Like Never and Always, by Ann Aguirre

Review copy provided by Tor Books.

Most body swap stories–things like Freaky Friday–feature both perspectives, and the ending is that everybody goes back in their proper body but with new appreciation for the other person’s experiences.

Like Never and Always is really, really not like that.

Liv is in a car accident and wakes up in the body of her best friend, Morgan. Morgan doesn’t wake up in any body. Liv’s old body is dead. Liv’s family is grieving, Liv’s boyfriend is grieving, and Morgan has left Liv a gigantic mess that Liv had no way to anticipate–because it turns out that Morgan has been hiding almost everything from her. For their entire friendship. Yikes.

This is a thriller with thriller pacing; the chapters are short and vivid. Mostly it’s a contemporary YA thriller, but the speculative element is present on basically every page. There’s a strong romance arc as well, and a detective element in trying to figure out things about Liv/Morgan’s new life and her past, so…a lot of genres handled here. I think this one will have pretty broad appeal, because each of them is handled with a fairly light touch, so the people who say “I don’t really like _____” won’t be overwhelmed by _____. The strongest element is Liv’s relationships, and that fits the premise perfectly.

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