The Flip Side by James Bailey

My enormous thanks to Ben McClusky at Midas PR for inviting me to participate in this blog tour for James Bailey’s The Flip Side and for sending me a copy of the book in return for an honest review. I’m delighted to share that review today.

Published in paperback by Penguin on 26th November 2020, The Flip Side is available for purchase through the publisher links here.

The Flip Side

It’s New Year’s Eve and Josh has a high-flying proposal planned. An exclusive pod on the London Eye, with champagne, truffles and the ring. It’s perfect.

Until she says no. And they have to spend the next 29 excruciating minutes alone together.

By the time Josh is back on the ground, his whole life is up in the air. He’s managed to lose his girlfriend, his job and his flat.

Realising he can’t trust his own judgement, Josh puts his faith in fate. From now on he will make every choice by flipping a coin. It’s reckless and scary, but Josh has tried the right way and look where he ended up.

And what if the girl of his dreams is just one flip of a coin away?

My Review of The Flip Side

Josh’s proposal doesn’t quite go according to plan!

My word I loved this book. The Flip Side is unashamedly romantic, funny and totally relatable so that I felt transported from all the doom and gloom of 2020 into a wonderfully entertaining world for a few hours. I truly thought James Bailey’s The Flip Side is the perfect antidote to 2020.

The plot is fast paced and totally engaging. The Flip Side allows the reader to travel, to fall in love with Josh themselves, and to laugh aloud at the Josh’s italicised asides and the scrapes he finds himself in. It’s ever so slightly bonkers too which I loved because it lifted my spirit and brought me joy as well as a surreptitious tear on occasion too. James Bailey has a deft touch at injecting humour at the perfect moment and I thought his direct speech was completely natural and realistic so that I felt I was eaves dropping Josh and all the Js rather than reading about them. There are some comedic moments that are reminiscent of the best of any humorous writing either in books or on television I have encountered.

This isn’t to say that The Flip Side is lightweight whilst being light hearted. James Bailey weaves in considerable depth too as he explores relationships, chance, family, employment, love and friendship. There’s happiness and loss, grief and joy between the pages of The Flip Side that means there’s something for all readers. What struck me was the insightful level of human understanding as a foundation for the narrative that made me love it all the more. Considerable research has gone in to the art theme too so that I felt I was reading something of quality as well as something escapist and entertaining.

Although Josh was undoubtedly my favourite character and his voice absolutely leaps from the page, I found all those I encountered in The Flip Side were warm, vivid people. I had my suspicions that Jessie and Josh might find love together but you’ll have to read The Flip Side to see if I was right! Normally a book where so many characters’ names begin with J would annoy me and I’d find it totally confusing but here they are so distinct that even two Jakes works perfectly.

I loved The Flip Side. It was absolutely the right book at the right moment, filling me with warmth and happiness in a world that has felt quite bleak on occasion this year. I finished James Bailey’s writing feeling positive and with a smile on my face. What could be better than that?

About James Bailey

Born in Bristol, James Bailey began to dream of a writing career following a top mark in a Year 8 English exam, and he soon pursued journalism, starting a student newspaper and a sports website, interviewing athletes including Usain Bolt and Rafa Nadal. This burgeoning career was halted however, when he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a cardiac arrhythmia. Following two operations, James supported the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, carrying the Olympic Torch, running the London Marathon, speaking in the House of Commons, and appearing in BBC1’s Lifeline appeal, alongside pop star Pixie Lott.

Upon moving to London for university, during which time he avoided high rent by living in a Travelodge, James juggled studying Spanish with working as a red carpet reporter, interviewing stars such as George Clooney, Emma Stone and David Beckham.

Following his graduation, he travelled the world, journeying through twenty one countries looking for himself, and hopefully love. Having found neither, he returned home to Bristol, where he founded a walking tour company of the city and began working on his debut novel, having been selected for Curtis Brown Creative’s Six Month Novel Writing Course.

The Flip Side is his debut novel.

You can find James on Instagram, or visit his website for more information. You can follow him on Twitter @JBaileyWrites too.

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