I first heard about Flipped when I was in college, when one of my classmates mentioned how great the book and movie were. Being the bookworm I am, I decided to read the book when it came up on the DC library’s website.

Written  American author Wendelin Van Draanen, Flipped tells the story of Juli Baker and Bryce Loski, two grade schoolers who live across the street from each other. Although the two are not friends, they regularly interact over the years, with Juli having a big crush on Bryce, although he doesn’t reciprocate it. As the years pass though, Bryce comes to terms about why he cares about Juli and his true feelings toward her. I consider it the classic love story, but through the eyes of grade schoolers.

This novel is written in the style of alternating perspectives of Juli and Bryce. I found both of their accounts of second through eighth grade hilarious, because it reminded me of many events from my childhood, from climbing trees in the neighborhood to hatching baby chicks in the first grade classroom.Van Draanen is very gifted at writing from both a girl and boy perspective, and capturing the aura of what childhood is like.

When it comes to the messages of the story, Van Draanen handled many of them delicately. One example is when Bryce’s father regularly judges appearance of the Baker’s home and personalities, without knowing the true reason behind their financial situation. Bryce later finds out what Juli’s uncle has special needs  and requires extra care. When he tells his father, who reacts by saying “no wonder they’re like that,” his remark horrifies Bryce. I liked how Van Draanen wasn’t afraid of portraying the realistic tense moments between children and their parents.

I definitely recommend this novel to anyone who appreciates love stories and reading about grade school adventures. I’ll for sure be checking out the movie adaptation.

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