Author: Wendelin Van Draanen
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 212
Date Published: May 13, 2003
Genre: Middle Grade
Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.
There's a time when all the magic and adventure in high-fantasy books, all the paranormal creatures, all the chaotic world in dystopian books, or all the teen tales of love and drama in contemporaries take a toll on a busy reader. It's nice to take a breather and find a book that will fascinate and relax you at the same time. Flipped just did that for me - it kept me reading, held my interest but reading it did not feel like it was eating up my time.
Told from the wonderful voices of the two main characters, Bryce and Juli, Flipped was able to capture the innocence, sweetness and humor of a childhood crush that was never outgrown. It showed the different lives and beliefs of two very different families. It was able to deliver a cute story that was both simple yet worthwhile. Aside from that, it teaches a lesson of what truly makes a person more than the sum of his/her parts.
So, what is there to love? The author delivered the story at a pace that would probably a bit slow for some, but just right for me. Bryce and Juli's seven-year journey needed that pacing to develop. I also liked how the book was written. Ms. Van Draanen writes with simplicity, and I loved the book for that. The characters, especially Juli, were really fun to read. Juli is one very likable girl - iridescent! She is the oddball, the weird kid, but she was never awkward, or strange, or shy. She exudes the right amount of confidence and charm. She is loving and good, innocent and kind-hearted.
Now on to the story, which I dearly loved. Honestly, the story is nothing uniquely special. The plot generally revolves around Juli's massive crush on Bryce who, on the other hand, tries to avoid Juli at all cost. It all started when Bryce's family moved near the Baker's residence. Juli instantly claimed that she and Bryce were meant to be together. She chased him. He tried to get away from her, pushed her away, but she was persistent. But it was not just their cute little love story that made me love the book. The things that happened in between the bigger story made me love the book even more. The little things that happened in the story just seemed so true, sometimes heartbreaking, other times fulfilling. Plus, every major event gets to be told twice, from both Bryce and Juli's point of view, and you'll see the difference between these two people. Also, the ending... I think it was an amazing way to end the book.
“Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss... But every once in a while, you find someone who's iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare.”