THE EXCHANGE by Graham Joyce


Age Range: 12 & up
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Thrill-seeking teen collides with the supernatural. To escape the boredom of village life, 15-year-old Caz and her best friend Lucy break into houses and creep around while the owners are asleep. During one of their late-night jaunts, an elderly woman locks a mysterious bracelet around Caz’s wrist: This bracelet allows Caz to sense people’s thoughts. As she learns about its power, Caz adjusts to both her mother’s new boyfriend and a sinister stalker. As with TWOC (2007), Joyce’s work may strike American teen readers as too British, leaving them wishing for either an Americanized version or a glossary. However, awkward dates and embarrassing parents are universal experiences for teens, and the narrative captures those moments perfectly. The fantastical elements of the story need further definition, especially Caz’s weakly portrayed doppelgänger. Moreover, magical objects require legend to connect them to the world of Faerie, and Caz’s bracelet lacks that detail. Though he avoids a heavy-handed message about the nature of power, the author doesn’t offer any unique message about the choices individuals face. (Fantasy. 12 & up)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-670-06207-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2008


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