I’ve heard, known and read rave reviews about Wendelin Van Draanen’s book since I was in college and never tried to read it no matter how interesting (or minimalist) the cover because I used to read only general fiction titles–I’m like into ‘mature‘ stuff when I was in college, feeling mature. And finally, four years later and older, I picked up Van Draanen’s Flipped. This book is in a he-said, she-said format like my favorite book, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, so I expected that I will like this also. It’s about love at first sight when Juli Baker met this new neighbor named Bryce Loski. She followed him in the next six years everywhere and funny to see how annoyed a little boy can be when a girl is clingy like that. She isn’t actually what you called a stalker because it’s her first time to have someone her age in the neighborhood! She just wanted a playmate, not a ‘boyfriend‘. Bryce hated Juli and tried to avoid her with all his might, try to ridicule her with his friends, and even tried to be with a girl who Juli hates! But years passed by, Bryce learn to know more about Juli and realized that she turned his world upside-down—FLIPPED— and he doesn’t hate Juli after all! But everything backfired and Julie hates him now because she was wrong about Bryce. He isn’t the guy she’s thinking of. You see how once person can easily judge or idealize another person without actually knowing them carefully? This happens to people all the time. Admit it, sometimes, we hate—or dislike, if the word hate is too strong for you—somebody because they’re noisy, annoying, being poor, or simply just being him/herself. Furthermore, we love somebody because we thought that this person is good-looking and really nice but turned out to be a big jerk? Lesson #1, know more about the person rather than judging them or idealizing them.
Ah, it’s about love. Young, free and innocent love. This book reminds me of my life as a kid with my first crush whom I follow everywhere (but not as bold as Juli!) and how I blush whenever I see him or how my stomach have butterflies. A good feeling when I was a kid which I don’t normally experience now that I am around my twenties. I mean, when I was a kid, I had crushes because they’re good-looking, cute or just really cute but now, as I grow older, it changes. I look for guys who aren’t just good-looking, pa-cute or blue-eyed, but for a person who has principles in life, mature in handling situations and emotions and more importantly, a God-fearing one.
“Get beyond his eyes and his smile and the sheen of his hair—look at what’s really there.”
What struck me most in the book was Bryce. He’s the kind of person who always run away when things got out of hand. Like the said situation, he resort to avoiding Juli and ridiculing her (and his uncle) behind her back but not confront or apologize to her. I can feel my disappointment rise on Bryce while reading the book but I can’t blame him, he’s a kid after all! But I got so proud of him at the end of the book. He learned what he needs to learn in the long run. Take that, Juli!
Anyway, I enjoyed this one but I think I’ll enjoy it more if I read this book when I was younger (ah, regrets for hurrying to be a grown-up). This is story is cute but not too cute or cheesy. A realistic love story that is innocent and imperfect.
Book # 37
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen