Fair Coin by E.C. Myers Review

Monday, March 12, 2012

Title: Fair Coin
Author: E.C. Myers
Publisher: PYR
Publish Date: March 27, 2012
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Pages: 250
Source: Publisher
Sixteen-year-old Ephraim Scott is horrified when he comes home from school and finds his mother unconscious at the kitchen table, clutching a bottle of pills. The reason for her suicide attempt is even more disturbing: she thought she’d identified Ephraim’s body at the hospital that day.

Among his dead double’s belongings, Ephraim finds a strange coin—a coin that grants wishes when he flips it. With a flick of his thumb, he can turn his alcoholic mother into a model parent and catch the eye of the girl he’s liked since second grade. But the coin doesn’t always change things for the better. And a bad flip can destroy other people’s lives as easily as it rebuilds his own.

The coin could give Ephraim everything he’s ever wanted—if he learns to control its power before his luck runs out.
Ephraim is your ordinary teen about to run headlong into circumstances that couldn't be farther from ordinary. When he finds his mother doubled over, nearly dead from a suicide attempt, Ephraim has no idea that it's merely the tip of the iceberg. His mother was certain she'd seen her son dead at the hospital, but Ephraim's doppelganger died; not him. Among his possessions, Ephraim finds a coin, and he discovers it grants wishes, giving him the power to change bad situations to nearly perfect. His first wish proves that it, and he finds his mother darn-near Stepford. But the wishes might not be all they seem, and they very well might have dire consequences. Ephraim must establish control over the coin before it begins to eat away at everything in his life.

Last year, I complained that there weren't enough YA books on the market told from a male POV. I believe I also said that sci-fi and fantasy were becoming tired and boring, rehashing the same ideas each time. I'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you (and hallelujah!) to author E.C. Myers for creating a novel that not only defies the norm but commands the reader's attention. Fair Coin takes an intriguing and utterly original concept and sets a powerfully engaging story in motion with a dynamic set of characters, a heavy undercurrent of morals and a heart-pounding concept that tugs at your conscience long after you put the book down. Not too many stories can keep you guessing late at night what is going to happen next, or questioning your own theories, but Fair Coin does all that and more.

Ephraim was the embodiment of fun and life. I often find that female MCs become a bit washed out and dry, acting as mere shells of characters that you might find in other novels. In Fair Coin, however, we're given a teenage boy that's every bit the average teen, but there's a sense of goodness and caring within him that draws you to his core. The relationship between his best friend, Nathan, too was refreshing and honest. It was a great way to lead into the story, giving us two characters who have a very normal friendship and one that you don't cringe to read - something I find lacking in a lot of female-drama books. Furthering the dynamic cast are Ephraim's crush, Jena and his mother, both of whom are well-rounded and completely engaging. I never once felt they were simple secondary characters. Instead, everything in Fair Coin seemed to have a level of significance. The concept behind the novel isn't altogether new; we've all heard of wishes gone wrong. However, Fair Coin propels it to the next level, giving us adventure, tension and action, as well as a thought-provoking mystery that leads to a heart-pounding conclusion to this first book.

Needless to say, I thoroughly loved this book. Rather than finding just another same-old, same-old book, this one smashed through the mold, and I'm so thrilled to say it's probably my favourite read in 2012 thus far. I give it a 5 out of 5, and I highly recommend this book to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy male MCsscience fiction and fantasy.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. "It was a great way to lead into the story, giving us two characters who
    have a very normal friendship and one that you don't cringe to read -
    something I find lacking in a lot of female-drama books."

    YES!!!!!! I get so tired of female relationships that are full of pettiness and jealousy (though those types of relationships definitely happen), it's nice to see a true friendship not plagued by drama. Glad you reviewed this one Melissa, I wasn't sure it was for me, but now I'm definitely picking it up!

  2. Sounds refreshing and a breathe of fresh air. I'll definitely keep the lookout for this one, Melissa. Great review!

  3. I have seen this book on a couple of other blogs, but didn't bother reading the reviews. I am so glad I finally read one. Lol. Since I love your taste in books, I have to read this.

  4. Ooh, I'm glad to read such a great review for this book! Realistic male POV, mystery, and a heart-pounding conclusion? It sounds fantastic.

    Wonderful review :)

  5. Yay! So glad you loved this! I just got it in the mail and I'm so excited to read it now. I love a good male POV and it's rare that it happens. I may start this one this evening. 

  6. Yay for something fresh and different! This one sounds fabulous.

  7. It's so so so good...I can't recommend it enough :)

  8. I think you're really gonna like it - the execution of the story is just brilliant :)

  9. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised - it's an awesome book; well-written and extremely entertaining!

  10. I love male MC's!  I didn't pay this one much attention but your review and 5 stars has me thinking I MUST read this one!

  11. WOW Melissa, you gave it 5/5 and called it your favorite so far? That's big stuff, girlie. I admit I hadn't heard of this one before, but I trust your opinion unequivocally, so this one will be thrown onto the pile with confidence. Thanks a bunch!!   ;)

  12. I got this one in the mail and, while the premise intrigued, poor book got buried. After that review, I think it'll have to move to the top of the pile!

  13. Wow! Sounds great. I don't normally like sci fi type books or things that sound this dark, but I'm very intrigued. Especially because the characters are done so well. Love the cover too.

  14. Sometimes it's the ones we don't hear much about that turn out to be the best! I just heard of this a few weeks ago, and it blew me away!

  15. Glad to hear it! I really, really loved it :)

  16. It's totally original...especially if you've been in a book funk like me :)

  17. I got this one for review, and now I'm SUPER excited to read it! Hopefully, I'll enjoy it as much as you did! :)


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