Review: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen


Flipped

Flipped is like the cutest thing ever! This was one of my very first chick lits, and I was enticed by the minimalistic cover (which is actually really clever, once you read through the book!). The flipped symmetry of the narratives and the push-pull romance are really well done, and this story shows you that good books don’t necessarily need to be lengthy; a simplistic yet deep story that’s funny and endearing.

Introduction

The first time she saw him, she flipped. The first time he saw her, he ran. That was the second grade, but not much has changed by the seventh. She says: “My Bryce. Still walking around with my first kiss.” He says: “It’s been six years of strategic avoidance and social discomfort.” But in the eighth grade everything gets turned upside down. And just as he’s thinking there’s more to her than meets the eye, she’s thinking that he’s not quite all he seemed.

Discussion

I think this is my second time using the original book summary for the Introduction… but in this case, it’s because the summary (and the cover!) were what made me pick up this book back when I was in my early teens. I really like the push-pull and impossible relationship tropes because I like the angst and the torture of WHY ARE THEY NOT TOGETHER ALREADY, and Flipped fits that fairly well, haha. Except the fact that The Boy is a big douchebag for the majority of the book and I was like JULI why do you like him?? But anyway.

Juli Baker is a wonderful person, with awesome parents and cooler-than-cool older brothers. She’s not afraid of being herself, and her bravery and stubbornness is exemplified multiple times in the book. With such a great female protagonist, I had no idea why Bryce, The Boy, was so freaked out by her. (Oh right, he met her in second grade, the time period in which the opposite sex always has cooties. And it didn’t help that Juli kept chasing him around and thinking that he was interested…)

Bryce Loski is, according to Juli, the most beautiful human being in the world. And in the 2010 film adaptation (see trailer here), Callan McAuliffe is pretty cute…

But as The Boy, Bryce annoyed me quite a bit because he was like all of the boys his age – embarrassed about hanging out with a girl, and constantly needed to look cool. He’s more tolerable once he’s older, and I like seeing the transitions in both Juli and Bryce’s attitudes towards each other and towards the people around them throughout the seven years of the story. The two main characters’ families are also full of personality and drama, and I really liked them! Especially Bryce’s cranky old grandpa who doesn’t talk much, but when he does, his words are pure gold.

Juli and Bryce’s relationship is the main focus of the story, and I love that there’s no insta-love; it takes them seven years to sort out their feelings (or lack of feelings), and it’s the kind of story of the next-door-neighbor or childhood friend that most of us can relate to. There’s no melodrama or lengthy reflections on each other’s appearance, just the normal boy girl thing. (Oops, sorry about the movie reference, for anyone who got that!)

Conclusion

Flipped is a funny, touching, and sweet story about a boy and a girl and their relationship. It’s charming in its simplicity and its great cast of characters, and the plot is solid. If you enjoy good character growth/development and a strong female protagonist, give this one a try! (Oh, and there are chickens involved. You’ve been warned.)

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16 thoughts on “Review: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

  1. I’ve seen this book so many times over the years, but for some reason I’ve never actually picked it up. I’ll definitely have to add it to my TBR list now that I know it’s worth reading! Great review! 🙂

    • Thanks, Holly! I hope you get a chance to read it – I came across this one by pure coincidence… funny how sometimes you just kind of run into books that you end up liking, haha! 😉

  2. I love this book!I actually watched the movie first…which I shouldn’t have, but I guess it’s too late now.LOL Julie and Bryce are adorable and the book is just so cute overall. Although the ending could have been better.

    • Wahhh I still need to watch the movie! Did you think the movie stayed true to the book? I actually liked the ending because it shows hope for their relationship in the future, which is pretty realistic given the pretty bad things that Bryce had done.

      • Yes.Probably one of the few movie adaptations that I read that was really close to the book..There were probably like few differences like some name changes but overall it stayed true to the plot and the important details.

  3. I remember SUPER loving this when I read it back in middle school or high school. I can’t remember many of the details, but I think it reminded me a bit of Stargirl now that I’m thinking about it. I haven’t seen the film – is it any good?

    • I haven’t watched the film version of Flipped yet, Elizabeth! I really want to though; the gifs make it look so good! And omg, STARGIRL!!! I remember thinking that it was quite strange and confusing (and less straightfoward?) when I read it ages ago, but I still distinctly remember the cover, haha.

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