Book Club: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen



One day, on my way home from school, I went to a bookstore to see what were the books on bargain sale. Fortunately for me, I discovered this book, Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen. Lost in the sea of the same titles with the movie tie-in covers, I was lucky to purchase a copy with the original cover. I came back the other day to buy one for a blockmate, but even the ones with the movie tie-in covers were all sold-out.

I heard a lot from my friends that the book is great. They liked it very much and I've seen good reviews and praises for the book online so I've expected a lot from it.. which is a mistake. *sighs*

Title: Flipped 
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Romance 
Format: Print (Paperback) 
Pages: 212 
Links: Goodreads Wikipedia 
My Rating: ★★★✩✩

Disclaimer: This review is honest, not sponsored and may or may not contain spoilers. Also, the image you see on the left is not mine.


S y n o p s i s


When Bryce Loski moves into the neighborhood, Juli Baker flips. He's the cutest thing she's ever seen. As elementary school gives way to middle school, Juli's crush persists as does Bryce's avoidance of his annoying neighbor. And then they start to see each other for who they truly are. Told in alternating boy/girl chapters, this is a story about passion, perspective, and family, and getting to the heart of what matters. 


R e v i e w


It took me months to finish the book. I neglected it often because I didn't have the motivation to read the book but I want to finish it. To be honest, I'm glad I finished it because the dynamic of the story near the end changed my views about the book. Until the last quarter part, it was quite annoying to read. Thank goodness, character development happened and everything got better.

Aesthetics
Before diving into the heavy stuff, let's talk about design. I like the cover. It has minimalism; the photo of the little chick is flipped. I loved it more since the chick is related to the story, which is a very nice touch. In my copy, there is this sticker that says "Now a major motion picture" which kinda destroys the cover but I don't want to ruin the book by removing the sticker so I didn't.

The font was nice. It's not just simply readable but it is also quite nice to look at, specially when the text is italicized. What is the name of this font face anyway? If you do know, then I'll appreciate it if you tell me. *smiles* I really, really like it, but I kinda wished they've changed the font for Juli's perspective, like in The Lorien Legacies books. But I guess it's okay since I like uniformity, too.

Author's Writing Style
So here goes what I think of the plot: I actually think it's cute. But I am pretty disappointed because the pacing was so bad (at least for me). I mean, it took me months before I finish the book because every time I attempt to read it, I get bored easily. Sorry to say, but that's what really happened. Actually, the idea of narrating the story into two perspectives is quite idiosyncratic, but over time, it annoyed me so hard. It was like I get to read a particular story, twice in a row, with no changes. It's unique and cute, but eventually, I disliked it. I have read so many books that has two or more characters narrating their respective stories and some of them, I actually can read within 24 hours. But what's wrong with this book and it made me so mad at one point? Maybe it's the level of maturity of the two characters.

I guess I didn't really like to read books with "immature" or maybe, "innocent" child characters. I hate stupid and annoying characters and they make me want the author to kill them off. Some people may find these character images to be cute but with Flipped, for me, the author forget how to balance it out. While reading the book, I got to a point where I was totally like "I'm too old for this, I'm out". I will never forget how frustrated I was back then.

A miracle happened and the character development was so good that I almost cried when the characters of the story evolved and their way of thinking changed for the better. Thankfully, I didn't give up this book and I got to read about how they've changed. Wendelin Van Draanen, I almost wondered and doubted why everyone liked your story. Almost. You saved it.

I'll be honest, I hated Juli Baker. She was really annoying at first but like Bryce Loski, I started to like her and realize that she was an amazing character. I was blinded by my and Bryce's first impressions and judged Juli by that standards. Fortunately, I flipped. I now, think of her as a brave, young child. She isn't afraid to do and pursue the things (and the people) she loves. She doesn't fear the opinions of other people and continues to fight for what are important to her. She is also not frightened to show her true feelings.

On the other hand, Bryce, became a coward in my eyes. I didn't particularly favor him as a character and I don't agree with the stupid decisions he say and make in the book. But I do understand how children act. Been there, done that. I was a child once, after all.

