Flipped[1], written by Wendelin Van Draanen, tells a simple love story, with two protagonists, two families, two aspects and two sycamore trees.

The story itself is no more simpler than any other lovestories. But the key points to set this naive and pure tale higher than those epic and magnificent love solemns ,and tear-harvesting tragedy with dilemma between love and death, might be it's Montage writing style and unique movements through the story.

Through the traditional writing aspect, the love story between two is better delivered through a third person. This requires ingenius emotion revealing method, which is a core part in lovestory, to project, but not point out directly, the characters' mood onto their actions, the background, and designed plots.

That's why most of these literatures are in the drama form, with monologue to express their feelings, without making receivers feeling the content unnatural. This book uses an extreme and hidden monologues inside each chapter, as the same way as Montage in the film industry, to perform as a Duet, while minimizing the extra performing stage needed to form this story inside the readers' mind. This creates a novel and unique reading experience, increases readers' tolerance for a relatively slower progress, to break the stereotype and fill protagonists with soul.

The Montage is the surface. To maximize the Montage power, the book chooses characteristic-based movements, to common plot-based movements to link these parts. While using different scenes to discribe one same story, normal plot-based movements will push the contents into a repeat. The cooperated scene is observed almost the same, and no one likes to read a whole part of reorganized words. To ensure the specific aspect, the article should be served as 'main plot->separated plot->main plot' pattern, which weakens the original plot, and this mended-everywhere plot is unnatural.

This book does not set the movement on plot. To the contrary, many core substories are just shrinked than others. The contents are set upon feelings about themselves, the other, and their families. We can see Juli growing from a naive and passion-drived young girl to a rational, with a mature understanding of the inner and outer beauty; and Bryce from a cowardly boy, who could only feel guilty but nothing after following others, to a self-guided independent person. Their love status may flipped between words, but their characters grow steadily and slowly.

My love experience is barely empty, and I may have some natural reluctant to those epic lovestories. Compared to those love or live dilemma, I prefer a sci-fi one. But this lovestory is more like a growth diary. The love between Turandot and Calaf, between Jack and Rose, between Romeo and Juliet are attractive, but maybe the plain story between Juli and Bryce can resonate with us more.

Chet in the article said, '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.' This story might not be iridescent, but can be a hard one to compare with.


  1. 本文是作为英语作业的一篇读书笔记,最早发布在这个网站。 ↩︎