6 Jan

Alex is a somewhat nerdy and average teenager living outside of London and attending high school. He goes over to the house of a friend, and the next morning he wakes up unable to remember anything. Alex doesn’t recognize his room or body, and it suddenly becomes clear that he is no longer himself. He has turned into Flip, a semi-posh and popular teenager from another part of England.

While this book could easily be a Freaky Friday type farce, it is actually pretty well done. It ponders questions of the soul, and makes the switch pretty believable. The subplots involve girls and other people who have switched souls. The girl subplot, in which popular player Flip suddenly likes a nerdy girl, could have been better developed. However, the friendship Alex has with the head of the soul switching message board online is very interesting. Namely, it serves to point out how impossible it would be to live someone else’s life.

The book goes quickly, and contains a lot of good detail about the British school and social class system. I did wish the book would get a bit grittier in parts, as Alex always seems a bit too controlled. I also would have liked his love interest to be more believable and more developed. Still, the book is fun and interesting. It goes into a sci-fi theme that isn’t all that overdone recently, and the addition of technology (Internet, cell phones, etc…) gives it new life.

Nora’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Author: Martyn Bedford
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (April 2011)

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