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Where I End and You Begin
Cover of Where I End and You Begin
Where I End and You Begin
Two sworn enemies suddenly switch bodies in this witty and heartfelt novel of romantic relationships, gender identity, and the joy of being yourself.Ezra Slevin is an anxious, neurotic insomniac who...
Two sworn enemies suddenly switch bodies in this witty and heartfelt novel of romantic relationships, gender identity, and the joy of being yourself.Ezra Slevin is an anxious, neurotic insomniac who...
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Description-

  • Two sworn enemies suddenly switch bodies in this witty and heartfelt novel of romantic relationships, gender identity, and the joy of being yourself.


    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 feaelings, 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.


    Wildly entertaining and deeply heartfelt, Where I End and You Begin is a brilliant, unapologetic exploration of what it means to be your best self.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Preston Norton is: bisexual, slightly genderqueer, married. His partner, Erin, is trying to put him on a diet, and he's revolting (both contexts apply). He has taught seventh grade and ninth grade English, mentored drug addicts, and mowed lawns (in no particular order). He is obsessed with 2001: A Space Odyssey and Quentin Tarantino.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 29, 2019
    Norton (Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe) incorporates Freaky Friday–style body switching in this novel to explore the inner conflicts of two enemies crushing on each other’s best friends. On the night of a total eclipse in Carbondale, Ill., socially anxious Ezra intends to ask longtime crush Imogen to prom. Instead, he finds himself trapped inside the body of Imogen’s best friend, bold, brassy Wynonna, whose “favorite hobby” is making his life a “living hell.” Much to Ezra’s relief, the switch is only temporary, but then it keeps happening, and for longer periods of time. While in the girl’s skin, Ezra learns of Wynonna’s interest in his best friend, Holden, and seeks to soothe her estranged relationship with her father and guardian grandmother. In turn, Wynonna helps bridge the gap between Ezra and his younger sister, who has distanced herself since learning of their parents’ extramarital affairs. The frequent, rather abrupt body switches and cluttered plot, which includes a production of Twelfth Night that parallels the teens’ experience, prove more distracting than effective. Still, Norton’s novel offers thought-provoking ideas about gender, sexuality, and compassion with plenty of comedy along the way. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jenny Bent, the Bent Agency.

  • Kirkus

    April 1, 2019
    Ezra Slevin and Wynonna Jones are sworn enemies--until they start swapping bodies and realize that they have more in common than they thought. Ezra has been in love with Imogen Klutz since the fourth grade, and after years of pining for her, he decides to ask her to junior prom. There are, however, two problems: the first is Ezra's social anxiety and the second is Wynonna, Imogen's best friend, who bullies him relentlessly. On the day of the solar eclipse, Ezra's best friend finally convinces him to ask Imogen out. But his world turns upside down when, in the middle of a scuffle, he swaps bodies with Wynonna and then switches back to himself. The incident kicks of a pattern of the two constantly flipping between each other's worlds. As they begin to uncover each other's secrets, Ezra and Wynonna realize all they share--and that, chillingly, the switch might end up being permanent. Ezra's narratorial voice is well-crafted and witty, and the characters are layered and complex. Although the book deftly explores the fluidity of gender and sexuality without moralizing or oversimplifying, there is little mention of race and all main characters are white. Unfortunately, while the end of the novel flies by in a stream of fast-paced action and nuanced character development, the first two-thirds are overwritten, with unnecessarily detailed descriptions and strange tangents. An entertaining queer romance that could have benefited from some additional editing. (Romance. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    May 15, 2019
    Grades 9-12 Preston (Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe, 2018) has poured his heart and soul into this latest contemporary novel, which is inspired by Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (and other mistaken-identity classics). When high-school junior Ezra and his best friend, Holden, run into Ezra's longtime crush, Imogen, and her best friend, Wynonna, breaking into school the night of the solar eclipse, the truly unthinkable happens: Ezra and Wynonna swap bodies. After Ezra accidentally discovers Wynonna's burning crush on Holden, he and Wynonna form a tenuous pact to help each other woo their respective crushes. Through their body-swapping, Ezra and Wynonna uncover each other's secrets and learn that there was something about caring for someone?genuinely caring for them?that made you forget yourself. That made you realize you were part of something bigger. That you were important. That you were loved. This is an intricate and gorgeously plotted novel that blurs the lines between gender and sexuality, and absolutely oozes with empathy and compassion.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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