If I Were You
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Middle-Grade
Publication date: May 12th 2015
by Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Just in time for summer, a body switch story in the vein of Freaky Friday with best friends and boy trouble.
Twelve-year-old Katie is insanely jealous of her best friend, Melody. Turns out Melody is jealous of Katie, too. When they wish for the exact same thing—to be in each other's shoes—at the exact same moment, their wishes are granted. They’ll be redoing the summer, except this time as one another. In this be-careful-what-you-wish-for tale, two best friends learn that the grass is not always greener on the other side.
-A copy was provided by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for review-
This was a super cute and fun read. It’s middle grade book, so the characters are quite young. About to go into middle school actually. They have been best friends forever, until a boy comes between them. Their looks are completely opposite. Where melody is blonde, curvy and pretty much perfect (not to mention the boys all want her), Katie feels frumpy and has no curves to show off. Both are secretly jealous of the other though, not because of boys, but because the others life seems so much better. When they both wish to start over summer as the other and the wish comes true, it’s like a second chance to save their friendship and to understand each other a little better. Maybe even be closer than ever. It’s told from alternating points of view so we get the whole story in such a fun way.
Katie’s family is a bit crazy. She has two super wild, 4 year old twin brothers. They are exhausting, but with Katie’s parents both working, she is pretty much on child care duty a lot of the time. Life in her household is hectic. From morning til night, it’s non-stop. She wishes that she had Melody’s luxurious life. Wanting to be pretty, perfect, and have the boy. Getting the peace and quiet of Melody’s house. Only once she’s switched places with Melody, she realizes that maybe Melody’s life isn’t so perfect. She realizes things that she didn’t before. Starts to understand why things fell apart between her and Melody in the first place. I really did like her. She’s a young girl who is trying to learn. It’s all part of growing up.
Melody is the pretty one. The one that attracts the boys attention. Namely one boy. The one that Katie called dibs on. The only thing is, that’s not how things really happened. Melody kind of follows in Katie’s footsteps. Whatever Katie wants is how it is. Melody isn’t very assertive and she’s never really minded being the one who follows. But now with them going into middle school, she isn’t so sure she wants to be the sidekick to Katie. She wants to be herself. She may not be as smart as Katie, or as talented, but she is getting tired of always being the one who listens to whatever others tell her. Her home is quiet and lonely. Yes, her family is rich and she has more than she even really wants, but it’s not a happy family life. Her mom is on her to be perfect, and her dad is rarely home. She wishes she could have some of the chaos that Katie is always complaining about. I liked Melody too. They were both very different in terms of how they live, but very alike in what they want. Especially in their friendship.
I thought this book was really fun to read. It starts off on the last day of summer with Melody and Katie not friends… all over a boy. Then when their wishes to start over the summer as the other one comes true we get to relive the summer. They are both really excited about it at first, then there is some drama. Of course, being the other one isn’t as glamorous as they would think. They find out truths about each other that they never knew. I think it was a great book about friendship, and showing that even the best of friends may not really know the other that well. It was a cute read that I think is great for younger kids. The characters were great, and there are some pretty good lessons within. The friendship aspect was the big focus in this book and I thought it was done wonderfully. I hope that others enjoy this as much as I did. It was a nice contemporary with a touch of magic, and a whole lot of heart.
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