Flip - by Martyn Bedford

"Alex falls for a girl he meets and the story begins to unravel."

The novel Flip by Martyn Bedford was a fantastic read; I could not put it down/ It wraps you up in great detail and imagination. It starts off great with Alex Gray waking up as Philip Garamond. Bedford portrays Alex as a nice, sympathetic character so you are rooting for him to find out what has happened to him the past six months. But Alex soon falls for a girl he meets and the story starts to unravel. The mystery is revealed when he finds information on something called PE, and he starts to piece the puzzle together.

Alex is a nerd who loves chess and band; he gets put into the athletic and popular body of Philip Garamond. It is the great switch between brain and brawns. Alex's intelligence cannot help him in this situation because it is beyond our world and into the supernatural. The only problem I had with the book was the ending. It was not as built up as it needed to be. It was not a bad ending at all but just and average one where a great one should have been.

Technology plays a big part in the story. The characters in the book are great because of their description, what they go through, and how they change throughout the story. The way Alex changes through Philip's body is very detailed because he can now be athletic, strong, popular, and charming. He has never experienced this kind of social status and he basks in it as long as he can. Alex makes a big character jump when he falls for a girl. It is a basic love story where the nerdy kid falls for the hot girl in school; but Bedford changes it up and Alex falls for an intelligent girl. He makes it a good little romance story because Alex can realistically get any girl he wants to in Philip's school because he is now popular. He does not totally abuse his new body but he returns to his brains and goes for a girl who can understand what he is going through. Alex changes who Philip Garamond is and shapes Philip into how he acted and what he did before he switched.

I would say one of the most eye catching parts of the novel is the beginning because of the mysterious vibe. It's like you have to know what happens before you put the book down. This book was a great teen novel and I would highly recommend it to any teen that is in and is not in to reading. It is a jaw-dropping mystery that leaves you on the edge of your seat. Martyn Bedford is a fantastic writer and the read will be easy and enjoyable. I would rate this novel a 4.5 out of 5.

   - Ben E.

"couldn't disconnect my eyes from the pages for more than a few minutes"

I read Flip by Martyn Bedford in a matter of two days. This was not because it was a short book, but rather I couldn't disconnect my eyes from the pages for more than a few minutes. The writing style was extremely in-depth for a 3rd person story, though it was kind of confusing due to the author being British and using a lot of slang I didn't quite understand at times. Nonetheless, he was hilarious with the book by putting in a few tidbits of sarcasm here and there. There are multiple reasons I loved this book, but a few downsides to it too.

I think the most enjoyable part of the book was the comic relief which, along with the unique thought process put into Alex's words, really made the story glue together. His way of writing was strange and sometimes hard to follow, though it had such a differential property that it almost created a new voice in my head as I read it.

Another thing that really surprised me was his tendency to really speed the story up. I almost thought he was going to end it on the 80th page, but he managed to bring the story out of the riveting conflict at the beginning and create a new strand of lines of events afterward. None of it was predictable, and the ending had me clawing for another 4 pages so that I wouldn't have to guess what had happened.

When I first read the summary on the book, it immediately plopped the image of "Freaky Friday" in my mind, but it was much farther from that kind of situation than I had expected. The way he wrapped his situation around an actual logical cause while zig-zagging around religious exploration made the simplistic, humorous, and eventful book an almost philosophical piece that I enjoyed thinking about.

Another pro to the book was the mystery about the whereabouts of Flip's soul, or psyche, in the beginning. Also the lack of knowledge about Alex's physical well-being tore at my mind to venture farther into the book at alarming paces. The best part of the book is when he took a trip to the beach with his friends, though. It kind of made me want to pick up a pack of beers myself and run down to Gulf Shores (I would never drink of course, this is just a figure of speech).

There were a lot of downsides to the book, though. Alex's unpredictability was crucial to the story, but it made me a bit confused on whether or not I liked his character. He had so many outbursts of anger and such a disregard for others' feelings, it kind of made me wish myself to be in a later part of the book due to the awkward mental situation it put me in. I will confess, this awkwardness was necessary and helped create a few turning points in the plot and was a good transition to how Alex felt.

Another sort of disappointment to me was his neglect to try to merge into Flip's life. It was completely understandable that he was miserable and sick when he had to deal with Flip's family and friends, though it may have been nice if he didn't ignore every text and conversation that came to his attention. He had a large disrespect toward another character that fully devoted himself to help Alex, which actually made me quite mad while reading. I almost wanted to pull Alex out of the book and act like his mom to get on to him about manners. Though these are all minor problems that simply go against my own code of conduct, all of which were very important pieces to the plot and none would I change do to the better outcome they resulted to in the end.

The book was great all around. Even the depressing and tense parts were enjoyable to read, and those are usually qualities that repel me greatly from any kind of writings. I would give this book a 5/5, honestly, due to me having to think heftily to conjure up something negative about the book. Thankfully my bloodshot eyes moistened back to their normal glossy state after two days of staring at my phone's bright screen like it was eye candy. For any purpose of a time filler or something to do other than a usual five hour trip around facebook and twitter, this book would quickly satisfy anyone's need for a good read.

   - Jackson G.

"Be careful what you wish for because you might not get the results to want."

There have been many tales in today's society of a "soul" switching bodies. In the novel Flip by Martyn Bedford a boy named Alex Gray wakes up one morning in the life of another teenage boy the same age as him. Throughout the novel, Alex is slowly figuring out how he came to be in the body Phillip "Flip" Garamond - and how he can return to his old body.

Even though it is a more enjoyable life in the body of Phillip, Alex learns there are consequences to this body switch. He tries to adapt to this life, learning about Phillip's past, his friends, interests, girlfriends, and family life, all while trying to figure out how to return to his body.

The book begins at a slow pace, but progressively gets faster and more interesting until you are hooked on the mystery of Alex Gray. There are moments of comedy relief, such as the perverseness Alex feels when unclothed as Phillip, or when Rob tries to lessen the seriousness of the moment when they go to the beach. There are also many conflicts and, at certain points, Alex becomes irritated with Rob because of his attempts to stop Alex from returning to his past life, and it brings out the worst in both of them. This also shows that Alex is risking every relationship he's formed as Phillip to return back home, even if it means death.

The overall theme of the story is to be content with the life you have. Be careful what you wish for too, because you might not get the results you want. Overall I thought the story was great. It does a really good job of putting the reader in the position of Alex; it feels real while you read it. There were certain moments where I felt where I was not in my real body after putting the book down, and I felt like I wasn't in reality. The writer of the novel was great and I would recommend it to a friend.

   - Matthew B.

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