Great debut novel!

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"The Changing Man" by Tomi Oyemakinde is an excellent debut novel! It has everything: private high school drama, mysterious happenings, a school-centric urban legend (or is it?), and some great twists!

First, I really enjoyed the main character of Ife. She seemed very realistic, and I liked getting to know her as she struggled to maintain her own identity at a posh private school. She's a scholarship student, and didn't easily fit in with the wealthier/lazier students. I liked how she met and bonded with other scholarship kids, and how their friendships grew. Ife, Ben, and Bijal were all well-written and seemed like true individuals. I've seen other reviews mention that some of the students acted and spoke as if they were younger, but I attributed much of that to the fact that many of these are sheltered rich kids with little experience in the real world.

The mystery/urban legend plot was definitely a slow build, which I enjoyed. Much of the early part of the book is spent on Ife getting accustomed to her new school, but there are subtle hints of eerie things to come all along. Once the creepy events started ramping up, I was invested enough in the characters to really care about the outcome.

And yes, there is a twist! I didn't see it coming, and love it when a book manages to surprise me. I won't say more so you can try to figure it out as you read and (hopefully) be as surprised as I was!

Definitely 5 chunks of spicy cheddar jack!