This is such a cute book! I read YA books to clear my mind of heavier non-fiction words on faith or life. But sometimes I need to go a step further and read middle grade stories of children discovering life and romance for the first adorable time. It’s fluffy, poignant, and a fantastic mental palate cleanser.
For all that, though, Flipped is really a very clever book. Alternating chapters reveal the same events from both Bryce’s and Juli’s perspectives. When this is done well (as it is here), the story grows with repetition, adding depth to an otherwise linear plot.
I also really liked the way the kids’ romance was handled. It isn’t a simple matter of Juli loving Bryce from afar until he finally realizes he loves her back. Instead, they both have to see each other for who they are. For Juli, that means seeing Bryce’s imperfections. For Bryce, that means seeing Juli’s talents.
Not only do Juli and Bryce’s opinions of each other flip…the whole book is about seeing people in a new light. Bryce’s grandpa seems like a recluse until he finds a reason to speak up. Juli’s parents seem poor and slovenly until they reveal where their money goes. Bryce’s dad seems like he can control the world, until his dark underside is revealed. No one is easily defined. Everyone has depth. Sometimes you just have to flip your perspective to see it.
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.
Release Date: October 2001