Where I End & You Begin
by Preston Norton
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Number of pages: 416
Source: ARC from Net Galley
YA/Romance (not suitable for younger YA readers)
Read 5/16/19 to 5/20/19
Ezra Slevin is an anxious, neurotic insomniac who spends his nights questioning his place in the universe and his days obsessing over Imogen, a nerdy girl with gigantic eyebrows and a heart of gold.
For weeks, Ezra has been working up the courage to invite Imogen to prom. The only problem is Imogen’s protective best friend, Wynonna Jones. Wynonna has blue hair, jams to ’80s rock, and has made a career out of tormenting Ezra for as long as he can remember.
Then, on the night of a total solar eclipse, something strange happens to Ezra and Wynonna–and they wake up in each other’s bodies. Not only that, they begin randomly swapping back and forth every day! Ezra soon discovers Wynonna’s huge crush on his best friend, Holden, a five-foot-nothing girl magnet with anger management problems. With no end to their curse in sight, Ezra makes Wynonna a proposition: while swapping bodies, he will help her win Holden’s heart…but only if she helps him woo Imogen.
Forming an uneasy alliance, Ezra and Wynonna embark on a collision course of mistaken identity, hurt feelings, embarrassing bodily functions, and a positively byzantine production of Twelfth Night. Ezra wishes he could be more like Wynonna’s badass version of Ezra–but he also realizes he feels more like himself while being Wynonna than he has in a long time.
This story started strong. I enjoyed getting to know the main characters, Ezra and Wynonna, and their best friends, Holden and Imogen. I was able to get a very clear picture of their dynamics with one another as well as get some insight into what was to come with some Freaky Friday antics.
As we get the lay of the land and start to get more into the book, things start to get a bit bumpy. The characters are involved in the Shakespeare play Twelfth Night, which is wonderful. What isn’t wonderful is the author’s urge to recap the play multiple times throughout this story. Pages and pages and pages of telling the reader what the play is about, as well as numerous scenes and quotes from the play. He also did this, to a lesser erxtent, with the movie She’s the Man (which is a modern day movie version of Twelfth Night); it’s obvious he’s trying to make a point. He’s steering the reader to the parallels, I get it. But it comes across as VERY heavy-handed and, quite honestly, made the book so much longer than it needed (or wanted) to be.
There are many things I thoroughly enjoyed about this story. The learning issues Wynonna has that, in real life, are often very misunderstood. Imogen’s confusion about who she is and what her romantic feelings really mean. Willow’s spiral into some terrible decision making as a cry for attention and help. It’s all marvelous. Sometimes the execution is on point, but there are far too many times it is not and the story gets bogged down and snarled up. It’s almost as if the author tried to pack the story with too many social issues so none of the issues got the treatment they really deserve.
I don’t want you to think this is a bad book…it’s not. It’s just a bit all over the place. Tightened up and less about 100 pages and it would be getting a much higher rating from me.
** I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in my review are my own and given freely. **