Story & Plot
I did like the concept and the plot. It's cute and a little bit of drama added to spice up the story. The thing about Juli's family's situation because of her Uncle David? That's realistic. Health insurance and medical bills are difficult to handle. I'm awed by the fact that they do care about their family relative that is ill, because not all people are lucky like that and that's a sad truth.

I'm hoping that people (who have read this book or not) should realize that there is so much more behind the smiles of the people they interact daily with. People somehow become insensitive and close-minded when it comes to this kind of topic. I know that they are kids, immaturity is a given, but people shouldn't make jokes like what Garett (I actually had to google the names of the characters since I forgot them already.) made while talking to Bryce. Don't be like them and be mature enough to stand for what is right or wrong. 

Moreover, the settings were nice. I kinda like realistic fictions which were set in the 90's. Thank goodness for some of the movie stills I've seen, because of that I was able to picture Callan McAullife (Bryce) and Madeline Carroll (Juli) in my head while reading the book. Callan is so handsome, right? I really like him specially when he played the role of Sam Goode from the I Am Number Four film. *fangirling* Anyway, I liked the settings, but there isn't really much out of it like something unexpected. Maybe I'm just too into adventure books, heh.

For The Reader
It's quite entertaining, I guess. I have had a few laughs here and there, but it made me grit my teeth and bored me almost to death. I've actually told the reasons above so I won't repeat it again. I don't want this review to be more of a hateful one so I'll end the list of disappointments here.

It's just 200-something pages so I have expected myself to finish this within a week but it took me months because my first impression wasn't good so I wasn't motivated to read this. It wasn't a page-turning book for me, at least. To think that I finished this because I didn't have anything to do outside the operating room in a hospital, that's an accomplishment. It's just not my cup of tea.

Loved & Hated Parts
I think I talked about all of the things I hated about the book so I'll go with the ones I liked. The first one is the first time Bryce actually realized that he can't stop thinking about Juli. I had feels, really. I like the idea that Bryce, out of nowhere, started to like Juli. Juli wasn't even doing anythingㅡshe was actually avoiding Bryce back then. When I read that part, I was like, "YES! FINALLY!".

The second one is that when Juli and her dad visited her Uncle David in his home. It moved me. I like it so much. As I have said this earlier but the situation of the people and families who are in the same boat as the Baker's.. I just want people to understand. *wipes tears* I get emotional over this kind of things. People with mental illnesses do not deserve to be seen as jokes. I'll say this one last time: Kids, teens, adults, everybody, please don't make jokes about mental illnesses. Please don't, because mental illness is a serious illness.

The final one is when Bryce decided to leave his lunch dates and went to Juli's table to grab her arm away from it and ask her if she likes Jon. I mean, that's so sweet, even if Bryce is a coward (in her eyes). AND BRYCE EVEN TRIED TO KISS JULI! INSIDE THE LUNCH HALL! IN FRONT OF MANY PEOPLE! I mean, whoa. Best freakin' part ever? A guy I really like for years ditches his dates and asks me if I like this one guy I'm hanging out with and then tries to kiss me.. I will be really confused like her, but I am sure that a part of me will be giggling. Yep. Now that I've thought of it, did Bryce get a punishment for that? I mean, detention or something? Shouldn't he get one for causing trouble? No? Oh well.

F i n a l  T h o u g h t s


In conclusion, it's a shame that I am not willing to give Flipped more than three stars. The author was somehow cruel for ending the story that way, because I wanted more! Maybe if she didn't end it that fast from the climax and continued the love story between Bryce and Juli, I would have given this another star. 

Now that I'm finished with the book, I will watch the movie soon, hoping that it'll be so good that it'll make me change my mind and reread Flipped again. I actually recommend this book if you are searching for a light read and/or about teen romance.

And this is it for today's post. I'm glad that a full-length review of a full-length book after a review for a one-paged letter was made and posted. Have you read my Jace's Letter by Cassandra Clare review? If you have more time, please give it a quick read. Thank you for reading this review and I hope I'll see you around next time. Have a nice day.

♥, Lix

COMMENTS

2 comments:

  1. returning the visit!
    you have a lovely blog~~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Your blog is lovely, too! :)

      Delete