Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Where I End and You Begin by Preston North

Where I End and You Begin. Preston Norton. Disney Press.  June 2019; pb and e-book, 416 pp.; ISBN: 9781484798355.

Ezra Slevin is one very anxious, crazy and sleep-deprived teenager and his friends are as crazy as he is in singular ways.  His main objective these days is to get up the guts to ask Imogen to the prom.  Imogen is a beauty, although rather nerdy, who is more into helping her friends than impressing them with her dazzling, blond looks.  Her best friend, Wynonna, thrives on making fun of Ezra and thus proves to be the foil that keeps Ezra from ever getting close enough to Imogen to ask her the big question.

On a night when their class was to gather to watch a solar eclipse, they manage to get caught sneaking into the local high school. The punishment – play a role as a member of the other sex in a Shakespearean high school production. But more importantly is that Wynonna and Ezra further on in this out-of-control dramatic presentation wake up in the other person’s body.  Not only are they freaked out by this occurrence but they over time also decide that it’s funky enough that they want to keep doing it.

During the switching Ezra discovers Wynonna’s secret crush on his good friend.  Finally they work out a deal to keep switching bodies in order to get a romantic relationship they want.  There’s plenty happening through this unique plot to compel questions and ponder the idea of gender identity and how it affects males and females.  And what happens when one switches gender and wants to stay there?

There are many literary and historical allusions that come up in many conversations – all accomplished with a funny and insanely humorous style that never lets up.  While this story takes place about ten years ago, the issues are more than relevant to today’s concerns with sexual identity and how we treat each other depending on one’s gender, some great and some forcing prolonged reflection on the not-so-nice ways that have become questionable parts of today’s culture.

This is a sharply plotted, wittily crafted, crazy and funky story perfect for today’s teens and, perhaps, adults as well!!!

Cleverly crafted and presented, Preston Norton!!! Keep writing!

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