Flipped

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Flipped Book Poster Image
Honest story about first crushes -- tweens and up.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 73 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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

Two girls fight over a boy.

Sex

Oblique reference to breasts. Thoughts about kissing, and an abortive attempt at a kiss.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySherlockian February 1, 2014

Nice quick read

Read this recently almost by accident. One of the sweetest teen/cutest teen books I've come across. Good message and a pleasant read.
Adult Written bymarkp-ca November 30, 2009

Great story about values and first love

Underneath the story of a budding tween love are lessons about values. We see the consequences of anger, pride, judgment, and discrimination. We see the benef... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old March 1, 2011

Much like others

Juilianna isn't afraid to fight for what she believes in but, Bryce is...this book is a lot like the book StarGirl i have read. You should read both! ;) :D
Teen, 16 years old Written byannesbanannes May 5, 2011
I simply love the book (the film, too). I like reading the same scenes from different points of views and seeing how Bryce sees some events in a completely diff... Continue reading

What's the story?

In alternating chapters, Bryce and Juli tell the story of their relationship, beginning in second grade when Bryce moves in across the street from Juli. Juli instantly develops a crush on Bryce, who does not reciprocate, and throughout elementary school he tries to avoid her persistent and unwelcome attentions.

In middle school, however, they both begin to notice Bryce's substantial character flaws. Just as Bryce begins to try to change, and to notice Juli's good points, her ardor starts to cool. Meanwhile their families, and their perceptions of their world, also undergo dramatic changes.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the characters' behavior.

  • Why do they do the things they do?

  • Is Bryce really a coward? Is his grandfather fair to him?

  • Also, point of view is very important here. Why do the stories the two characters tell seem so different? Are they lying?

  • Do people really see the same events so differently? Why?

Book details

For kids who love simple stories

Our editors recommend

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate