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Changeover Mass Market Paperback – 1 Aug 1985

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Amazon.com: 7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A very exciting and interesting book. 28 Oct. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book the Changeover is a great. It is very well written; Margaret Mahy did an excellent job! In this book Laura Chant's little brother has been marked by an evil Lemure named Carmody Braque. Braque slowly sucks Jacko's life out of him and no one knows what the is really wrong with Jacko except Laura. In a desperate attempt Laura asks Sorry Carlisle, a witch, for help. Now, the only way to save Jacko is for Laura to go through a changeover and become a witch. She then must mark Carmody Braque before it's too late! Will she be able to save Jacko? Read this book and find out.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
the Changeover 15 Aug. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a fantastic book combining elements of mystery, suspense, and romance with a touch of magic. You cannot help but relate to both of the main characters as you get swept up in their adventure of recovering a little brother and coming to terms with who they are.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great teen memory 14 Aug. 2009
By K. Wilkes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book when i was in Jr High. I loved this book, and i love it now. I bought it to share with my daughter when she gets old enough to read it.
the Best! 23 Feb. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love this book! It combines romance and the supernatural with the tale of a young girl trying to come to terms with the fact that she's almost an adult. Add a sick brother and a mysterious boy-witch named Sorensen Carlisle, with a dash of family discord, and a touch of fantastic imagery and wording, and you have this book. The more you read it, the better it becomes
ok 27 July 2013
By Goddess of Blah Book Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If I'd read this as a kid I'd most probably would have loved it and due to teenage nostalgia rated it 5*. However, as an adult you are aware of the poor writing style.

Most adults would attest that books catered for children can possess sophisticated writing - try Diane Wayne Jones (Fire & Hemlock is a similar-ish book, however, with depth, evocative descriptions, well paced, the correct amount of angst, and an intricate plot and amazing delivery).

The Plot:
"Set in a fairly new suburb of Christchurch called Gardendale. It has a fairy-tale plot, with a devoted sister risking her life to save her bewitched brother. In some respects a coming-of-age story, it is also an unconventional romance between an aloof and difficult boy who happens to be a male witch and a strong-willed, psychically sensitive schoolgirl."

The plot was pretty good, however, I felt that the author didn't really invest into the story. The subplots dominated the actual main plot (sister saving brother from demon), such as the protagonist's domestic/family life, her budding romance (with Sorry), and Sorry's own domestic chaos and angst. Basically, there were far too many subplots for a short-ish story, while the main plot wasn't fleshed out - it was compromised.

The Main Characters:

The protagonist - Laura Chant, is a Sensitive (someone who can sense the supernatural elements). I don't think the author invested in her character as much. We know she's olive toned with "woolly" hair (I'm assuming she means she has unruly bushy hair) due to her Maori ancestor 8 generations ago. We have an inkling that she has a playboy body (slim but with all the right curves - although the author is far more subtle using "well developed", "voluptuous" and so forth). And that she's pretty but not beautiful. But other than that her character is rather dull.
She's not from a conventional-cereal-commercial-family (would be righteously rude to call it dysfunctional). Her father is an absentee a-hole and her mother is unintentionally self-absorbed (or just irresponsible). Then there is her mother's recently acquired boyfriend (she meets him and within minutes they are in love and he's brought home to meet the youngsters), there's her father's new wife (she's not much of a character), the babysitter (a nosy critical busybody) and then there's Jacko - Laura's 3 year old brother. This tableau forms the remnants of domestic bliss - and takes up a good proportion of the story.
Laura is resentful of her parents and it's rather difficult to feel much empathy for them. The author doesn't attribute great qualities to either - rather they are manifested as being weak. I think in the end Laura acquires an understanding of her parents which consists of an indifferent superiority combined with a touch of sympathy for their weaknesses.
Hence, Laura's "Changeover" is more than supernatural - it's a transition from child to adult and an adult's understanding of human error and weakness.

Sorenson Carlisle (aka Sorry) is a male witch. He has a rather tragic and dark history and this emerges as we get to know him better. Remnants of his character is used in many romance novels (or perhaps remnants of his character are taken from a popular hero recipe). He's not quite a Mr Darcy, however, he does possess that aloof superiority combined with cutting prose and being a Prefect from a well-to-do background - I can see some resemblance.
He's very sarcastic, rather well spoken and enjoys witty banter (like Jace from Mortal Instruments). However, he's also a bit of a bad boy, unbeknownst to anyone at school (the Prefect portrayal is a facade). He rides a motorbike, can perform powerful magic and can charm the ladies. He's a well worked out paradox - he possess elements of Lord Byron, Darcy, Heathcliff and Mr Rochester. The author is very clever in combining these elements without losing consistency. She's executed his character in a manner that he can be the stammering Prefect schoolboy and the dangerous debonair male witch without losing focus.
In addition to Sorry, there is his family - his mother and grandmother.

Carmody Braque - the Demon - he sucks the life out of people (in this instance he's captured the heroine's brother Jacko's life force).
He's a rather gentlemanly jolly type. I imagine him as an elderly professor type, wearing tweed, smiling benevolently, but rather cunning. It's here that the author loses focus. She focuses far too much in Laura's domestic disputes that we don't really get to know the demon. The encounters with him were far too contrived and not given much depth. As a character he's well described and I have an excellent image of him. However, for a demon who's been around for a millennia he appears far too naive.

Otherwise an ok book.
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