Book Review: Dead Flip

DEAD FLIP | Sara Farizan
08.30.2022 | Algonquin Young Readers
Rating: 4/5 stars

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Growing up, Cori, Maz, and Sam were inseparable best friends, sharing their love for Halloween, arcade games, and one another. Now it’s 1992, Sam has been missing for five years, and Cori and Maz aren’t speaking anymore. How could they be, when Cori is sure Sam is dead and Maz thinks he may have been kidnapped by a supernatural pinball machine? When Sam returns—still twelve years old while his best friends are now seventeen—Maz and Cori are thrown back together to solve the mystery of what really happened to Sam the night he went missing. Beneath the surface of that mystery lurk secrets the friends never told one another, then and now. And Sam’s is the darkest of all…

I always talk about how I’m a sucker for books compared to shows and movies I love, so it should come as no surprise that when I heard Dead Flip was perfect for fans of Stranger Things that I had to pick it up. This is definitely one of those instances where recommendation proves true with this YA horror story!

Dead Flip was a fun and tense story from the start with nostalgia and coming-of-age goodness dripping from each page. I loved getting to know our three main characters, who also serve as narrators. Farizan smartly flips between timelines with the narrators as well, which allows the reader to bond with each of them. Knowing the history behind their friendship, the pain of what happened, and where each of them are today was so well described that I felt like I could be an honorary member of this friend group. 

I love the twists and turns that Farizan included in this story. Nothing is gory or gross, but there is plenty of tension to go around. If you’ve ever seen the movie The Goonies, that’s the same level of fun horror meets friendship, I felt that Dead Flip delivered. If you’re looking for an entertaining YA horror read, I highly recommend checking this one out!

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