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Teen Picks: “Flipped” by Wendelin Van Drannen

Flipped by Wendelin Van Drannen

What is it about? 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.

Why did you think of it and why did you pick it up? I chose to read Flipped at this time mostly because of the KU Literature Fest that is going on in October, which I am super excited for because I didn’t go last year and I sort of regret not doing so. Although it has been on my to-read list for a while now. I had already seen the movie (which I desperately wish I hadn’t done. NEVER watch the movie before the book. Especially if you had wanted to read the book before they even thought about making a movie) therefore I knew what to expect, but it was still worth the read. There really is no other way to describe this book other than positively sweet. It contained everything that a book about young love should and nothing else.

I read a lot of romance/coming-of-age novels where the protagonist is about sixteen or seventeen and that’s fine, but at the same time the romance aspect is different. It’s not necessarily going to be cute or innocent, and most times it isn’t. Because I have read those kinds of books my standards and views on love is very different from kids my age. In good and bad ways. I know that since I’m only in eighth grade I’m probably not going to fall in love so I shouldn’t pretend like I am. I also now believe that soul mates exist which isn’t always good because what if I never find that person? What if I end up ignoring someone incredible because my standards were too high? Now you see what I mean when I say that Flipped was a wonderful break from that.

The meaning was very relevant to kids my age, as well. Yes, it was obvious but occasionally subtlety really is overrated. Flipped was about accepting change, growing up and discovering who you are and also seeing people for what they are really made of. Surprisingly, I ended up enjoying Bryce’s chapters’ more than Julie’s. Bryce actually changed quite a bit and being able to catch a glimpse into a boy’s mind as he is making a serious internal change was intriguing. Julie, however, didn’t have to change immensely because she already had an advanced, deep-thinking mind.

The switching point-of-views (POV’s) was the one factor I was a tad iffy on. The chapters often overlap and that can be fascinating, but at times boring as well. Maybe it bugged me slightly because I had already seen the movie which is awesome and exactly like the book. The switching POV’s did help me to see the transformation (or lack of) that each character underwent.

In the end, reading this novel was sort of like reading The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski. It surprised me with the little details and caused me to realize that I don’t always have to read scandalous romance novels (They aren’t actually that scandalous. I promise.)

Star Rating: 3 Stars: It was okay.

I would suggest this for: Fifth and sixth graders looking for a sweet read

Review by: Lauren B

Thanks for the review, Lauren!

This review is also posted at Books that Smolder.

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