Out of Body

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Feb. 2024. 272p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063255715.
Gr 7 Up–With a bold premise and masterfully revealed plot, this thrilling novel is anything but boring. It sucks readers in, as protagonist Megan gets body-swapped, waking up in a new teen's body and finding that mysterious new friend LC has taken hers. There is just enough of LC’s perspective in chapter interstitials to know there’s more to these events, something sinister. This information keeps readers the scantiest step ahead of Megan’s knowledge as she tries to find LC to get switched back, driving the story relentlessly forward. Both girls are Black; events are centered around Atlanta. It’s classic sci-fi with a twist. This isn’t the carefree high jinks of Freaky Friday—as Megan acknowledges, this spookiness is straight out of The Matrix, just with teen girls and their problems. Subtle lessons of accepting yourself are enhanced by the action in the book. Beyond that, this is a straightforward, gripping tale. Despite the sci-fi setting, there’s no breaking narrative conventions or switching around with writing styles. Readers will come to see where the story takes them and won’t be disappointed.
VERDICT Davenport’s YA debut fills a specific niche, with high interest plot machinations done in accessible prose.

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