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Fair Coin (Coin #1)

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  1,153 Ratings  ·  258 Reviews
Epraim is horrified when he comes home from school one day to find his mother unconscious at the kitchen table, clutching a bottle of pills. Even more disturbing than her suicide attempt is the reason for it: the dead boy she identified at the hospital that afternoon--a boy who looks exactly like him. While examining his dead double's belongings, Ephraim discovers a strang ...more
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 250 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Pyr (first published March 1st 2012)
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Jan 27, 2013 Felicia rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, young-adult
So I usually resist young adult novels because, frankly, 15 year olds mooning over each other don't really interest me. I'm drawn to teens who have adult problems, probably because I never was a teenager myself (I skipped all of high school and went directly into college.) That's why, even though it's certainly a teen book, I really liked Fair Coin, and the smart universe the author created.

Basically the main character, Ephraim, has a challenging home life, and finds a coin that, when flipped, c
Sep 11, 2014 E.C. added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I wrote this!
Khanh (the Grinch)
Actual rating: 2.5

A butterfly flapped its wings off the coast of Brazil and I ended up not enjoying this book, can't we just leave it at that so I don't have to get all analytical?

No? Fine.

Let's be honest here, who among us hasn't at one time or another, yearned for the ability to make wishes. From our childhood fantasies of the genie in the lamp à la Aladdin, the innocence of such wishes turned into a more nuanced version as we grow up and learn that there's no such thing as a free lunch. Or fr
Michelle (The Crazy Cat Lady)
[I received my copy of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads giveaway program.]

Definitely the kind of YA novel I like to read; too many of them lately seem to be about girls falling in love with mythical creatures or guys being half-gods (those books can be good, just so many of them out there! ugh!).

Going into this, I had no expectations whatsoever; I hadn't heard of this book before, and I received it for free, so I had nothing to lose. Cynical, but true. However, having finished i
Rachel Brown
Clever YA sf in the old-school vein of "work through all the implications of a premise."

Teenage Ephraim finds a "magic coin" which can alter reality, and uses it improve his life: make his mom not an alcoholic, make his crush like him, etc. However, each change creates snowballing changes, often of a monkey's paw nature.

Without getting into moderate spoilers for the nature of the premise (revealed about a third of the way in) about all I can say is that yes, it does deal with the moral implica
Melanie McCullough
Feb 24, 2012 Melanie McCullough rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
If you follow my blog there are two things you should know by now:

· I love a story told from a male point of view
· I'm hopelessly addicted to all things Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Put these two things together in a Young Adult novel and you get Fair Coin, a story about a teenage boy who finds a magic coin capable of granting his every wish. And, come on, who wouldn't want that?

When Ephraim makes his first wish—that his mother wasn't in the hospital from her suicide attempt—he gets more than he bargained f
Mar 05, 2012 TheBookSmugglers rated it liked it
Sixteen-year-old Ephraim Scott comes home from school one day to find his mother passed out at the kitchen table – unfortunately a more than common occurrence given his mother’s alcoholism – except this time around she is holding a bottle of pills. Her suicide attempt is a reaction to having identified Ephraim’s body at the morgue that morning. Thankfully, she lives and everybody is convinced that it was all simply a horrible mistake. Then Ephraim finds amongst the other boy’s belongings – which ...more
Click HERE to read this review on my blog, Mindful Musings.

In a Sentence: Despite the fact that I would have liked to see a little more development of the secondary characters, I found Fair Coin to be an interesting story filled with loads of questions that will keep readers turning pages.

My Thoughts

The first chapter of Fair Coin pulled me in almost immediately. By the second page of the book, something dramatic was happening, so this book definitely didn't have any problems with a slow start.
Dawn Vanniman
Mar 04, 2012 Dawn Vanniman rated it it was amazing
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

A 'fair coin' is a term from probability theory and statistics. Basically it means that you have the probability of getting 50% heads, 50% tails on any flip. Unless the coin has been tampered with, in which case you can tell by the non-randomness of the flips.

