“Ever wake up in someone else’s body?” asks the front cover of Martyn Bedford’s new book, Flip. Seems cool, right? Especially when your 14-year-old former body was asthmatic, unpopular, and chess-and-clarinet playing, like Alex Gray’s…and your new body, that of one Phillip Garamond (whom everyone calls “Flip”) is studly, athletic, and has a gorgeous girl hanging off each arm.Who wouldn’t want to make that switch?
Alex, that’s who. This book does a wonderful job of portraying how terrifying such an unexplained switch would be. There you are, knowing you’re not you, having to play the role of someone else, and you know no one will believe you if you try to explain! Or worse, they’ll lock you up and shoot you full of drugs because they think you’re psycho. Alex is trapped, and his story deals as much with his deep fears about his self and soul as it does with his adventures in trying to get back to his real body. Both are very satisfying to read about. This story kept me riveted right to the end.
Alex is also English, so if you’re missing Harry Potter, it feels nice to dive back into some of that English slang you’ve been missing. Don’t get me wrong; there are no wizards or spells here, and the magic is explained in an almost scientific way. But that just raises the stakes, by making the situation seem all too real.
There’s even a love interest…or at least a “like” interest, which, in my opinion, can be even better sometimes!