BOOK REVIEW – Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

BOOK REVIEW – Flipped by Wendelin Van DraanenFlipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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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

Don’t you ever want to say “this is JUST me!” and then realize that maybe, just maybe, you’d better keep your mouth shut because it might change how people see you? Yeah? Because that’s what I feel right now.

Okay let’s go. Ready?

“She didn’t just barge into my life. She barged and shoved and wedged her way into my life.”

Juli is just like me! Like I was, anyway.
The girl can’t take a no for an answer? ✔
The girl can’t take a hint? ✔
The girl is an annoying, know-it-all prep pupil? … ✔
The girl can be clingy as hell when she decided that that boy was amazing? Hmm … sorry the nameless guy at this summer camp

Okay give me a break, this was me from 6 to 13. Fortunately I learnt in high school that if you didn’t chase boys, they chased you. But that’s another story.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is this : in my honest opinion Juli has such a refreshing, believable and relatable voice that I couldn’t help but love her from the very beginning. She is clingy, annoying as fuck, yes, but loyal, funny, daring and did I say that she was relatable? Yeah? I think I suggested it. Somehow. No?

▧ Moreover, her family was a real breath of fresh air – especially her parents, who were – wait for it – present (I know, astounding) and in my opinion they share great morals and values, without never being moralizing. Oh, and Bryce’s granddad?

Best. Human. Yoda. Ever. (or something)

Bryce now. Oh, Bryce. What an amazing evolution you showed us! From the judgmental (but hilarious) little boy who’s afraid of Juli (yes, I said afraid, deal with it boy!) to the … Well, a little less afraid teenager? Now, let’s face it, he was really believable. I remember my baby brother being teased about a (girl) friend he had in elementary school – he hated that. Like, hated-hated it (he remembers). So, the “Juli and Bryce are kissing in a treeeeeee”? Yep. I can understand. Anyway, I loved how we get to see the slow changes in his personality and found them gradual and believable.

The chapters are organized in alternative POV, and we basically get the same events related first by one of them and then by the other one. Frankly, whilst I found often interesting to see how the same events could be perceived differently (really, really, differently, trust me), it was tiring at times and I had to stop me from skimming some parts. I mean, I see what the author is trying to do and it’s a success most of the time but it’s difficult for the story not to drag.

Oh, but maybe you want me to talk about the plot? Yes? At first sight, it seems pretty simple :

✘ Girl meets Boy (at 7)
✘ Girl is obsessed with Boy

✘ Boy tries to escape Girl’s attention…

… a very long time.

✘ Boy realizes that Girl is pretty great, in fact

End of story? Hahahaha NO.

✘ Because Girl gave up on him on the road.

“All my life she’d been there, waiting to be avoided, and now it was like I didn’t even exist”

▧ I loved this story. It was exactly the good level of cuteness and laughter without never being cheesy. For real, that’s one of the first time where a book is making me want to see a movie (apparently its’ really famous? Lmao, I ask because I have almost no movie knowledge. Not that kind of movie anyway).

This book is young-adult but on the middle-grade side, and I know it will stop a lot of readers, because we’re all grown-up and all that stuff, but under the fluffy cute layers, what we find are questions about difference, appearances, judgments : why do we like people? How our parents’ or friends’ opinion can influence us? Are we always looking at the bigger picture? (no) To be frank, I was ridiculously impressed and surprised to see how meaningful this story could be. How endearing and moving.

▧ While I could understand Bryce’s reactions (okay, Juli can be a little overwhelming – emphasis on overwhelming, not on little. Well really, I only wrote little to be nice. Kind of. Oh, whatever) Juli shows so much kindness to him that even though I was mostly smiling throughout my read, I suddenly reached a point where I found myself the stomach in knots because the bastard didn’t want her eggs.

▧ All that is to say that if the entertaining side of the story is obvious from the start, trust me, the story has more layers than it appears and manage to feel so real at some point that you can’t help but feel involved, you can’t help but care. Deeply.

“I tried to convince the kids at the bus stop to climb up with me, even a little ways, but all of them said they didn’t want to get dirty. Turn down a chance to feel magic for fear of a little dirt? I couldn’t believe it”

This book made me so happy, I would recommend it to everyone : you, teenagers, adults who want to smile – yes, it’s a middle-grade book. So what? Do you think that New Adult is deeper? I don’t.

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  1. Vane J.

    Lol, I didn’t know there was a chicken on the cover! xD Great review, btw. Am intrigued.
    Vane J. recently posted…Review: UprootedMy Profile

    • Anna

      Haha isn’t it cute? 😀 Thank you Vane! Books like this show me why I have to try middle-grade sometimes – I wouldn’t be able to read only that for sure but sometimes it seems right 🙂

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