Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen: A Comfort Story about Families, Growing Up, and Seeing Things for More Than the Sum of Its Parts

"One's character is set at an early age.
The choices you make now will affect you for the rest of your life.
I hate to see you swim out so far you can't swim back."

In some rare cases where I watched a book-to-movie adaptation before reading it first, I would obviously try my hardest to detach my mind from the way the motion picture took shape as an attempt to still be objective when imagination doesn't come in very handy. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen is one of those stories I saw first before deciding to read it, and I'll admit, it's pretty hard to be imaginative when you've had almost every scene imprinted in your mind.

Taking the voice of both Juli Baker and Bryce Loski alternately, Flipped begins in the second grade when Bryce was the new boy in town. With his blue eyes he charms his neighbor across the street: the enthusiastic Juli Baker who has since been convinced that it is love that binds her feeling toward him. Bryce, in contrast, finds that pretty much embarrassing. He tries to avoid Juli as much as he can until eighth grade happens and everything eventually... flips.

""Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss...."
He turned to me.
"But every once in a while, you find someone who's iridescent,
and when you do, nothing will ever compare.""

During my one-sitting perusal, something came across my mind too often to go by unnoticed: I genuinely hope that I had read the book first before I saw the movie. Flippedthe movie and the bookdidn't feel like two sisters in different guises; they were practically twins with only a few minutiae details setting them apart.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing. It's actually refreshing that for once, a movie is set to be as faithful as possible to its origin. Having a bonus chapter at the end where the author talked about the inspiration behind this book and how it unexpectedly got adapted to a widescreen helped me feel closer to the story somehow. But I was also pretty sure that this book would sweep me even higher off my feet had its sheer magic got the opportunity first.

Regardless of that, I still loved Flippedboth the movie and the bookwith all my heart. For the most part, Flipped made me evaluate how I had been seeing things in life, and how I should be more kind and attentive to people like Juli Baker around me. Flipped helped me understand both Juli and Bryce equally since it explored two sides of the same coin: it made me adore Juli and hate Bryce with all my guts, then understand Bryce and eventually feel embarrassed for Juli, then support Juli and feel sorry for Bryce. In the book, I kind of rooted for Lynetta to stand up for the harsh truth too.

In case you haven't read or watched Flipped yet, I suggest that you pick up the book first before watching the movie. It's a good coming-of-age story about families, growing up, and seeing things for more than the sum of its parts. It's a book that will leave you wanting more, and let me assure you that I've been trying my hardest to imagine how the future might look for Juli and Bryce.

Actual rating: 4.5