By: Martyn Bedford
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Publication Date: April 2011
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: April 2011
Alex Gray went to bed on Friday night after returning from his best friend’s house. Yet, here it was, Saturday morning, and his Mom is screaming from downstairs to get up…he’s late for school! Alex is so confused. It’s December 22nd and there is no school for two weeks. It’s Christmas break and he’s ready to rest. The woman screams again. “Philip, get down here!” Who’s Philip?
Alex Gray opens his eyes to a bedroom he’s never seen before in his life. There’s no dull, gray winter sky outside his London room - it’s beautiful, it’s warm, it’s sunny…and it’s not London. He’s sitting in the middle of a green, lush countryside. Wearing strange pajamas, Alex Gray walks through a house he’s never seen into a kitchen that’s filled with the smell of croissants (which Alex really dislikes), a girl dressed all in black with purple hair, named Teri, and a tall, lean Mom who looks like a ‘cross between a human and a giraffe.’
Running back upstairs, his mind racing, Alex Gray soon finds out that although he went to sleep as Alex Gray - he is now Philip Garamond - a boy he’s never met - and Alex Gray’s life is gone. Readers stand by Alex’s side as he goes to school as the ‘coolest’ kid in class. Philip is called Flip, and he has two girlfriends, he smokes, and is a complete and utter rebel in his town. Alex tries desperately to contact his family and his old friends but the phone numbers either don’t work, or when he gets them they start screaming at him about how horrible he is to even mention Alex Gray. If he calls again, they’ll call the cops.
Well…there is a reason - a frightening one - Alex Gray has experienced what a man named Rob calls psychic evacuation; going to sleep as one body and waking up in another. Why evacuate your own body? Well, Alex Gray is hanging on to life in a hospital room and Flip must find a way to either live as Philip Garamond, or get his own body to wake up so he can go home.
This is an outstanding tale with twists and turns and characters appearing out of nowhere to keep the story moving right along. Usually an adult novel writer, Martyn Bedford has taken his first step into the Young Adult world. And he is most definitely someone who should stay.
Quill Says: A clear, concise, absolutely fun and entertaining story that offers as much thrills and chills as it does humor, love, and an in-depth look on the will and desire to survive. A fantastic read!