Fair Coin

Posted: October 17, 2012 by Alan in Books We Like
Tags: , ,

Ephraim is your typical high school socially awkward guy. He doesn’t much like school. He’s got a goofy best friend, but not many other friends. There’s a pretty girl he likes who doesn’t know he exists. There’s the bully who picks on him. Unfortunately his dad left years ago and his mom is a drunk. He really can’t imagine life worse than it is now.

But that all changes when a quarter shows up in his his locker with the note: “Make a wish and flip the coin to make it come true.” Only nothing goes as Ephraim plans.

When my children were younger I read HALF MAGIC to them. It’s a sweet, old-fashioned book about four children who find a magic coin. The problem is the coin only grants half of a wish. It made for some hijinks and in the end the kids realized that wishes don’t necessarily make your life better. At first I thought that E.C. Myers was going for the same theme with FAIR COIN, only with an older audience. Boy was I wrong. But in a good way.

Myers doesn’t take the story where you think it will go. I don’t want to spoil it for you, so all I’ll say is that Myers twists and turns and reveals everything in an orderly and understandable fashion. The plot has great forward movement and is engaging. The climax fell a tad short with a too easy solution, but overall was exciting and a logical conclusion, if too tidy for the tone of the book.

Ephraim, our PoV hero, is easy to like. Life’s been rough and he only wants to help others out and get the girl if he can. When things start going wrong he tries his best to fix things, but ultimately understands that maybe the coin isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The story does get dark, and the people you thought you knew, they all seem to change and it gets confusing and…well, eventually we realize things aren’t as they seem.

If your teen is bored with vampires and wizards, FAIR COIN is a smart and fun change from the current YA scene.

Recommended Age: 15+ for sexual references (between teens)
Language: Less than a handful of the harsher stuff
Violence: Some shootings and blood; references to abuse
Sex: References and innuendo

Want to check out this book? Find it here:

  1. Cecelia says:

    I've been wondering if this one was worth the read – the premise sounds intelligent, but it's hard to tell without reading it yourself or *ahem* relying on the responses of others whose reading taste you trust.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!


  2. Vanessa says:

    It can be a little dark, but much in the same way Hunger Games is dark.


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