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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Title: Flipped
Author: Wendelin Van Draanen
Series: None
Pages: 224 (Paperback)

Release Date: May 13th 2003
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers

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.

Brilliant. That's what this book is. The moment I started reading the first chapter, I knew I was going to be hooked. I mean, how can one be not enthralled by Bryce?
"All I've ever wanted is for Juli Baker to leave me alone. For her to back off - you know, just give me some space."
Okay. Maybe that was rude. But, seriously. Didn’t that pique your interest? :))

The moment Juli Baker laid eyes on Bryce Loski, it was love. But for Bryce? It was not. Flipped is told in alternating points of view of Juli and Bryce. It was really amusing to get a peek on how these two characters perceive the same situations. Juli seemed a little pathetic as she would constantly misunderstand Bryce's actions. Her brain would make her perceive things from her Bryce fantasies instead of what really happened – a perfect example of an infatuated person. She would keep throwing herself at him thinking that he was just being shy… as if he really has a crush on her.

I really enjoyed both POV's, especially Bryce's. His character development was very much interesting. Even though he was such a jerk to Juli, you can’t deny the fact that this kid is totally adorable. Juli was very naïve, but at the same time, she was very smart and understanding. She was brought up by wonderful parents who taught her so many valuable things in life. Bryce, on the other hand, was brought up by a family whose head had so much influence on him that he unknowingly adapted his rotten attitude. I hated his father with a passion. He was an insensitive jerk who did not value other people’s feelings. Really, Bryce’s bad attitude must be blamed on him. I was really glad that he flipped on the end.

The Loski family might be more logical than the Baker family, who use their hearts and feelings more often over their minds, unlike the Loskis. But when the two families are compared, I realized that the Loskis were actually more naïve than the Bakers. At the beginning of the book, I’ve always questioned the Baker family; why do this? Why do that? Didn’t they know that it’s not the right thing to do to a neighbor? And other things like that. I was certain that I didn’t want a neighbor like them. I thought that their family was very ignorant, but as the story goes on, I flipped. I thought the Baker family was the best family ever. No kidding. The way they brought up their kids was (for the lack of word) very cool. And I came to realize just how well above the Bakers are from the Loskis; that their family was the more ignorant one. I truly admire the Baker family.

This book teaches the readers a lot of things about family, and life in general. It teaches us to count our blessings because a simple mishap could change our lives forever. It also teaches us to look at the bigger picture of things instead of looking at the individual parts - like what happened to Bryce and Juli. For 6 years, Juli had been swayed by the bright blue color of Bryce’s eyes. It became the basis of her feelings for him. She failed to realize that his attitude made him less than what she perceived him to be. I am truly glad that Bryce has overcome the cowardness, and just be himself – the one that was not influenced by his father. I was pretty happy that he found his true self at the end. But that aside, I was slightly disappointed with how the book ended. Not because it was awful, but because it was left open-ended. I really wished it would go on forever…

Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository

About the Author:
Wendelin Van Draanen (born January 6, 1965, Chicago, Illinois) is an American author of children's books. She lives in California with her husband Mark Parsons and two sons, Colton and Connor. The daughter of chemists who emigrated to the U.S. from Holland, she worked as a math teacher and then as a high school computer science teacher before becoming a full-time writer. Her books feature spunky lead characters and very real classroom dialogue. Van Draanen is probably best-known for her Sammy Keyes series of novels, featuring a teenage detective named Samantha ("Sammy") Keyes. Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief won the 1999 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Mystery. In 2004-2005 Van Draanen wrote a four-book series for younger readers called Shredderman, about a 5th grade boy who assumes a secret identity to help him win the battle for truth and justice. These two series manage to be character driven and very funny while featuring fast-paced plots. Van Draanen also wrote the standalone teen romance Flipped in a he-said she-said style with the two protagonists alternately presenting their perspective on a shared set of events. Her book, Runaway, is about a girl named Holly who tries to escape from her latest foster home. He latest book that was released December 2008, is Sammy Keyes and the Hard Cash.

Stalk the Author: Goodreads / Website


You have no idea just how in love I am with Callan McAullife. That cute dude who played Bryce in the movie. God, I've been swooning over him for weeks now! He's so adorable I think I'm gonna cry! Lol.



Sakura Sandra said...

I saw this movie and it was pretty cute. My husband even liked it and this usually isn't his kind of movie. :)

-Sandra from http://sandrathenookworm.blogspot.com

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