Written by Asiya Anwar
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen treads far beyond the standard horizons of an ordinary, mushy Young Adult read. This tale of romance stands out among several other Young Adult novels because it is hidden with gems of metaphors, the most important being the sycamore tree which the female protagonist loves profoundly for all the right reasons and you will too once you read it!
The premise of this idiosyncratic tale is an epitome of looking beyond the surface, beyond the facade as things and people appear to be but are so much more or less once their true dispositions are revealed. The title of the book is metaphorical and highly compelling too as it fits perfectly with the plot yet the true meaning and value of which is revealed only once the reader has read till the end.
Set in the 1950s, this tale tells of two adolescents; Bryce Loski and Juli Baker with every alternative chapter covering each of their own perspectives of their day to day lives. She is headstrong, generous, helpful and persistent while he is carefree, mostly idle, and sometimes disapproving. Despite being poles apart owing to their differences, Juli Baker claims to have fallen for Bryce Loski from the first moment she had set her eyes on him but Bryce quite contrarily to her sentiments, despises and absolutely detests this mere fact. Over a span of riveting chapters and contemplating dialogues of two significant characters among various others; Richard Baker and Chet Duncan, the plot thickens, overturning Bryce’s outlook and feelings for Juli, bringing alive the title of the book. The metaphor of the sycamore tree plays a very important role in the entire story because it brings alive the true Juli Baker, the one she is in essence, beneath all that is showed outwardly.
This tale is one-of-a-kind, owing to many reasons but most essentially because it teaches you about love, compassion, empathy and perseverance. It teaches you a life changing lesson that it’s okay to walk away or step back and analyze your strongest, passionate feelings for someone you once loved dearly and shed those same emotions if they are not the person you thought they are.
In conclusion, I would like to end with a dialogue by Juli's father, Richard Baker which stays with you forever, long after you’ve have finished reading the book:
“A painting is more than the sum of its parts”- which goes on to being true for people as well which makes it the most lingering thought and your bittersweet takeaway from this sweet-sour romance fiction.