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Cycler    by Lauren McLaughlin order for
by Lauren McLaughlin
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Cycler starts off with a bang as Jill's body transforms from male to female after her four day cycle as Jack. Jill begins her cycle repeating her mantra, 'I am all girl.' Her dad, a yoga practicing ex-lawyer who now lives in their basement, suggested the meditation, to use after being locked in her room when Jack is in charge of her body.

Jill McTeague is a normal teenager, worrying about how to snag a prom date, except for four days a month when she morphs into a male named Jack. No one knows this but her parents. During the four days of the Jack cycle she is excused from school to get blood transfusions for a rare illness.

Jill doesn't know anything about Jack's life, but he knows all about hers. He is in love with her best friend. Anno doesn't know about Jill's secret life. She thinks Jill misses four days of school a month for blood transfusions and stays at home to recover.

Complications come about when Jack decides he doesn't want to spend his four day cycle in Jill's room. Her mother takes draconic action to keep him there - including buying him porn and putting bars on the windows.

Though the premise of a boy and girl sharing the same body is promising, it isn't fully developed in Cycler. The ending is disappointing because none of the threads are tied off. The questions about why this happens, the reason for her parents' problems, and their reactions to Jill cycling between male and female don't ever get answered.

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