When her on/off boyfriend David goes to a music festival she decides to surprise him - but she gets a shock of her own. Not only does she find David kissing someone else, but it’s their friend Jo! Super-lovely, super-loved, all-round-perfect Jo.
Rachel runs away, wishing she could leave her life behind - and suddenly she finds herself in Jo’s body! Can she keep this swap a secret? Can she unravel what’s really going on? Can she get to grips with Jo’s out-of-control curly hair?
And if she discovers that being in someone else’s shoes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, can she ever be herself again?
Swapped by a Kiss is the third - and my favourite - novel by Luisa Plaja. I loved it; it was so much fun!
As the sequel (of sorts) to Split by a Kiss, we move away from Jo and focus on Rachel, one of the friends Jo made in Boston. I really liked Rachel then, and after reading her story, I love her even more. She’s sparky and angry completely kick-ass. There are lots of issues and mysteries surrounding her and her family though which make for some very surprising plot twists. I was taken by surprise quite a few times! These were often more shocking as the characters were in the wrong bodies and knew nothing of the other’s problems.
I love the body-swapping idea. It seems to be a great way to really get to know the person you’ve swapped with, the people around them and even yourself. It should be prescribed for every teenager! Rachel realised that you shouldn’t take anyone at face value, nobody’s perfect and that you should always check your clothes for unravelling hems. But even with all of the self-discovery, Swapped by a Kiss is brilliantly funny. I found myself laughing out loud at the human snail races, glowing pants, tent ransacking goats and even Rachel’s dodgy attempts to sound authentically British. Her enthusiasm for all things British is pretty much how I feel about America so I definitely know where she’s coming from.
Another of the things that I really loved about Rachel is her love of superheroes and graphic novels. It can be quite hard to find that in a heroine. And through ‘Jo-in-Rachel’s body’s diary entries I was also thrown some serious Buffy love. Luisa, you’ve finally convinced me to watch it. I even asked for the Season 1 DVD for my birthday. I feel like I’ve been missing out!
I loved Swapped by a Kiss and I hope we get to see more of Rachel, Jo, David etc, in future books.