rating: 4 of 5 stars
I fell for this book based entirely on the premise: that the main character goes through a 4-day "cycle" of being male every month the way other girls go through their period. I expected this to be a pretty gimmicky book, and it looked as if it were going to start out that way: both Jill and Jack (her 4-day male alter-ego) start out reduced to the lowest common denominator of their genders. Jill is obsessed with getting the boy she's crushing on to ask her out to the prom, and Jack spends his 4-day-a-month existence in Jill's room jerking off to porn. But then Jack decides that he's entitled to a life of his own, and things get interesting as it becomes increasingly impossible for Jill to keep Jack "closeted."
Characters that seem stock at the opening of this book develop a respectable amount of depth by the closing, including Jill/Jack's parents who, though dysfunctional, are painfully believable. (She could teach Julie Anne Peters a thing or two about creating believable 'evil' parents. OK, I'll stop ragging on Julie Anne Peters' parents in my next book review, I promise). In the end, the book provides a welcome examination of gender, sexuality, and the harm that comes from trying to fit people into boxes.
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