Ephraim comes home from school one day and finds his mother near death after taking pills with alcohol. Apparently his mom thought that a bus accident victim at the hospital was Ephraim. It turns out it was Ephraim, but an Ephraim from a different reality. He sneaks into the morgue to check out the body. He finds his wallet, library card, and a coin on the other Ephraim. This coin can grant wishes, and he wishes that his mom would be a better mom. The next morning his mom is cooking breakfast and there is no sign of pill bottles or alcohol. He keeps this information to himself not even sharing it with his best friend Nathan. His next wish is to have the girl who he has had a crush on notice him. The wish kind of works and she does notice him, but not in the way he wanted it. He finally tells Nathan and they agree to both touch the coin when either of them makes a wish. This way they both benefit from it. After several more wishes Ephraim lands in a reality where Nathan is popular and not his best friend. He runs into an older version of Nathan who tells him that each time they make a wish and flip the coin they travel to an alternate reality. There is also a controller which controls which reality they go into and records coordinates of the different realities. The coin by itself just bumps you into the closest reality to the one you are in. This younger version of Nathan is only out for greed and money. He also wants to stop the older Nathan from ever getting the coin and controller back. Ephraim decides to make sure this younger version of Nathan is stopped any way possible. The only way for Ephraim to get back to his own reality is to have the coin and controller, which Nathan has, and he's not going to give them up without a fight.
I do love alternate reality books. They really do make you think about choices the characters have made, or will make and how they affect the story. Will thoses choices make them a better person, or are they making a choice for their own selfish gains? Fair Coin can get a little confusing with all the different realities that are visited, but everything sorts its self out in the end. There is a sequal coming out in October 2012 called Quantum Coin.