Before Eleanor and Park, there was Juli and Bryce.
I remember the first time I read this book, I think I was around eleven. I was at the sweet age of butterflies and puppy love. This book left an impact because at that time I was only starting to understand what the fuss was all about. Few days ago, I decided to read this book again, wondering how different my perception would be from my eleven year-old self. The funny thing is, I think it still has the same effect as it did many years ago.
“One’s character is set at an early age, son. The choices you make now will affect you for the rest of your life.”
At this point in my life, there are very few books that can make me feel like a little kid again. Flipped is one of them. It’s amazing how this short book is able to bring me back to my childhood, to the time of first loves and first heartaches, no matter how long it’s been. The story’s strength lies on its simplicity and, ironically, therein lies its complexity. Through my second reading, I saw things I think I might’ve missed many years ago. Back then, all I saw was a story of innocent love, of how Bryce reminded me of my crush, but now I know there’s more to this book than meets the eye.
“Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss. But every once in a while you find someone who’s iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare.”
Materialism, false pretenses, prejudice, superficiality—these are things my eleven year-old self has yet to comprehend. But now I see the big picture. I love how the author was able to create two societies through two families. In a way, they are foils of each other.
“Get beyond his eyes and his smile and the sheen of his hair—look at what’s really there.”
Today, people care too much about appearances that we forget about substance. I think more adults should read and re-read Flipped. It not only brings back the tenderness of childhood but it also reminds us something that we’ve forgotten—something that we should always remember. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.