Linked by Olive Peart ISBN 978-0-9823077-0-0
Review by Chris Phillips
What does it feel like to be someone else? What happens if one person changed into another’s body? Peart has written a young adult novel about just that. She takes the two protagonists, Steve and Greg, through this exchange.
Greg is a sophomore in a public school. His mother is raising her two sons alone in an apartment. Steve is a sophomore in a private school. His mother is raising him with the help of his stepfather in an affluent neighborhood. One night Greg dreams of a vicious attack by Steve’s stepfather on Steve. Is it real? Does it really happen? He doesn’t know until the next time, when instead of just dreaming it he finds that he is living it.
Through a process undisclosed, Greg occupies Steve’s body and vice versa. After an adjustment by both boys, they begin to discover that they will have to live each other’s lives for at least a time. Greg’s father has left after a fight. Steve and his mother are enduring an abusive relationship. Both have problems and neither knows how to fix them. Will it help if Greg makes the tough decisions that Steve fears? Will it help if Steve resolves Greg’s problems? And does it matter that Greg is black and Steve is white? Finally, will they ever change back?
The story is consistent and wonderfully enlightening. There is glimpse after glimpse into the interactions between these two disparate but strangely similar young men trying to get by in life. The adventures are very engrossing and will keep the reader wanting to read just one more page after another.
Peart shows a gentle understanding of race issues and identity issues among adolescent males. Although the premise might seem far-fetched, the plot is consistent throughout and the characters maintain a very balanced development.
This book is highly recommended for any young adult readers, for their parents and for anyone wanting to relive the struggles of a teenager with a twist.
Published by Demarche Publishing, (www.demarchepublishing.com) ($7.95 USD SRP/Amazon $7.95 USD) Reviewer received book from the publisher.