Transfer Student, Book 1 in The Starjump Series

Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult

By Laura Elliott

Publisher : Elliott, PM Inc.

ABOUT Laura Elliott

Laura Elliott
Laura loves writing about enchanted road trips, birthday gifts that are out of this world, and alien romance while eating lots of popcorn. She lives with her hubby, and dog Oso, in their tree house on the coast of central California not far from her two grown daughters who love climbing tr More...


"A page-turner of a Young Adult Science Fiction love story" 4.5 stars! - The San Francisco Book Review
An intergalactic tale of beauty and the geek. Rhoe and Ashley would never be friends. Even if they lived on the same planet. But, they’ll become so much more. They’ll transfer. In a teleporting experiment gone wrong, Ashley, a Beverly Hills surfer, and Rhoe, a brilliant geek from planet Retha, swap lives when they make the same wish at the same time. They'll have to survive each other's lives to discover their dreams. If only it were that simple. Some wishes can’t come true. Some have to.

I wrote the first draft of Transfer Student in 2006 after my father-in-law died. It was a crazy, sad time. I was working at the Los Angeles Times on the re-opening of the Griffith Observatory [it had been closed for five years for renovations] and we were back-and-forth between LA and Fresno [a four hour drive from LA], more and more frequently as my father-in-law got worse and worse, eventually ending up on life support. His name was Ray. I named the Reathan word for “year” in his honor. After Ray passed, just hours after, it was nighttime and my husband Joe, his mom and I all sat out on my mother-in-law’s patio and looked at the stars. She said she knew Ray was up there, one of the stars. And that’s all it took. I had the beginnings of a story about souls that traveled, that starjumped, through space. And I wanted to explore the idea of a parallel planet similar to Earth, a sister planet. Retha is that planet and an anagram for Earth. There were other things that inspired the story too. Los Angeles was a major inspiration because I raised my kids there and I love the city. So I knew that the female protagonist would be from LA. And since I worked in entertainment for a time, I knew Beverly Hills would be a lot of fun to write about. I also wrote about places I had more of a connection to––Griffith Park and Zuma beach. And lastly, a news story that unfolded over the years further inspired the plot as I wrote and rewrote Transfer Student. This same news story is also why I decided to tell Transfer Student from two POVs, a teenage girl and a teenage boy alien. The news story profiled the hostilities surrounding a man who announced he would be having an operation to become a woman. Because he was an official in a municipality this was a very public, personal announcement. It made national news at the time. It captured my attention for a variety of reasons and I knew that I wanted to write a story about how the vessel that a soul inhabits doesn’t define it. A story that’s been written perhaps a million times, but I wanted to write about in a way that explored many things: what it means to love; what it means to be a boy or a girl; what it means to risk everything to become who you really are. Transfer Student is a classic fish-out-of-water story that I’ve written as a love letter to teens and also as a way for all of us to see a piece of ourselves in everyone we meet, no matter our differences, no matter what planet we call home. As far as the actual writing of the story I had a few challenges. I had never written in a male POV. My early drafts really show that weakness. I always wrote Ashley in the first person. But, I’d always write Rhoe from the third person, as if I was literarily tip-toeing up to the first person present that he’s written in today. I have no idea how many drafts I’ve written of Transfer Student. But I do know that in order to get to first person present I had to write in the third and past too so I could be sure that the first person present was the only way to tell the story I wanted to tell. There is nothing more immediate than first person present, in my humble opinion. And I want the reader to be on the journey as it happens. To feel and discover with the characters. I want the reader to starjump with the characters and experience the longing and awkwardness that comes when you try to figure out a new world. There was only one tense that would do––first person present. I hope Transfer Student sounds like a story you’d like to read.

Ashley is a spoiled Beverly Hills brat. She and her BFF, Tiffany, are at the observatory on a school field trip. A galaxy away on Retha, Rhoe is planning to starjump. He needs to do that to save his brother, so sick he cannot speak. No one believes Rhoe can do it, but he is going to try, no matter how dangerous it is. His best friend, Yuke, tries to talk him out of it, but Rhoe is determined. Once alone, he sets up the scope and when he looks into it, something strange happens. On Earth, Ashley, at the same moment, looks into the telescope at Griffith Observatory. Moments later, she finds herself in what turns out to be Rhoe's body on Retha. Rhoe lands in Ashley's body on Earth. It seems hormones exist in both places, and they have a hard, but interesting, time adjusting to their new bodies. The adventures begin for both characters and each finds himself/herself falling in love with their new body's best friend, even though their bodies are the same sex as the friends. Yikes! Of course, the end goal for both is to get back to their own planets and body. No easy task, especially for Ashley who has no idea how she got to Retha. The two finally convince their best friends that they really aren't who they seem to be and let the love flow. Will they get back? Do they really want to get back? And then there are some really bad guys.


Laura A. H. Elliott has written a page-turner of a Young Adult Science Fiction love story. Although the start is slow, any teen, boy or girl, who likes Sci-Fi will like this book. The love story is just a nice bonus. 

- The San Francisco Book Review Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5

An interesting intergalactic tale of identity and corporeal switching reminiscent of the moviesFreaky Friday and The Hot Chick.” “surprising sub-plots” “fun and enjoyable book and i highly recommend it” ”Excellent” “5-stars” A.O. BILBLIOSPHERE

“Elliott does the first-person of her male protagonist shockingly well. She really portrays well the thoughts and feelings of an outcast…” EPILOGUE REVIEWS 

“PUTS A WHOLE NEW SPIN ON THE TRADING PLACES/FREAKY-FRIDAY THEME!” “engaging young adult read that adults can enjoy as well. Laura richly described planet Retha and it comes alive for the reader.  The characters are well developed and very relate-able.” - KATE’S READS

Have you watched all those movie’s like The Hot Girl , The Change-Up etc . The one’s where something magical happens and somehow you end up swapping bodies with them …Laura Elliott’s new novel is like that” - PHANTOMPARAGRAPHER ”5-stars”

“4 out of 5 stars!” “It just has to be experienced” “I loved the world building of Retha” “I loved the journey Ashley and Rhoe went on” -  SOME LIKE IT PARANORMAL

“Both the world we know & the alien world of Retha were brilliantly painted” “Fascinating” -Into The Morning Review 

“SPELL-BINDING JOURNEY” “a compelling sci-fi adventure that also reflects the lifestyle and dilemmas faced by today’s teens, and the world as a whole.” - KID’S BOOK CAPERS