Tuesday, June 20, 2017

PROMised: Transformed Into a Girl for Prom by Courtney Captisa (#genderswap #fiction)

If you are going to do a PG-rated magical gender transformation story, then you absolutely need to nail the details that make it work. With no erotic elements with which to engage (or distract) the reader, you need to really focus on the everyday aspects of suddenly living as the opposite gender.

Fortunately, Courtney Captisa has always understood that better than most, but PROMised: Transformed Into a Girl for Prom is a marvellously successful story even for her!

As the story opens, Justin is consoling his best friend, whose girlfriend announced a surprise move just a week before prom. Seeing Liam so confused and heartbroken, Justin promises to find him a new date for prom . . . only to wake up the next morning as a girl named Paige. Even if it is something of a genre cliche, the whole idea of suddenly waking up in a new gender, and having nobody else recognize the fact, can be a lot of fun - if, as I mentioned earlier, it is done well.

Courtney captures the experience perfectly, not only dealing with the hair, clothing, and makeup, but things we take for granted like social interaction. Boys and girls socialize differently, and their friendships involve different verbal and visual interactions. It is subtle stuff that comes naturally to us, but which has to be relearned with an overnight gender swap. Not surprisingly, Paige struggles with it, but I loved the way she used the history of text messages and photos on her cellphone to learn about her new world and how she interacts with people.

While I thought Paige and Liam came up with a plausible explanation for his transformation a little too quickly, I liked how it played out, and how to had to repeatedly adjust their expectations as new circumstances opened up new questions. The final reveal/twist is an especially nice touch, and one I admit I did not see coming.

Getting back to those details, though, PROMised would be worth the price of admission just for the experience of being Transformed Into a Girl for Prom. That is where Courtney really nails the story, covering the whole experience - the dress, the shoes, the hair, the makeup - in a way that will have readers swooning in delight. Just an altogether fun read that more than delivers on its PROMise. :)

Courtney Captisa has had a strong interest in transformation since childhood. In her early teens, she discovered several webpages such as Fictionmania. She enjoys writing clean stories.

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