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Flip Paperback – April 10, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2011:
"Bedford packs so much exhilarating action and cleanly cut characterizations into his teen debut that readers will be catapulted headfirst into Alex’s strange new world...The mysteries are countless: What is a soul? Where does it go when its human host ceases to function? Bedford adeptly sweeps the existential curtain aside and tackles these heavy questions as the tension soars."

Starred Review, School Library Journal, June 2011:
"It’s an immediately engaging story, with careful pacing and strong characterizations that add depth to the basic premise...The author uses Alex’s predicament to examine questions of identity, family, and the human soul in ways that are involving and thought-provoking."


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

MARTYN BEDFORD has written five adult novels, including The Houdini Girl (Vintage). A former journalist, he teaches  at Leeds Trinity University College. Martyn lives in West Yorkshire, England, with his wife and two daughters. Flip is his first novel for young adults.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ember (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375865527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375865527
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #804,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
British author Martyn Bedford's first foray into YA literature is a believable bluff that will keep the pages moving. His hero Alex Gray, a clarinet and chess-playing sensitive kid from a London suburb, wakes up one day in a much more muscular and athletic body known as Philip "Flip" Garamond. Quickly introduced, the problems Alex confronts in life as Flip at home and at school propel the novel forward, as the boy is subjected to all manner of contradictions not only in looks but in lifestyles (and girlfriends -- plural, in dashing Flip's case). Eventually ethics filter in as Alex struggles with the disadvantages and begins to enjoy a few advantages of being someone he is not. Should he try to find his way back? Can he? Where is his own body? And is it even alive?

About the only one who recognizes Alex to NOT be Flip is the Garamond family's retriever, Beagle, who gives him a growl each time he sees him. Soon, though, Alex finds friends on the web -- folks who have experienced something called PE (no, not physical education -- psychic evacuation) like him. It's when a soul jumps the rails and lands in another body due to extreme physical duress or death of its own. Is it any wonder why Alex hesitates to type his own name in the Google search box? How'd you like to read your own obit?

Many interesting angles develop as Flip begins to perplex family and friends alike with some "new" habits (really his old ones). When he abandons such avocations as cricket and crudeness, his lads are REALLY worried. Where's good old Flip, the "boys-will-be-boys" type if ever there was one? Then he falls for a sensitive and intelligent girl -- not just a girl with a great body. This is the last straw for the rest.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
FLIP is an interesting word. It means many things, of course. It can be a transitive verb -- to throw or toss, to spin, or to flick; an intransitive verb -- to turn over, to somersault, or to move quickly and lightly; or a noun -- the act of flipping, as in a flip of the wrist, a reversal, or a mixed drink made of alcoholic beverages often with beaten eggs. It has transformed into other words, too: flip-flop, flipbook, flippant.

When I was fourteen or so, the age of the protagonist, Alex Grey, in this YA novel, the kids in my neighborhood used the word "flip" when they were frustrated. If, for example, you tried to make a layup when you were playing basketball and missed, you'd say, "Flip! I should've made that!"

Martyn Bedford chose to call his main character by the moniker, Flip. It was also chosen as the title of his book. It was a careful and calculated selection, bringing lots of inherent connotation with it. It's selection is indicative of the care with which Bedford has constructed an adventure in the lives of Alex Grey and Philip "Flip " Garamond for any willing reader to consider. Flip denotes action: being turned over or around, the dizziness of spinning, the frustration of -- not a missed basket -- but a missed life.

As a redheaded kid -- or, as the British say, ginger-headed -- with a freckled face, I identified with this story. Often, as a lad, I daydreamed about being popular, being athletic, having dark hair and skin that tanned, and being good-looking. Wished for it. "If only," I thought. Well, that's the basic premise in this book. Alex Grey plays the clarinet and likes chess. Boring. He sunburns and does relatively well in school; he doesn't get in trouble. He is not popular, there's nothing much about him to attract much attention.
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Format: Hardcover
Alex Gray wakes up in Philip Garamond's body, a boy the same age who he doesn't know living miles away from where he lives. Six months have passed that he doesn't remember, and no one believes Alex is who he says he is.

Martyn Bedford takes a cliche and freshens it up through realism, a well-written voice, and sympathetic characters. You like Alex. You want him to have a happy ending.

The writing is easy to read, but not stupid. I was glued to this book, wanting to know what happened next and if Alex did, indeed, get his happy ending. Bedford is a good example of a writer who keeps a consistent voice and consistent, believably growing characters throughout his novel. Bedford didn't take short cuts in this story--Alex's decisions about what to do are perfectly believable, as are the rest of the world's response to his actions. This is a breath of fresh air with a concept and genre that you would expect to require a lot more suspension of disbelief.

The weakest point of Flip was definitely the ending. Many loose ends were left unresolved. Alex also ended the story with a curious lack of empathy for a certain character that I felt was very out of character for Alex, seeing as he had so much empathy for others throughout the book.

To summarize, Flip is a book worth your time if you're looking for a quick, clever read. Bedford did an excellent job taking a typically silly sci-fi concept and making it fresh and realistic with believable, sympathetic characters. But don't expect too much out of the ending.
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