Title: Game Changer
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Eighth-grader KT Sutton is the star pitcher for a highly selective club team, and she’s going to play for even more impressive teams in high school, win a college scholarship, and become an international star. But in the middle of a championship game, she blacks out. When she wakes up, the whole world is different. There’s no more school classes, just hour after hour of athletic drills – always practice, never a game. To top it all off, there’s no after-school sports – instead, everyone’s obsessed with academic competitions. And her parents are more interested in her brother’s mathletics career than her softball hopes. KT wants nothing more than to find her way back to the real world. But her crazy dreams maker her wonder … what if something truly awful happened to send her here? And what if she lost something more important than a softball game?
I have a love-hate relationship with Margaret Peterson Haddix’s books – some of them I love, and some of them I hate. But I can never tell from the synopsis if I’m going to love it or hate it, and I thought Game Changer‘s premise sounded at least interesting. So I picked it up.
I loved KT. Her enthusiasm and obsessive love for softball came through immediately in a way that, even though I don’t like sports, I could understand. I could empathize with her big dreams, and I wanted her to succeed. And while she could be a jerk to her little brother, I could empathize with that, too.
I also loved the plot. Honestly, I had no idea how KT ended up in the alternate world, and I enjoyed following her as she tried to make sense of it. And since I had absolutely no clue how she would get back to the real world, I was perfectly content to enjoy her attempts to find some semblance of normalcy.
I only had one problem with the whole book, and that was really nobody’s fault. KT’s first day at school in the alternate world, she was entirely disoriented and had no idea what was going on. But because I’d read the synopsis, I knew what was going on, and I was ready for her to hurry up and get it, already! But once she figured it out, I had no problem with it.
My copy of Game Changer was 250 pages, but it was an extremely quick read. I think half of that was me frantically turning pages, wanting to know if KT ever got back to the real world.
One thing I have to say is how much I loved the ending. It’s not a traditional happily-ever-after – honestly, I think it’s happier, more fitting, and all around better than any sort of traditional happily-ever-after. In fact, I think the ending was the absolute best part of the book – and I loved the whole thing.
Game Changer falls on the “love” side of my love-hate relationship with Margaret Peterson Haddix’s books. Which just cements my policy to not judge her books before I read them.