Friday, March 16, 2012

Fair Coin-E.C. Myers

Fair Coin

E.C. Myers

PYR, Mar 27 2012, $16.95

ISBN: 9781616146092

Summerside High student sixteen-year-old Ephraim “Eph” Scott stayed a little later than usual at the school hoping to talk to Jena Kim. He came home to find his mom unconscious after taking pills and alcohol. He wakes her but she says he is dead as she saw his body. Eph dials 911. Hospital employee Mrs. Morales, whose twin daughters are in Eph’s English class, informs him that a boy who resembled him carrying his library card was hit by a bus. His mother was shown the body.

Eph looks at the belonging given to his mom of the dead person. He finds his library card and a commemorative quarter stamped Puerto Rico 1998. He soon learns flipping the coin while making a wish will grant whatever you ask. Coping, Eph wants two things: his mom to be a better parent stating with going cold turkey and Jena the geeky brain to reciprocate his attraction. Excited, he tells his best friend Nathan who obsessively wants to use the coin and will do anything including kill to possess it as Eph’s simple wishes have a monstrous butterfly effect on him and several degrees beyond his social circle.

Using hyperbolic teen stereotypes and chaos theory, E.C. Myers provides a terrific young adult science fiction tale. The coin’s impacts are not always positive as Eph learns you get what you wish for. Readers will enjoy this teenage twentieth-first century version of the early twentieth century horror thriller The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs.

Harriet Klausner

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