Penny Found

Young Adult - Adventure
419 Pages
Reviewed on 12/20/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

When she’s not traveling, riding her bike, or working on the next book in the Fatechanger series, L. M. Poplin can be found teaching classes in writing and literature at Berklee College of Music. Born and raised in California, she earned her M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, where she now lives with her husband, son, and cat.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Fatechanger: Penny Found is the second installment in the Fatechanger series by L. M. Poplin. Fifteen-year-old Penelope Clark (Penn) realizes she must once again travel back to the year 1916 in search of her missing father and to make amends for her old friend, Fin. However, after her arrival in Boston, her former friends aren't too keen to forgive her for her disappearance for more than a year. As she tries to delve into her father's secrets and correct the wrongs of her ancestors, Penn unwittingly embroils herself in a sinister conspiracy involving blackmail and betrayal that will test her resolve and morals to the limit. To further complicate matters, her quest will put her at a crossroads with a dangerous nemesis known as the Ghost, and his familiar Shadow, with whom Penn has a history.

A captivating tale about friendship and making amends featuring time travel, Fatechanger is a rollercoaster ride you don't want to end. Containing well-fleshed-out characters with layers of depth and a plot that keeps surprising you with its unexpected twists, turns, and reveals, L. M. Poplin's adventure odyssey entertains you from start to finish. Despite the relatively lighter tone, something about the narrative reminded me of The Lies of Locke Lamora; akin to Scott Lynch's novel, young adult characters are thrown into situations and events that have far-reaching consequences. I found Poplin's humor to my liking and thoroughly enjoyed the crisp and quick-witted dialogue throughout. Overall, Fatechanger is a must-read for young adult adventure lovers.

Alma Boucher

Fatechanger: Penny Found by L. M. Poplin is an adventure novel for young adult readers. Penelope Clark has the ability to time travel. She needs to return to Boston in 1915 to mend the harm she had caused her friends. Her old friends were not happy to see her again. They went on with their lives after she had disappeared. Penn also wants to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance. He left, and they never heard from him again. An organization led by the Ghost and his Shadow is destroying people’s lives through blackmail. The organization has information filed away, and Penn is looking for the records to stop the extortion. She and her new friends want to dismantle the organization using the evidence they seek. Penn must choose between redeeming the wrongs of an unknown ancestor and destroying the life of the person she loves.

Fatechanger by L. M. Poplin has an intriguing plot that constantly evolved and grew in complexity. The story is fast-paced and action-packed. Penn’s journey drew me deeper into the story and I was hooked from the beginning. The time jump between 2020 and 1915 was natural and easy to follow. I was curious about Penn’s life in 1915 when she pretended to be a boy and only a few knew that she was a girl. The theme of love and sacrifice is the highlight of the story. Penn had to make a difficult choice and a sacrifice. The characters were brilliant and they each had a personality that I could relate to. The story is written superbly and engagingly. It was a pleasure being part of Penn’s adventure and I cannot wait to read the next book.

Cecelia Hopkins

Fatechanger: Penny Found by L. M. Poplin is the second installment in the series. Penn is safe at home in the 2000s, researching time travel with her best friend Mei, but she longs to be back in 1915. When she finds a letter from her father, it projects her back to 1916, the time when everything changed. Penn was met with suspicion and rejection by Joe and Mac, who she thought were friends. The ruffian, Jimmy, sends her to his cousin Rose who needs a lock-picker. Penn goes deep undercover, working for Bobby at the crooked telegraph office. With the help of Fin, who has become the assistant to the mysterious and threatening “Ghost”, she uncovers a secret stash of files. Can Fin and Penn break the code and exonerate Rose’s parents, or will it all prove too dangerous?

Fatechanger by L. M. Poplin was an engaging read from start to finish. I identified with the young adult heroine Penn and appreciated her desire to make things right after her disappearance in 1915. I hadn’t read the previous volume, but enough of Penn’s emotions have been conveyed for me to be as shocked as she was when Mac and Joe reacted angrily toward her. I loved the freedom that dressing like boys granted Rose and Penn, but I also enjoyed the irony of changing into female attire when they wanted a disguise! Fin was a charming and loveable rogue, and I was glad Penn found him again. The mystery of Penn’s father and the mistakes made by her ancestors permeated the entire volume, creating suspense. I look forward to reading several more installments of the series.