Ephraim Scott is 16 years old. His dad left and his mom's a drunk. It's up to Ephraim to make sure she gets to work on time or to call in for her when she's too drunk.
Sep 11, 2012 Buka rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
One and a half star.
I want to confess this right now - the main reason why I noticed this book, picked it and managed to stick to the end of it was Sam Weber's cover. I swear, something in his paintings (these colors, these postures, this sheer awesomness!..) just strips away my willpower and lures me in like a hopeless sailor. It was his cover for The Shadow Rising ebook that finally made me read Wheel of Time (and that's not simply a big as a brick book, that's 13 big as a brick books). His im
Mar 06, 2012 Jessica rated it it was amazing
From the start of Fair Coin I was enamored with Ephraim. He made this book for me. Here is a character who is so easy to relate to that I genuinely cared what happened to him. His friend Nathan was the same way. These two are the epitome of nerds, and I loved that! Their friendship is palpable and, even when it changes, that link is there. I happily followed Ephraim as he made wishes and changed his world. Of course I'll admit that I kept wondering when something bad would happen. I've read enou ...more
Sixteen years old Ephraim was horrified when he found his mother tried to suicide. The reason behind her suicide attempt was she indentified Ephraim body on morgue that day, hit and run. With shock of this incident, Ephraim found a strange coin from belongings of his double; the coin was no ordinary one. Things Ephraim never imagined started to happen with one flip, Ephraim turned his alcoholic mother into a good parent and made the girl he liked from second grade fall for him. The coin could gi ...more
Amanda Liston
Nov 16, 2012 Amanda Liston rated it really liked it
Read the full review here at!

This book did something awesome, something that doesn’t happen often: it surprised me. It’s not that I went into this book thinking it would disappoint me, it’s that after the first 100 pages I was pretty sure I had it figured out. I knew the message, I knew the plot, I knew where it was going. I. Was. Wrong!

Myers changed things on me and made the story so much more deep and complex than I expected, I love it when books do that.

The main chara
The first part of this book made me very impatient to know what was going on. Not in the delightful suspense kind of way, but in the come ON what is UP HERE kind of way. And then the explanation was too... science wordsy. I don't know. I kind of hated this. I kind of hated this a lot. People getting all bumped around and people are people but not the same people but also they ARE the same people but different and then whoops, dead, but it doesn't matter because it was a different same person, so ...more
1.5 stars. Uninspired YA fantasy. The premise is too recognizable, and the characters are too bland to maintain the reader's interest. I abandoned it after five chapters (56 pages) and wrote a "Fifty Page Fridays" post about it on Far Beyond Reality.
Mar 05, 2012 LiteraryObsession rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Ephraim Scott, “Eph” to his friends, is a typical teenage boy living a typical (sadly, it -is- fairly common for children to deal with this situation) life. He isn’t entirely happy, but he does seem to be coping; he has friends, he’s performing at an at least average level in school, and has a job that the reader can assume he appreciates. Truthfully, though, he’s a boy who is hurting and he’s all too eager to step away from his not-so-idyllic life.

When he gets the opportunity to do so, he leaps
the golden witch.
This book is most definitely not what it seems. And this is a great thing - I loved this book's ending, and even though it's not a standalone, it definitely reads like one. And what's more refreshing is that it's a male YA author - those seem to be in such short supply, especially when doing fantasy/sci-fi. "Fair Coin" might have a slow start, but quite the explosive ending that will definitely have me reading the sequel when it comes out.

Yes, the start is slow, and I was starting to wonder if E
Jul 26, 2012 Diayll rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA Fans of Action, Mystery, Science Fiction
Originally Reviewed At:
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Controllers
Review Source: Publisher for Honest Review
Reviewer: Me

Fair Coin was a surprise hit for me, one I never saw coming, and one I can’t believe is over (thankfully I just received my ARC of Quantum Coin)! E.C. Myers crafted a hair-raising adventure centered around best friends and a simple “coin”. Fair Coin is reminiscent of The Butterfly Effect, except with a more Sci-Fi edge because of the sheer amount of technology presented and the in de
May 13, 2012 Andor rated it it was ok
I have mixed feelings about this book, but I'm disappointed for sure.
It's not bad though. It's a quick and easy read, good to spend a boring afternoon with.

The difference between the first and the second half of the book felt very distinct.
At first, for all we know, the coin is magical. It even fits the stories, as wishes don't always turn out entirely good, if ever. To me, it was really annoying to see how Ephraim handled that magical coin, and the things he did or "suffered" from.
I was expecti
Beth Cato
Oct 16, 2013 Beth Cato rated it it was amazing
This book came to my attention when it won the Andre Norton Award. I have wanted to read it since then, but with so many other books to read, it kept getting pushed off. Well, I had to kill time in a book store the other day and found this on the shelf. I started reading. I didn't want to stop. I ended up reading 3/4 of it in one day.

