review of YA novel Flip by Martyn Bedford

Flip by Martyn Bedford
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books, Random House: April 5, 2011
My rating: 5/5 stars
source: library copy

Whenever I read a book that grips me so much that I don’t want to put it down, and at the same time I don’t want to finish it because then the book will have ended, I want to tell others about it. Flip by Martyn Bedford was one of those books; it’s a new favorite. I will be watching out for any future YA books that Bedford writes.

In Flip, 14-year-old Alex wakes up in another boy’s body, in another boy’s house and life–Phillip Garmond, and six months have passed. Alex can’t convince anyone to believe him, and he doesn’t know how to reverse it and get back to his own body and life. He just knows that he has to try. And try he does, as he slowly puts the pieces together.

I found myself rooting for Alex through the entire book, intensely hoping that he would find a way to get back to his own body and his own family, and feel once again like he belonged. Descriptions were vivid–of his new bedroom, new house and family–and yet never slowed the story down. It also helped that there were some positive characters who helped Alex, and eventually a few who believed them. It helped me keep reading and keep hoping for Alex to get his life back.

I believed utterly in Alex, in his emotional struggle, his reactions to events, his determinedness to get his own life back. It was easy to identify with Alex and feel compassion for him. There was a kind of mystery for Alex and the reader to solve, about how and why he got into Phillip’s body and how to get back again, and that mystery also helped to drive the story forward. This is a compelling, engaging, beautifully written urban fantasy. Highly recommended.

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