cover image The Flip Side

The Flip Side

James Bailey. Morrow, $15.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-301939-3

Bailey’s gimmicky but entertaining debut follows the misadventures of a 28-year-old who proves aimless in both life and love. Josh abruptly finds himself homeless and single after his live-in girlfriend of four years turns down his proposal. Near-broke and thoroughly discouraged by life, Josh moves from London to his parents’ house in Cadbury and decides to entrust his fate to the flip of a coin: for the next year, every decision he makes will be determined by heads or tails. While subjecting himself to the fickleness of random luck, he suffers through several embarrassing attempts to get his romantic life back on track before happening upon the woman of his dreams. He spends a glorious few hours with her in London’s National Gallery, only to lose her in the crowd before he can get her name. With few clues to go on, Josh spends the remainder of the book searching for the woman he knows only as Sunflower Girl, all the while hoping he’ll finally get lucky. Josh’s meet-cute with his love interest doesn’t occur until a third of the way in, and their reunion happens much later, leaving little room for the romance to develop. The result is breezy reading that won’t linger long in readers’ minds. Agent: Hannah Ferguson, Hardman & Swainson Literary. (Nov.)