Travis_J_Smith’s #CBR5 Review #162: Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass

every-soul-a-starWelcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the premier of reality television’s next big hit. You’ve heard of Wife Swap and Trading Spouses. Tonight, we bring the next logical step in the evolutionary process: Switching Kids. Since, like the Full House theme song, we ask you the following: “What ever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, evening TV?” So here’s a light to carry you home… to where that light is blotted out by an eclipse. We give you our premier episode, Every Soul a Star.

Meet Ally, a girl with essentially no friends, minus celestial objects she’s named and engaged in conversation with because living miles from civilization has turned her into a nutter. She wants nothing more than to make a career out of an insignificant act that will be handled by computers by the time she’s fully grown. What she doesn’t know is she’s about to switch lives with so cliched a vain airhead that even we hardly believe she’s real. We’re talking, of course, about Bree, whose life goal, becoming a model, is no more noble a quest than Ally’s. Can she give up her stereotypical life as a popular girl and learn to appreciate the… smaller joys, like walking through a labyrinth that, unfortunately, is nothing like it’s bigger, better brother, the maze? Can Ally take up the mantle she’ll be leaving behind by… I don’t know, actually putting a modicum of effort into appearing presentable? Will living in so far-away a place with so little to do give Bree the time to learn a bankable skill outside of that very same thing?

But, wait a minute, we can’t forget about Jack, the sad-sack who doesn’t try at anything in life, whether it be school or staying in shape. In fact, the only reason he is here, in the middle of nowhere, along with Ally and Bree is it was his ticket out of summer school. Will being thrust into a position of leadership help shape him into a confident enough young man to get with the only one of the two girls who can hold a thoughtful conversation about things not involving typical teenage concerns? Or will he wuss out and make all that work he put in lifting weights with Ally’s one and only friend, who we just let stick around to give Bree someone to moon over and Jack his own opposite, since we can’t have either of them feeling left out?

To find out the answers to these questions and more, stay tuned for the next hour as things work themselves out so well it almost seems as if we planned them. And be sure to tune in tomorrow evening for Switching Kids’ sister show, Switched at Birth, a show decades in the making, where we show you what happens when you let two sets of unsuspecting parents raise one another’s kids and how the kids, and parents, react when it’s finally revealed that they’re not the parents. That’s Switched at Birth, with your host Maury Povich. Now, back to Switching Kids.