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Reviewed by Michelle Randall for Readers' Favorite
At first glance, Jessica March, or Jazz to her family, looks like your typical almost fifteen-year-old; but one look inside her family and you realize she is far from normal. Jazz and her family are Random Weres. This means that each month at the full moon, her parents change shape into their were form, and being random means that it can be anything that first time. Her older brother Malcolm, or Mal is almost eighteen, and still hasn't managed to shift, which is concerning, but when you start delving into her family it becomes understandable. Random is the first book in the Were Chronicles and focuses on Jazz, her life and the family up to the point of her first turning. Author Alma Alexander creates a complex and socially relevant family saga that will keep you reading from page one to the end.
Random, being the first book in the Were Chronicles, focuses mostly on Jazz, in that it is her story throughout the book. It tells of the family's journey to this country and some history, but Jazz is the focus. This book, aside from being a fun story of weres or shape shifters, is the story of discrimination, forced registration, and social injustice. Author Alma Alexander writes a story that draws you in and is exciting and captivating, while at the same time is thought provoking and scary. One issue is that everyone who is a were, or shape shifter, must register and they have a government ID that is unique, with a paw print on it, instead of plain. Is it just me or does that make you think of the forced labeling of Jews during the time of Hitler? I recommend this book to all readers; while it is fun and a great story, there is plenty to talk about when you really look at the story!