Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen is a delightful read yet has plenty of margin for improvement.
This book has several things going for it. First of all, the we've all known someone like Julianna or Bryce. Since the memory of your first love never goes away this is a book anyone can relate too. Both characters narrate in alteration so you get both sides of the story. The author does a very good job of this. Each narrator has a distinct voice but the book has a voice as a whole too and the continuity is never interrupted by the shifts in perspective. The overall voice of the book is light and refreshing.
The characters grew up across the street from each other and in the beginning Bryce "hates" her and she likes him, though things change. However, I'm not entirely certain that he ever really hated her because he knows what she's doing and where she is constantly. As far as the story goes and the character development, I really loved this book. It also addresses some pretty serious issues without digressing too far into them. The ending seems to have taken some heat on good read, but I found it absolutely beautiful.
However, even though I loved this book with all my heart I don't think I could give it more than a three star review. There are several abrupt shifts in tense and I probably would have over looked that except that the setting seems to be sometime in the past but the big sister breaks out a CD player in a scene where they talk about shopping online. It threw me out of the book. It took a fair amount of time for me to get back into the book after that. I'm still not sure what decade I was supposed to be in, because I was in the 8th grade in the 90's and knew no one who consistently started sentences with "buddy" or used the word "willies." And there were other verbal habits that pointed toward the past too, and I think auctioning boys with picnic baskets might get you sued today.
As an unrelated an aside, (but one I'm ecstatic about) C.Lee McKenzie gave me the Versatile blogger award today!