Fair Coin is intense from page 1 and doesn't let up until the very end. The mystery grows more complicated by the page. Where did Ephraim's double come from? How do
Juliana Hanford
Mar 20, 2012 Juliana Hanford rated it it was amazing
I started reading this book and at first I thought it was good. I kept reading this book and then I thought it was AWESOME. I don't want to say anything that will give away the most excellent surprises, but let me just say this: Now that I'm done, I wish I weren't. As I was reading it, I found myself having thoughts like, "Oh, I could hop the express train and get home faster . . . but no, I'll just stay on the local because then I'll have more time to read!" or "Shoot, I have to run that errand ...more
Mar 10, 2012 Jenn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, sf-and-fantasy
Wholly unique YA adventure with an authentic male protagonist: two thumbs up!

The story unfolds layer after layer like a great mystery. Ephraim is incredibly likable (despite some questionable choices) and I was rooting for him the whole time. Myers handles his characters -- and the story's speculative elements -- deftly and with obvious passion. (Geeks like myself will love the many fantasy and science fiction references!)

I want to say much more, but there are so many great twists and turns in
Rick Silva
Feb 11, 2014 Rick Silva rated it really liked it
This was a really original take on the traditional wish-granting tale, with a teenaged protagonist who comes across a reality-altering coin that is far more than what it appears to be.

There is a slow build, but the story really picks up momentum when it gets going, and there is a good level of complexity in the relationship between the hero and the villain.

I did think that the story tries a bit too hard to tie up every possible loose thread in its ending, but I found the concept and the executio
I liked the premise - it was an interesting twist on the The Monkey's Paw trope. In this iteration, Ephraim has found a coin with a unique property: it's able to grant wishes. However, those wishes have some interesting side effects. I liked the way the author took this, but found that it got bogged down from time to time. I thought that it was difficult to get invested in the characters as well. Overall it was inventive and that was enough for me to overcome some of the flaws.
Jun 19, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing
I REALLY enjoyed Fair Coin by E.C. Myers. It reminded me of my favorite childhood sci-fi by William Sleator, and that's a HUGE compliment. I adored books like Interstellar Pig or Green Futures of Tycho, so for Fair Coin to bring classics like that to mind, it's no wonder I zoomed through Myers' book as quickly as I did. And though Fair Coin is definitely YA, I think younger, more-MG readers can read this and enjoy.
Dianne Salerni
Mar 29, 2012 Dianne Salerni rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read! The plot is twisty and addictive. I couldn't predict where it was going next (and I'm usually pretty good at that!), but in the end, it all made sense. I don't want to give too much away, but let's say if you enjoyed the short story The Monkey's Paw or *anything* by William Sleator, you will love Fair Coin.
Sep 06, 2012 Jim rated it it was ok
This book took me much longer to read than usual. At first I wondered if it was because it was my first pBook in a while but I realized it was actually the weak, amateurish writing, the lazy plot twists, and characters I didn't care about. The review I read of this book on was way overblown. Do not recommend.
Jun 01, 2012 Lilli rated it did not like it
It was extremely boring; boring high school life! Just because you're going to write about a high-schooler, doesn't mean you have to make it clichid (another story about a nerdy guy agonizing over the popular girl). He had the chance to write an amazing story about a coin that gave you wishes and he did not deliver!
Aug 14, 2014 Anto rated it really liked it
Este libro definitivamente está entre mis favoritos.
Si bien en ciertos momentos es bastante predecible, hay pocos giros que da la historia que son de los que no te esperas.
Amo cada una de las personalidades de los personajes, en especial el de Nathaniel.
Creo que lo único que no me gustó de este libro, fue la portada :P
Tony Bombardo
Jun 16, 2015 Tony Bombardo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-me-sideways
I really enjoyed this book. It was quick reading, fast-paced,and kept me hooked the whole way through. Nothing incredibly deep or philosophical about it, but overall just a fun book about a concept I've always loved.
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E.C. Myers was assembled in the U.S. from Korean and German parts and raised in Yonkers, NY by his mother and the public library. He is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop and a member of the prolific NYC writing group Altered Fluid. In the rare moments when he isn't writing, he blogs about Star Trek at The Viewscreen, reads constantly, plays video games, watches films and television, ...more
More about E.C. Myers...

Other Books in the Series

Coin (2 books)
  • Quantum Coin (Coin, #2)

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“Ephraim, it's an incredibly intimate thing to share one of your favorite books with someone else. I think so, anyway."

"How do you mean?"

"Your father gave me a book on our second date, the first gift he ever gave me." She turned to the front page and studied it. "When you give someone a book, it's lie saying: 'I'm trusting you with something that means a lot to me.' It doesn't matter whether you like it or not, though it helps if you do. What matters is that you understand why she likes it. Why she gave it to you.”
“If you can't forgive yourself, how can you expect me to?” 4 likes
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