The Exchange

( 5 )

Overview

A taut, otherworldly thriller set in contemporary England.

Caz and her best friend Lucy have a secret. Late at night, they break into strangers? homes-not to steal anything, just for the rush. Then Caz gets caught in the act by elderly Mrs. Tranter, and before she knows it, the old woman has snapped a silver bracelet around her wrist. Caz can't remove it, no matter what she does; and then it becomes part of her, sinking into her skin like a tattoo. Worst and most unsettling of ...

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Overview

A taut, otherworldly thriller set in contemporary England.

Caz and her best friend Lucy have a secret. Late at night, they break into strangers? homes-not to steal anything, just for the rush. Then Caz gets caught in the act by elderly Mrs. Tranter, and before she knows it, the old woman has snapped a silver bracelet around her wrist. Caz can't remove it, no matter what she does; and then it becomes part of her, sinking into her skin like a tattoo. Worst and most unsettling of all, it's given her an unpredictable kind of ESP. She can see into people's inner lives, whether she wants to or not. The Exchange is gritty magical realism with a sense of humor-just right for fans of Holly Black and Sonya Hartnett.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Joyce (TWOC) defies genre expectations with a tale that begins as horror but then turns into something considerably more warmhearted. Fourteen-year-old Caz is a decent kid, but she and her best mate, Lucy, are into doing what they call the Creepy Thing, breaking into the homes of the elderly, creeping close to their sleeping bodies and then running off shrieking into the night. Everything goes wrong, however, when Caz plays her prank on the wrong old lady and finds herself under an apparent curse, in possession of a strange, glowing tattoo and able to read minds. Seemingly on the verge of falling apart, her relationships with Lucy, her mom and her boyfriend in jeopardy, Caz finds the strength to reject the darker possibilities inherent in her newfound talent and uses it instead to help others, thus nullifying the curse. Joyce, a master of sophisticated terror in his adult fiction, never lets this tale get too scary. Instead, he concentrates on developing believable, lower-middle-class characters and a well-delineated British setting, and then drives to an unexpectedly sunny conclusion. Ages 12-up. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
KLIATT - Aimee Cole
Imagine creeping into a stranger's house and standing as close to the person's sleeping face as possible. Creepy, isn't it? Caz and Lucy, 15-year-old best friends, think so too, so much so that they've called it "The Creepy Thing." Nights spent doing this gives them what they consider to be an innocent charge, a gasp of irresponsible fun. One night changes all that, however, when Caz is caught staring and a bracelet is clamped to her arm by the supposed sleeper. While the bracelet disappears, it leaves a tattoo and a strange ability: Caz can now tell when people are lying. Desperate to escape what the old woman calls a curse, Caz tries everything. Life continues, though, and she's forced to deal with a new boyfriend, with her Mum dating her teacher, with Lucy's abusive home situation. She hopes to finance her tattoo removal with a job at the local pub. Slowly, Caz learns about taking responsibility for herself and those around her with the help of her new truth-telling ability. Joyce's novel explores serious themes of accepting circumstances, discovering strength of character, and helping others in a fascinating modern-day story. Reviewer: Aimee Cole
Kirkus Reviews
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 doppelganger. 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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670062072
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/17/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.46 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Graham Joyce is the author of nine adult novels. He lives in Leicester, England.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 19, 2011

    idk

    i havent read it yet but it seems like an interesting book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    easy read

    I liked how descriptive the author is.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted October 31, 2008

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