Monday, January 26, 2015

MG Book Review: Flip, by David Lubar

General Information
Publisher: Tor
Year of publication: 2003
# of chapters: too many to count
# of pages: 300
Genre: Science Fiction

Plot summary (from Amazon):
If you could become anyone in the world, who would you be?

Did you ever wish you could be anyone else but who you are? Twins Ryan and Taylor do it all the time. Now their dream is about to come true. They've discovered mysterious alien disks that allow them to "flip"--to become legendary heroes from the past.

But who?

Positive Points
The chapters were extremely short, a few pages each. As a result, I kept reading one more chapter, and one more, a lot faster than I would have if the chapters had been longer. This would appeal to reluctant readers. The chapters alternated among several characters' POVs, which in this book added a lot to the story.

The parent-child relationships and the effects it had on the kids were painfully realistic. I just wanted to slap the dad for saying certain things to his son.

I love the duality of the twins: the girl is a good student, always neat and organized and on time; the boy never finishes anything (or so his dad says), gets in trouble at school, and often gets grounded. It's interesting to see the story from both viewpoints, and from the bully's viewpoint as well. Every character felt real. I love the brother-sister relationship. The author has a good grasp of what it's like to be a kid.

In this book, the kids find disks from outer space that allows them to personify historical figures and experience their world. I had fun trying to figure out what characters the kids changed into, which was sometimes revealed only later. But at some point, it gave me that uneasy feeling; those discs could be compared to using drugs, escaping your reality for a while and being in a different state of mind. I'm not sure if it was the author's intention or not.

Negative Points
There were a few mild swear words, which I don't think belong to MG novels. This book was in the YA section in the library, although the characters are in eighth grade. I guess it's one of those in-between books that could either be upper MG or younger YA.

Other than that, I really can't find anything negative to say. Very well written and fun to read.

What makes this book unique
I've never read anything quite like this: very, very short chapters; so many POVs; sci-fi mixed with historical mixed with contemporary. I loved everything about it.

Overall Impression
The summary from Amazon doesn't do it justice. I'm glad my kids recommended I read it. I might not have picked it up otherwise. Great read!

My Rating:

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