This is something I found over on Just Another Book Addict =), and I thought I'd do my own. There are so many great books out there that get overlooked (especially if they've been out for a while)!
Every Saturday, you share (recommend) a book, preferably one that you haven't reviewed yet. It's just a way to get other books out into the blogging world. This is NOT a review.
Today I'm going to recommend Trader by Charles de Lint.
A novel of loss, identity, and, in the strangest of places, hope.
Max Trader is a luthier, a maker of guitars. Johnny Devlin is chronically unemployed. Max is solitary, quiet, responsible. Johnny is a lady-killer, a drunk, a charming loser.
When they inexplicably wake up in each other's bodies, Johnny gleefully moves into Max's comfortable and stable existence, leaving Max to pick up the pieces of a life he had no part in breaking.
Penniless, friendless, homeless, Max begins a journey that will take him beyond the streets of the city to an otherworld of dreams and spirits, where he must confront both the unscrupulous Johnny Devlin and his own deepest fears. (Product description from Amazon.com.)
I first discovered Charles de Lint's books when I was a young adult (not "young adult" as in "teenager"... I was in my early 20s). I think the first book of his that I ever read was Jack of Kinrowan (for rough-and-tumble fairies in an urban setting, few do it better than de Lint). After that, I read Greenmantle, and I realized that I really liked this author. So when I picked up Trader, I thought I was just going to read an enjoyable story; I didn't realize it would end up being one of my favourite books.
What could have been just a standard, forgettable body-switching story ended up being so much more in the hands of this skilled storyteller. The author's characterization is superb (and I just realized that this is one of the things that's been lacking in some of the books I've read recently). When I think about de Lint's books, I can't always remember the specifics of the stories; the characters, on the other hand, stay with me for years.
(Note: Trader is not considered a young adult book. I don't remember anything particularly objectionable in it, but it's been a while since I read it and I'm not that easily offended by things like sex and obscene language... so I might not be remembering those things, if they were there.)