Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
Published by Ember
For Fans of: The movie, cute books and lovely storytelling
My Rating: 5 stars.
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.
Flipped. God, where do I begin with this book? I loved the movie. Love it, actually. I’ve watched it six times now, and will be watching it many times over.
I have this thing where, if I watch the movie adaptation of a movie before reading the book, I’m a little… hesitant to pick the book up, because there’s always a chance that I’ll end up discovering that the book has so much more, and that the movie was just a compact summary of the book that didn’t do the book justice, and that would ruin the movie for me, wouldn’t it?
It’s the main reason it took me so long to read Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. I picked the book up almost a year after I watched the movie. Because, come on, who wants N&NIP ruined for them? Nobody.
But in the end, I plucked up and read the book. And I absolutely adored it – to the point where I actually reread it twice after that. And you know what? Despite the fact that the book had so much more to it and was twice as brilliant as the movie, I’m happy to report that reading the book didn’t ruin the movie for me. Sure, there were some things I wish they’d kept in the movie and some things I wish they’d taken out, but all in all, it was a good adaptation, and I love both versions of the story.
Luckily, Flipped is the same way. The book is charming and delightful and just… so freaking cute. I read it in one sitting, in just a few hours. Because not only is it a quick read, it’s just one of those books that sucks you in. You root for these characters. You want to see where these kids will end up.
Juli’s character absolutely shines in the book, even more so than the movie. Because you’re allowed to see all sides of her, you know? You get to look at her home life and you get to hear more of her thoughts and views on things – you get inside her head a little better. And damn, I wish I was more like Juli Baker when I was twelve (thirteen?)
And Bryce, there’s so much more going on with this kid than I ever realized. The book makes you appreciate his character development so much more. He grows so much during the course of this novel, it’s crazy. And you just can’t help but shed a tear for the personal development here. (I am so, so, so glad he didn’t turn out to be like his father. Honestly)
What I really loved about the book was that it was so simple, so effortlessly charming. I loved how the two narrative voices didn’t make me feel like I was in the same character’s head. Juli was Juli, Bryce was Bryce, and you didn’t miss the lack of indicators at the beginning of the chapter to tell you whose POV you were seeing things from. You know straight off the bat.
I’m going to stop here, because if I continue, this is going to turn into a rave piece, and I’m going to end up with the uncontrollable urge to watch the movie again. Which would be unwise because I’ve got a ton of work to do.
If you’ve watched the movie, and haven’t read the book because of reasons, read it now. If you haven’t watched the movie but read the book, go watch the movie. Because, trust me, you need this kind of cuteness in your life.