Tuesday, September 6, 2016

ARC Review: Into You by Jay Northcote

What do you do when the body you wake up in isn’t yours?

Olly and Scott promised to be best friends forever. They grew up on the same street, went to the same school, and did everything together. But one hot summer night, teenage experimentation caused hurt feelings and confusion, and their friendship was destroyed.

Four years later they’re both eighteen years old and in their final term at school. Scott is a football star and Olly’s preparing for a main role in the school play. After a heated argument in the street—witnessed by their mysterious, elderly neighbour—they wake up the next morning stuck in each other’s bodies.

With no idea how to get back to normal, they have to co-operate in order to hide their secret. Spending time together rekindles their friendship, yet feelings run deeper for both of them. With the end of school fast approaching, the clock is ticking. Unless they discover how to change back, they could be stuck in the wrong bodies forever.

Jewel's rating:

The body swap trope, when done right, is simply delightful, and this one was done right! Into You is a little bit magical, a little bit fanciful, and a whole lot awesome.

Scott and Olly were BFF's when they were kids. At 9, they swore a blood oath to always be together. At 14, a kiss ended it all because fear is a powerful thing. Now, at 18, they're still not friends, and a local old woman (and her meddling cat) decides to give fate a bit of a nudge... and our boys wake up to a new reality.

It took me a little bit to get used to the boys referring to themselves and each other by their actual names (rather than the names of the bodies they inhabit), but before long I was keeping up just fine. They inevitably screw up, from time to time, answering to each others names and, of course, they have to figure out how to be convincing as the other person. And I thought my teenage years were hard! And unlike some other takes on this trope that I have encountered, Scott and Olly don't act like parodies of each other. They really try to be convincing.

I loved how they were each embarrassed, and actually respectful about each others bodies. I mean, these are teenage boys we're talking about - a stiff wind could make them pop wood. But masturbating with someone else's penis...yeah, that's got to be a bit different.

It can be a challenge for all of us, to put ourselves in someone else's shoes, but Scott and Olly have no choice in the matter. They each discover the challenges that the other one faces on a day to day basis, so, it makes it really hard for them to stay mad at one another. They're forced to cooperate with each other so that their lives aren't totally screwed up when they figure out how to fix this problem. And being forced to cooperate means they spend time together and that brings out feelings that have never really gone away, so they just need the courage to admit to themselves and each other their feelings.

Into You was brilliantly done. It never felt trite and I was happy through the whole book. I read it in one sitting, so that should tell you just how engaged I was. I just loved it.


ARC of Into You was generously provided by the author, in exchange for an honest review.

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