Down The Book Cubbyhole

The Geeky Adventures of a Bookish Girl

Flipped—Wendelin Van Draanen


I’m such a huge sucker of the 2010 movie adaptation starring my boyfriend Callan McAuliffe and Madeline Carroll. I’ve watched it a dozen times but still can’t get enough of Bryce who still manages to creep into my usual reveries. I’ve flipped indefinitely, that’s for sure. 🙂

I have this frequent tendency of discovering books through the movies I watch, and Flipped was no exception. Be that as it may, I think watching the movie first before reading the book has its advantages—one can have a definite picture of the characters and a clear-cut representation of the backdrop (The sycamore tree for instance; I wouldn’t know what a sycamore tree is, save for watching the movie). In this case, however, Bryce in the movie is blonde while the book depicts him as dark-haired. Julie on the other hand, isn’t as clearly described as Bryce in the book—all we know is that she has brown hair. However, watching the movie first before reading the book has its drawbacks nonetheless—you’re forced to believe that everything the reel allowed you to see will be consistently executed in the book. And that sucks, you know.

Perchance the most intricate phase in a person’s life, being a teenager shoots off an earsplitting yet unspeaking commotion surreptitiously lurking within the bounds of your already bursting self. That stirring affair is where all the teenage angst fires up. You say teenagers are difficult, strange—but weren’t you teenagers just the same?

The novel follows a bildungsroman story of sorts, where two teenagers—particularly neighbors and acquaintances since childhood—live through the complexities of being young and eventually unearthed the more valuable things in life typically overlooked by the superficial crowd. The moment Julie looked into those beautiful blue eyes, she flipped. Bryce on the other hand wasn’t at all interested at the thought of Julie; in fact, he spent most of his years running away from her. Seeing things differently for the first time, Julie realizes that Bryce isn’t really as amazing as what she thought he is—the same instant when Bryce fully realizes how great a person Julie truly is.

The story kicks off as an adorably cute puppy love story but shortly transforms into a reflective piece of literature as soon as the characters were confronted with “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” stuff. Sure, a person’s outer shell appeals to anyone, but to fancy someone because of something as trivial as physical beauty? A silly misconception, that is. Look what it did to Mrs. Loski—marrying a well-off, good-looking man, with no decent personality at all. If not for Bryce’s redemption in the end, he would most likely become a man like Mr. Loski at some point.

The whole “sum of its parts” thingy, though it speaks philosophically, doesn’t sound preachy at all. The characters’ transition from shallow personas to profundity was realistically portrayed. Since the characters are very young, the author managed to fashion the significant evolution bit by bit, how young people would normally respond to such circumstances—a slightly lengthy moment of confusion and contemplation before the eventual transformation. I wish I’ve read this a few years earlier, during my times of great uncertainty—because just like the former Julianna Baker, I used to get easily drawn by good looks. 🙂

I was already expecting the cliffhanger ending, since the movie ends in the same way, though not identically alike. I wish I could’ve seen more of the burgeoning connection of the two and I would also love to see more of Mr. Loski because it seems like he has his own issues deeply concealed under his rudely manners.

A five-star rating nonetheless. 🙂


Rating: ★★★★★

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