Review: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

There was a typhoon raging outside, and I was squished into a particularly comfortable crevice of the Green Couch. All I needed was a good book. But I had just finished working on my grades (it wasn’t pretty), and my brain was as absorbent as a sheet of plastic. I’d already browsed through a couple of first pages, but nothing would quite stick. Hanna had brought me Flipped by Wendelin van Draanen at the last book exchange, so I decided to give it a go.

When Juli Baker first encounters Bryce Loski, she becomes hooked on his good looks and beautiful blue eyes. The way she sees it, he can do no wrong. On the other hand, Bryce finds Juli annoying and spends most of grade school trying to avoid her. The way he sees it, she is a bossy know-it-all who can’t get a clue. Just when he thinks that being in middle school will free him of this she-bane, things get interesting; views begin to shift.

Wendelin van Draanen spins a tight weave, switching seamlessly between the contrasting perspectives of Juli and Bryce. The story starts simply enough, then unfolds into something more meaningful. The two main characters grow as the story progresses, each learning to look beyond first impressions. This not only applies to each other, but to their immediate environment as well. Bryce discovers light in unexpected places, and Juli understands what it means to look at the big picture. The supporting characters, notably Juli’s family and Bryce’s grandfather, add warmth to the plot.

At first, I thought Flipped would be a light love story. True to its central theme, it surpassed my expectations. It was a blessedly easy read, but offered surprising depth and packed a wallop on heart. It was exactly what my starved soul needed.

This was a post by Kubi, whose battles with The Short Attention Span are almost over.

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