Flipped (by Wendelin Van Draane) 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.
When I first watched the movie Flipped, probably over a decade ago even, I thought it was the most charming, most lovely movie ever. I think I watched it three times that week. I didn’t actually know it was based off a book until a couple of weeks ago when I saw it on my coworkers shelf and asked if I could borrow because, like I mentioned, I absolutely loved the movie.
The book itself is also delightful and it put a smile on my face. It’s generally a simple read but has some poignant lessons and thoughtful quotes that surprised me, like:
“I think my mom feels sorry for Mrs Baker- she says she married a dreamer, and because of that, one of the the two of them them will always be unhappy”
Anyway, it wasn’t necessarily a page turner but it was a sweet and light read that was a good start to the year.
I found both main characters, Juli and Bryce, quite annoying. Not because there is anything wrong with them, but because they are children (then teens) and that would mean I find them and things they do, slightly childish. Which I guess is some sort of backhanded compliment – Van Draane was able to write kids just being kids, coming of age and falling in love.
Juli is one of those “different from other girls” because she’s super smart and raises chickens and climbs up sycamore trees. I found it only slightly over done but trust me it’s not as jarring as I’m making it sound. Anyway, she has a huge infatuation on Bryce because he has the bluest eyes (s/o Toni Morrison – I’ll read that one day) or whatever. But over time she starts to see him as a real person and that infatuation just fluctuates throughout the book. Side note; her whole family is a breathe of fresh air though- especially as compared to Bryce’s.
Bryce on the other hand is such a prick at first. I get that sometimes Juli comes onto him a bit heavy handed, but gawd he’s just really douche-y in the beginning. However reading more about his family life, you sort of understand why he’s like that because his father is even douchier. Still, his character development is quite nice to see as he also starts to see that his father is an actual prick. I think it’s decently executed, cause it’s done over time and not in one go.
I found the dual POV better done than most, because Juli and Bryce’s interpretations of events were solely their own. They would interpret the same situations differently and build on each other’s perspectives e.g. they were times one of them would add or remove parts of the conversations they were having when they retold the event from their POV and I just found that well done.
Overall, I think it’s alright for the kind of book it is. I enjoyed it but I wish I had read it in my early teens. I would have definitely loved it more back then. Right now though, I’d recommend it to someone who wants to get (back) into reading or is looking for something short and sweet to get by really fast.
3 out of 5 stars (and I’ll definitely be re-watching the movie).
4 thoughts on “Flipped: A book review”
The quote you included caught me so off guard based on the synopsis ? Not sure it’s my thing but I enjoyed your review.
Caught me off guard when I read it too? I doubt it’s your thing. But years ago, I wouldn’t be surprised if you liked it.