Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Review: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

by Wendelin Van Draanen
Publication Date: May 13, 2003
Published by Ember
Pages: 212
Source: Library
Purchase Amazon / Indiebound

 (from Goodreads)

Juli Baker devoutly believes in three things: the sanctity of trees (especially her beloved sycamore), the wholesomeness of the eggs she collects from her backyard flock of chickens, and that someday she will kiss Bryce Loski. Ever since she saw Bryce's baby blues back in second grade, Juli has been smitten. Unfortunately, Bryce has never felt the same. Frankly, he thinks Juli Baker is a little weird--after all, what kind of freak raises chickens and sits in trees for fun? Then, in eighth grade, everything changes. Bryce begins to see that Juli's unusual interests and pride in her family are, well, kind of cool. And Juli starts to think that maybe Bryce's brilliant blue eyes are as empty as the rest of Bryce seems to be. After all, what kind of jerk doesn't care about other people's feelings about chickens and trees? 

My Thoughts

Flipped is one of those books in the bookstores that I have passed over for years, but have never had that much desire to pick up and read. This changed when I found out that the book was made into a movie that I thought would be great to take my nieces and nephew to see. Most often I like to read the book before I see the movie, so I was happy to find the book at a local library.

Cover:  The simplistic cover of the flipped chick does not make me want to hurry up and grab the book to check out what it is about. This is what sparked my initial reluctance. Yeah, it's cute, but it doesn't really tell me anything. The cover that has been released for the movie definitely would have drawn me to it.

Even though the image doesn't stay true to Bryce and Juli's story, it is stunning and is what I imagined Juli saw as she looked out from her treasured sycamore tree.

Favorite Line/Quote/Scene:  This book is filled with lots of memorable moments, but I think one of my favorites is when Bryce is snooping around Juli's backyard with his friend Garrett trying to see if she has a rooster. Bryce is so terrified to speak to Juli that he won't even ask her a simple question like if she has a rooster. Instead, he goes on a not-so-stealth mission to find a rooster with "big feathers and rubbery red stuff."  
I really loved this book and wished that I would have read it sooner. Juli and Bryce, with all of their misunderstandings and differences, are likable characters and I was always left wondering if Bryce would ever warm to Juli's honesty and intensity. Juli's relationships with those around her were very touching and reading about them brought me to tears on more that one occasion. The alternating voices of Juli and Bryce from chapter to chapter demonstrated that, while people may be having a shared experience, their interpretation and emotion during that experience can be completely different. 

I hope that I can encourage my nieces and nephew to read the book too, and I can't wait to see the movie! 

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