Switch by Carol Snow
When Claire turned thirteen, she found out that she could switch bodies during electrical surges, like thunderstorms. Not just any body, though. Claire would be automatically transported into the closest female body born during the same moon cycle. Usually, she's back to her normal body by morning. Then, she switches bodies with a girl who's visiting her beach town for the summer. A girl who is beautiful and who seems to have everything that Claire wants. Maybe just this once, Claire will try to stay in her new body for a couple of days.
This was a fun book to read. It had all of the elements of quiet-girl-wants-to-be-popular novel, but with the added twist of the body switching. When Claire lands in Larissa's body, she realizes that she can finally get cute junior lifeguard Nate to like her. I think this book offers a lot in the way of body issues. (Not just the switching part.) Claire has always been okay with her body because she's got a strong swimmer's build. Landing in Larissa's body gives her a chance to see what it feels like to have a skinny, girly body. There are some dicey moments, but eventually Claire realizes that she likes her swimmer's body. What would have been a normal teen novel plot is made interesting and original through the science fiction aspect. The writing style also kept me intrigued throughout the novel. It was a perfect mix of description, dialogue, and notes/lists. After all the doubts and misgivings that come with body switching, there's a nice little part at the end about a pair of comfortable flip-flops that I enjoyed. I'm not sure if Carol Snow has a sequel planned for this but I know I can't wait to read her next book for teens.
Switch has been nominated for the 2008 Cybils Awards in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category.