Van Draanen, Wendelin. Flipped. NY: Knopf, 2001. www.randomhouse.com/teens
(interpersonal relations, conduct of life, family life, self-perception)
narrator: first-person, alternating chapters from Bryce and Juli’s P.O.V
I love this book. Not at first. I thought it was slow and I didn’t really believe the two voices. What do I mean by that? Bryce Lotski’s sounded forced at times, addressing reader with “Yes, my friend, …” And Julianna Baker’s was a bit too stereotypical girl, oohing over Bryce. That’s ok. I’m not sure what didn’t really get me into the narrative at first. Then it started moving. I think when the Grandfather moved in. Chet (Chester) Duncan is a central character. I like his voice. Juli’s spirit reminds him of his deceased wife, Renee. Bryce has to do things, pass tests — for his own character, before his Grandfather allows him past each stage, of closeness. I’m not saying that right. But it’s kinda what happens. First discussion is when the grandfather asks to talk to Bryce about Juli, and her picture in tree. Patsy, father, Lynetta, Bryce. Robert, mother, Mike, Matt, Juli, Uncle David.
What else is here? Contrast mainly of fathers, rather than mothers. Providers vs. ones who give love. Great daughter-father relationship. Juli’s adult is her dad; Bryce’s adult is his grandfather. Mental illness, class, extended families, appearance/substance, neighborhood-ecology with sycamore tree. First-person narrative, chapters alternate between Bryce and Juli’s voices and both describe the same events. Love the title, which indicates the subject of love as well as narrative structure, plot development.