski slope. Now Jill just has to get him to ask her to the prom. However, in the meantime, Jack has snuck out of the house on his latest visit to peek at a sleeping Ramie, Jill's best friend. Jack is obsessed with Ramie. Mrs. McTeague strips Jack of all privileges and locks him in his room.
As the prom gets closer and closer, the cycling becomes more complicated for Jill and Jack. Jill has a harder time forcing Jack's residual thoughts into oblivion, and being around her best friend draws conflicting emotions within her.
I really liked this book. It was interesting with the different views. The author's writing kept me from getting bored. It was cool what it would be like if that happened in real life. I think it's one of the first books about that subject. There was inapporpriate language. Something I didn't understand was why Jill kept on saying Mal. It kind of disrupted the flow of the story. I thought that it was cool but freaky that Ramie and "Jack" are having a relationship. The ending was a bit fast for me but overall this was a good book for 13 year olds and up.