Random House
August 25, 2009
English Language
ISBN 978-0375851926

CYCLER is the story of Jill McTeague, a fairly typical high school senior angling to get her dream date to ask her to the prom. But Jill has a secret she’ll do anything to protect. For four days of every monthly cycle, Jill becomes Jack. A boy. Complete with all the parts! To make sure Jill can live an ordinary life, Jack stays hidden from the outside world. Confined to Jill’s bedroom, he entertains himself with vivid recollections of Jill’s life. But when Jack develops an all-consuming crush on Jill’s best friend, this neat little arrangement begins to crumble. What follows is a battle of wits between ordinary good girl Jill and the bad boy who shares her body. With senior prom on the horizon, Jill’s no longer worried about who she’ll go with but who she’ll be when the big night arrives. click here to read the first three chapters of Cycler.

“The striking jacket of this oddball first novel says it all: the girl on the front cover becomes an almost identical-looking boy on the back…The narrative toggles back and forth between Jill’s and Jack’s points of view, comically detailing the problems you can get into when you’re half boy and half girl, including what happens when the boy falls for the girl’s best friend.”
New York Times

“…the sci-fi plot is so unique, so downright weird, it will keep the pages turning.”
Chicago Tribune

“…this is a book that the kids in your life really need to read, a gender-bending piece of speculative fiction aimed at young people that manages to say novel, useful, and challenging things about gender and sexuality without ever descending into squicky fluid-exchange or soapy romance.”

“Artfully fractured and wickedly smart, a brilliant screwball comedy about love, self-knowledge and the secret identities inside all of us.”
Scott Westerfeld, author of Extras

“a warm-hearted, honest, genuinely funny story with an amazing cast of characters — all of whom you can identify with.”
MTV’s Hollywood Crush

“This is a sexy book for horny teens that wraps itself in some really forward-thinking politics. If the sexual confusion and acceptance of Cycler were the big YA sensation right now and not vampire boyfriends who sneak in your room to watch you sleep, the cultural landscape would look pretty different. In a good way.”
The Portland Mercury

“This original contemporary fantasy will circulate widely, leaving readers hoping that McLaughlin has many more such fresh, edgy books already in the editorial pipeline.”

“…the sort of book that makes your eyes widen, and that you don’t want to put down.”

“The book was brilliantly written.”
Y.A. New York

“…a complex, philosophical exploration into gender politics and the mutability of identity”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“… the writing is witty without being overly precious or self-conscious.”
School Library Journal (subscription required)

“The book is humorous, the friendships believable, the dialogue entertaining.”
Kliatt (subscription required)

“…guaranteed to grab teens’ interest”
Publishers Weekly

“…A yoga-addicted father, a bisexual hottie and a best friend who invents wildly bizarre fashions fill out a cast of quirky, entertaining, well-drawn secondary characters… Jill and Jack’s story, touched with intrigue, humor and fascinating questions, ends with a conclusion both satisfactory and open-ended.”
Kirkus Reviews

Cycler is a unique story that has many surprising elements within its covers…the entire concept is fascinating and kept me spellbound throughout the entire novel. “

“…behind the words on the page is a message to all young adults out there today. So many are confused about their sexuality – am I? should I? I don’t understand my own body?…but the beauty of this book is that it sends the message that it’s OKAY to wonder about your body and about who you are – that things are not always what they seem and questions are encouraged!”

“…if you have an interest in gender-swapping themes in SF then Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin is a necessary read.”
Cheryl Morgan, formerly of Emerald City

Cycler finds a fantastical angle to approach the subject of gender identity disorder with a character whose confusion, even given her unlikely story, is always relatable…With these two engaging personalities on the opposite sides of their struggle, teens who are questioning their own identity may find themselves, as we do, listening to both sides.”

“McLaughlin nails the voice of a teenage boy locked in Jill’s bedroom, with only naughty magazines and girls to fantasize about…. Cycler is an excellent book for all ages, genders and any combination thereof. It is equal parts sci-fi, teen drama and love story.”

“The book does several things really well: It uses Jill’s transformation to grapple with the feelings of teens who are gay, bisexual, or transgendered while highlighting acceptance issues among friends, families, and schoolmates. It’s also pretty funny at times.”
Common Sense Media

“Cycler delivers a completely original love triangle. Or is it a square?”
The Well-Read Child

“…provokes important questions without losing it’s light, fun style.”
Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World

“an ingenious exploration of mental illness, of feeling the need to hide and erase undesirable parts of yourself, and the futility and danger of doing so.”
Watermark Books

“Cycler is fabulous! I ripped through this book in about an hour and a half.”
Feminist SF-The Blog!

“Cycler is quirky, funny and highly creative. Cycler is a standout debut novel…”

“FUNNY, very funny. Asking great gender questions. And it’s full of sex, oh yes.”
Muddy Puddle Musings