Book Club Pick: August 2018
Author: Wendelin Van Draanen
Series: Stand alone novel
Country: United States of America
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
First Published: 2001
The first time she saw him, she flipped. The first time he saw her, he ran.
And from the second grade to the seventh, that’s how it was. She says: “My Bryce. Still walking around with my first kiss.” He says: “It’s been six years of strategic avoidance and social discomfort.”
But in the eighth grade, their views of the world – and each other – turned upside. He says: “I’d spent so many years avoiding Juli Baker that I’d never really looked at her, but now I couldn’t stop.” And she says: “I felt a cold, hard knot tighten in my heart. I was through with Bryce Loski.
Is there hope for happiness in junior high? Have you flipped?
Bryce Loski and Juli Baker have known each other since he moved in across the road the summer before second grade. When Juli first sees him she knows that he will be her first kiss. Bryce has been trying to avoid her ever since.
This continues until in the eighth grade when the characters views of each other begin to change. Bryce begins to look at Julie in a different way and realises she is not what he thought. Unfortunately Julie’s view is also changing – she is beginning to realise that this Bryce is not the boy she thought he was.
The narrative is told with Bryce and Julie alternating chapters each giving their perspective – a he-said-she-said narrative. This can be risky for an author to do because it can slow down the pace of the novel with characters retelling the same points of plot. Van Draanen does a good job at offering two different perspectives in an entertaining and often amusing way. Also at just over 200 pages it is a relatively quick and easy read.
Flipped is going to most likely appeal to younger teens. Although an older nostalgic reader might recognise something in the characters and think was I like that at that age?
A film adaptation directed Rob Reiner and starring Callan McAuliffe and Madeline Carroll was released in 2010.
Source: I borrowed this book from my public library.