Flip Book Review

Flip by Martyn Bedford

When he went to bed in December, Alex Gray was your average fourteen-year-old, mostly unpopular with a love of the clarinet and chess. When he wakes he finds himself in a different bedroom, in an unfamiliar house, with a different family, and it is four months later. When he looks in the mirror, Alex no longer sees himself, instead it is another boy's face...another boy's life. A boy named Flip. How has Alex come to be trapped within this body and more importantly, why is he here?

From the very beginning, this novel was riveting. Obviously, Flip is acting a little strange from the minute he wakes, but only the family dog truly recognizes that Flip is not Flip. Bewildered, alone, and afraid, Alex immediately begins searching for answers, eventually stealing money and traveling back to London in hopes of convincing someone, anyone, that he is Alex in a Flip body. What Alex learns is that he is experiencing a very rare phenomenon called Psychic Evacuation, where the soul flees an often dead or dying body in search of a new one. Except Alex isn't dead, he's in a vegetative state in a hospital in London.

Despite being fantasy, Alex was a solid realistic character. The way he deals with this bewildering problem the way that I think most of us would. There are tears and anger and a complete unwillingness to be this new person. Especially when you consider that if Alex is in Flip's body, then where is Flip? I loved that Bedford did not avoid technology, but rather embraced email, PINs, google searches, etc. and used it to move the plot forward and not in a way that felt like it would be dated. I was engrossed from beginning to end and think even those who are not huge fans of sci-fi or fantasy would greatly enjoy this novel.

Oh, and once again. I hate the US cover.