Saturday, October 23, 2010

Book Review: Gender Blender

Gender Blender (2006) by Blake Nelson

Inside Jacket:

Emma and Tom aren't friends anymore. It's middle school. It's war.

EMMA: Wants Jeff Matthews to notice her. Hates sexist boys. Wonders when shell get her period.

TOM: Must get on the baseball team. Can't stand the Grrlzillas. Wants to kiss Kelly A.

Then something freaky happens: Emma and Tom switch bodies. And until they can break the curse:

EMMA: Can't believe she has a...thingie. Hates mean girls. Finds out that Tom just got her period.

TOM: Must learn to put on a bra. Has to deal with Emma's weird family. Must avoid getting kissed by Jeff.

Review: This book is majorly cute. It's definitely for a slightly younger audience, and has a curiously 90s vibe (despite being from '06). Both Tom and Emma are adorable in their own right, and you can imagine the confusion and hi-jinks that ensue after they switch bodies. Emma is particularly consternated to learn that she will have to wiggle "it" when she goes to the bathroom, and Tom treats himself to a clumsy striptease in front of the bathroom mirror. Nelson does a great job keeping the plot fast and lighthearted, but he also works in the message that boys and girls are treated very differently, despite being very similar.

Conclusion: Fast and funny, easy to read, but predictable. 3/5.


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