The Art of the Body Swap

Switching bodies can be horrifying, hilarious, or both. There are so many different kinds of swaps, so many different variations on a common theme. Luckily, you are talking to a connoisseur. Let me give you a crash course in the art of the body-swap.

Vice Versa by F. Ansty
This book rocks the body-swap retro-style. Written in 1882, it features a son reluctant to attend boarding school and a father who reminisces about school as the best years of his life and wishes he could relive them. Unfortunately, he does so in the presence of a magic Indian wishing stone (Oh. One of THOSE.), and gets sucked into his son’s body.
Swap Sort: I-Believe-We’ve-Switched-Bodies-Wot-Wot Swap

Help! I’m Trapped in…
by Todd Strasser
In every book of this series, the protag uses a body-switching machine and gets sucked into someone else’s skin. A super model, the president, an alien–the list goes on. You think after the, say, eighth switch someone would have slapped a warning label on the contraption.
Swap Sort: Wish-Fulfillment-Gone-Wrong Swap

Freaky Friday (and Lizzie McGuire) ((and Wizards of Waverly Place)) (((and Kim Possible))) ((((and Phil of the Future))))
Oh, the ever popular Disney body-swap. OMG! Mom (Brother) ((Father)) (((Best friend slash sidekick))) ((((Pet Caveman))))– you don’t underSTAND! I am a teenager and my life is HARD. It would be so much easier to be you; your life would be a piece of cake! You wouldn’t last a DAY in my shoes. I would give ANYTHING to live your life!
Swap Sort: You-Literally-Asked-For-It Swap

The Host by Stephanie Meyer
I bet you didn’t think of this one. In fact, I bet you didn’t read this one. If you avoided Smeyer’s “adult” venture, you missed a very odd instance of body-swapping. The Host features a hostile alien takeover (a la Invasion of the Body Snatchers), and a love triangle between the alien, the alien’s host body, and the alien’s host body’s boyfriend.
Swap Sort: Maybe-Don’t-Try-SO-Hard Swap

Flip by Martyn Bedford
While the body-swap is often used as a humorous, almost slap-stick joke, Flip is a break-neck thriller. Alex wakes up in the body of popular football jock Flip, and the only one who seems to notice the switch is the dog (it’s always the dog). The tale unfolds at a whiplash pace, but the question haunts the story: What happens if Alex can’t switch back?
Swap Sort: Nail-Biting Swap

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