Book: Flip


One morning, fourteen-year-old Alex wakes up to find himself in the wrong bdroom, in an unfamiliar house, in a different part of the country. The family at the breakfast table are total strangers. And when he looks in the mirror, he gets the shock of his life!

How is it possible that Alex has become another boy–a boy called Philip, or Flip? But more importantly, how will he switch back to become himself again?

I wasn’t really expecting much from this book. Having read David Levithan’s Every Day, I thought this would be a close copy. After all, the book suddenly popped up in my local bookstore after Every Day sold out, shipment after shipment.

Cue my surprise to find out that this was actually released before Every Day. And that the two books have nothing in common. Yes, there’s also a body switch in Flip, but our main character doesn’t move bodies every day.

Flip is a coming-of-age story wrapped in a mystery, while pretending to be a psychological thriller. It’s not a psychological thriller. It’s not even a thriller. What it is is a gripping morality tale of the complexities of living someone else’s life–when you have no choice in the matter.

Sure, the idea isn’t completely new. We’ve all dreamed about living someone else’s life. That’s why we read books. But Flip takes it a step further. It literally transplants our main character into someone else’s life–and allows him no way back. This is the dilemma, the central conflict, of Flip.

And I really like where author Martyn Bedford takes the story.

Our main character, Alex, is not by all means perfect. But unlike many teens his age, he likes where he is in life. He likes his life, and the first thing he does when he finds himself in a different body, is find a way home. And in that, I found someone easy to attach myself to.

While we all like to dream of better lives, the first instinct when we actually do find ourselves somewhere unfamiliar is to look for family. And when that is taken away from Alex, it is heart-wrenching.

Much more so because he knows that they are just within reach–but he can’t ever come near again.

And then he discovers a small hope of getting his life back. But how real is this hope? Alex has to wonder if life is just playing a cruel joke, if he must live the rest of his life in someone else’s body.

And Alex has to wonder if, by owning the life of the body he’s now inhabiting, is he effectively killing the person it was before?

I am recommending this book. Highly. And once you finish reading it, come back here and let’s discuss. I’m looking forward to talking about this book with someone. And soon.


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