A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
This deceptively simple novel about first crushes is a lot like real life -- sometimes too much so. All the characters mess up, usually repeatedly, and mostly through selfishness and lack of understanding and compassion, just like real people. And most of them change -- and change again.
Positive Role Models
The two main characters cheat in class. Bryce's father is sexist. Several characters say disparaging things about mentally challenged people. Nearly every character behaves poorly.
Violence & Scariness
Two girls fight over a boy.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Oblique reference to breasts. Thoughts about kissing, and an abortive attempt at a kiss.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that nearly every character, major and minor, adult and child, behaves badly. In some cases they learn better or regret their mistakes; in others (such as the main characters cheating in school) they don't. Because of the romantic subject matter, it will probably appeal mainly to middle schoolers.
Is It Any Good?
This deceptively simple novel about first crushes is a lot like real life -- sometimes too much so. There is hardly a character, major or minor, adult or child, who is really likable, though a few, such as Bryce and his grandfather, drift toward likability by the end. They all mess up, usually repeatedly, and mostly through selfishness and lack of understanding and compassion, just like real people. And most of them change -- and change again.
The alternating narrators device in FLIPPED adds another realistic layer to this multilayered book. Bryce and Juli describe the same events from their points of view, and they do so with surprising honesty. The differences in their versions come not from trying to hide the truth or justify their own behavior, but from genuinely seeing things differently. They both behave badly, Bryce especially, but they're both able to face that and to attempt the always difficult process of conscious change.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.