By Julia Bergen

There’s all sorts of stories about it – you wake up one day and you’re not you. You’re…your mom, your enemy, your old self, or even your best friend.

opens in a new window That’s what happens to Olivia Burnham in Like Never and Always, the sizzling summer YA thriller by Ann Aguirre. And as we were reading it, we felt the need to go over some ground rules just in case you happen wake up in your best friend’s body.

  1. Don’t freak out – This is a difficult time, we get it, but now is not the time to panic. Finding yourself in your best friend’s body is almost certainly the beginning of a hilarious romp, a thrilling adventure, or the hardest thing you’ve ever done. You’re going to need your wits about you for any of those.
  2. Find out how the body switch happened. Some common tropes – magic rings, pissed off vengeful magic-user, divine intervention. If you’re smart, you may be able to turn the body switch back. Or, if you can determine that it’s irreversible, you can decide just how you’re going to go about this whole new-body thing.
  3. Resist the urge to tell everyone who you are – Until you figure out what’s going on, you don’t know how people are going to react. Plus you don’t know who might be secretly plotting against you. You may think you know who you can trust, but in your post body-switched life all bets are off.
  4. Avoid mirrors – You don’t want anyone noticing you flinch at your own reflection.
  5. Avoid pets – In these type of stories they always seem to see right through the body-switching. No matter how tempted you are to cuddle your best friend’s corgi you can’t risk anyone getting suspicious when he freaks out that you’re not you.
  6. Be ready for surprises – You may think you know everything about your best friend, but do you really? Keep an open mind, and look for clues that there’s something bigger going on.
  7. Do not make out with your best friend’s S. O. – Just in case the body-switching is reversible, this is going to be hard to explain to her afterwards.
  8. Do not make out with your own S. O. – If your best friend’s boyfriend sees you, they’re going to get mad at your best friend, and she doesn’t deserve that.
  9. Make sure you know all your best friend’s allergies. Maybe make a list ahead of time just in case.

Which leads us to…

  1. If you’re concerned enough that you made it to the end of this list – maybe plan ahead. Have a frank and honest convo with your BFF about what to do. Maybe hide your passwords in a place the other can find. And if your best friend has a secret mission, be a pal and carry it out for her.

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