Author: Wendelin Van Draneen
“If chaos is a necessary step in the organization of one’s universe, then I was well on my way.”
I have read “Flipped” five times now, and each time I get the urge to pull a “Hazel Grace Lancaster” of John Green’s “The Fault In Our Stars”. It’s unfortunate that I can’t board a plane to California, march into Wendelin Van Draneen’s home, and demand her to tell me what happened after the book ended, or at least convince her to write a sequel. There is nothing that makes you flip like a bittersweet, hopeful, beautiful cliffhanger. “Flipped” is a recount of the same events, but told in two different points of view. It follows the lives of Bryce Loski and Juli Baker from the time they are in the second grade up to when they are in the eighth grade. Although “Flipped” targets a young audience, I believe older readers will find the main theme very relevant, since they experience “change” too.
In “Flipped”, I got to witness the main characters transform from people who mostly cared about physical appearances and first impressions to people who cared about what was underneath the surface too. To quote the book’s author, they finally understood that “A painting was more than the sum of its parts”. To Bryce, Julie had always been a smart, bossy, nightmare that had “no concept of personal space” as he liked to put it, until a series of events made him realize that he had never bothered to know her as a person. To Juli, Bryce had always been the blue-eyed handsome boy who was meant to be her best friend/boy friend. It’s not until a series of events happen that she finally looks past the dreamy blue eyes; that she realizes she had liked a person she didn’t know at all for a very long time. Although I have read many books where characters grow and transform into different people, nothing was like “Flipped” because their change was so much more personal and gradual.
Furthermore, Wendelin Van Draneen’s use of vivid sensory details made the story extremely enjoyable, even though I couldn’t relate to any of the characters. From the way Bryce tells it, you can actually think Juli brought a machete and used physical force to break and enter into his life. I really felt his discomfort when he showed how much Juli bothered him. The opening lines of the book demonstrate it; “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”. As if that is not enough, Flipped has some of the most beautiful quotes I have ever read in a book. The quotes range from beauty and individuality to inspiration and transformation. My favorite quote from the book is:
“But in my heart I knew the old Bryce was toast. There was no going back. Not to Garrett or Shelly or Miranda or any of the people who wouldn’t understand”.
I loved this quote particularly because it shows that true change leaves no desire of ever turning back.
“Flipped” is not like Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons” which keeps you glued to your seat until you’re done reading or at least halfway through the book. However, it is the kind of book you still think about, even days after you finish reading it. At least I did. As I conclude, “Flipped” will always be special to me not only because of how important the main theme is to me, but also because of how the message is delivered; in a deep, personal, humorous tone that moves the reader. I hope you guys read it; you will definitely savor every moment spent flipping the pages.