I like that the book deals with anxiety, however, I did think that there was too much happening at the same time. I also wasn't a big fan of the writing.
I received an arc of this title from NetGalley for an honest review. Excellent book for middle schoolers that tackles topics that need tackled and written about for kids. Kept me turning pages in a way that most kids fiction books don't often do.
Flip Turns is an excellent upper middle grade read that handles sensitive subjects with grace. The characters are realistic, well-rounded, and enjoyable to interact with. I liked Maddie, her struggles with anxiety disorder, and how she tries to keep Lucas's problems hidden from her family so they don't worry. It's so realistic because, for a variety of reasons, our default reaction is to try to solve the problem without involving our family members. It was exciting, dramatic, a little creepy at times, and full of love and support from friends and family. The characters really improved the story, and I believe it will be a big hit with middle grade readers.
Such an interesting and intriguing novel, loved the buildup!
It was so captivating from the beginning and the mystery was quite captivating if not enigmatic.
This story follows a young teen Maddie who suffers from anxiety pursuing a quest to figure out who was vandalizing her family pool and save the pool from shutting down, followed around and being pestered by a crazy teenage boy at the same time.
Quite a fun, short read! Definitely recommend it!
Thank you publisher and Netgalley for a copy.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital copy of this book! I really enjoyed it. At first glance, it seems like a fun summer read about a 13 year old girl, Maddie, whose family owns a swimming pool. Her family's pool and her swimming team is put in jeopardy because of vandalism and what seems like innocent pranks. However, the story quickly dives into topics of anxiety, stalker behavior, sexual harassment, social media, and parental pressures. This was an insightful middle grade read that has a happy ending. I enjoyed it!
This is a middle grade sports story about first crushes and friendships.
But, no, it's got a deeper darker story...
Anxiety, stalker behavior and sexual harrassment, racism, vandalism, social media, coming of age, and a community in need of some healing.
Picture this. Glass at the pool. Listen, there's a reason for the 'No glass containers' rule at your local pool. And it's not because they're being mean. It's catastrophic to bare feet.
And that's where this book opens.
It's a reality check. As in, check your privilege. Definitely a read for every kid (and grown ups could use it too.)
"It's useless to argue with my family when they're trying to protect me. But I am not about to let this go."
Thirteen-year-old Maddie just wants her classmate Lucas to leave her alone. He keeps asking her out—as if she hasn’t already said no a thousand times! Focusing on her competitive swim team, the Electric Eels, Maddie tries to ignore him, hoping he’ll go away. But then, when someone starts sabotaging Maddie’s family-owned pool—glass on the deck, ketchup in the pool, followed by a “code brown”—Maddie worries it’s her “admirer” trying to get even. After Maddie’s parents rule the problems at the pool just harmless pranks, Maddie and her best friend, Ez, decide to investigate on their own. Could it be Lucas? And how can Maddie get him to leave her alone once and for all? The future of the Electric Eels and Maddie’s family legacy are on the line.
A powerful and important book about consent and unwanted attention. The "mystery" of who's sabotaging the pool/swim team is interesting -- I didn't see the reveal coming! I wish the author had hit the TALK TO A TRUSTED GROWN-UP point a little harder. As the mom of two tween/teen daughters, I would feel so bad if they tried to solve or deal with this type of situation alone.
Stalking is not a romantic Romeo like thing that gives butterflies rather it's a terror. Stepping into my college life I have witnessed it more than ever not for me maybe but for my classmates.I could Maddi.Lucas crossed all the lines and after this there is nothing about love but ego.I appreciate the author talking about the talking through an upper middle grade book.This issue deserved to be address.A person who doesn’t respect your opinion and space can never be called lover.It was amazingly realistic while Maddie was hesitant to share about Lucas to her parents and I think it was teenage thing.Maddies's anxiety, Ez's health conndition was a really good addition to the plot.Highly recommended!!!
Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley for review.
CWs: stalking (talked about), harassment, anxiety, minor injury detail due to gas leak
This was so much better than I expected! To be fair, I went in not sure what I would be getting with this contemporary middle grade. But it was really good! I picked it up thinking I’d just start it, and less than 2 hours later I was finished reading. It was a really quick read, and Maddie’s voice is super relatable and easy to follow along with. The writing style flows well, and I got caught up in the drama of the story.
Maddie was a really excellent main character. She struggles with anxiety, and because of that her family is always trying to shelter her and not cause her to worry. This makes Maddie annoyed and often leaves her worrying even more. I really liked that the author didn’t shy away from portraying Maddie’s anxiety, and I also really liked that Maddie was managing it and had tools in place to cope with it already. Her anxiety was a major part of her character, but it didn’t turn into her whole character.
I liked the friendships that were depicted in the story. Maddie and Ez were a great friendship pair, and Aidan and Owen were really great side characters. They had me laughing a lot, and I liked seeing how supportive the characters were of each other. Ez was there for Maddie as they tried to figure out who was vandalizing the pool, and also while Maddie was dealing with Lucas.
The Lucas plot line was actually a little bit scary. Right from the beginning, Maddie has told Lucas that she’s not romantically interested in him and then talks about how she’s afraid of what he might do once he’s been rejected. Maddie and Ez discuss how Lucas’s creepy attention feels like stalking at times, and Maddie’s parents even tell her that she’s been sexually harassed once they learn about it. There was a scene where Lucas didn’t take no for an answer, and I appreciated how the author had Maddie handle the situation. She was strong and capable of shutting it down herself, but right after she had her brother and sister there to support her. I thought the whole plot line was handled really well.
This whole book was handled really well. It was interesting, exciting, dramatic, a bit creepy at times, and filled with support from friends and family. The characters really made the story better, and I think this will be a big hit for middle grade readers.
Summer may be over, but that’s no reason we can’t enjoy a middle-grade summer swim team mystery! Flip Turns is an easy read, replete with humor, the casual bluntness of young teenagers, and the trappings of a classic whodunnit, but also deals with serious topics (including stalking-like behavior and anxiety) in a context that’s approachable for younger audiences.
I want to lead by noting that my “former swim team kid” heart was glad to see a depiction of summer swim team that got all the details right—the events, the long days, the age groups, the swimmers all writing events on their arms in Sharpie, the order of lane priorities, the breakfast sandwiches at meets. (I will say, kids in 13–14s doing ten 50s on the :55 sounded miserable, though that may be rooted in my lifelong hatred of freestyle.) I could superimpose almost everything in the story over the pool that I spent so many hours at as a kid and teen, over endless years, and that was pretty special.
Now, nostalgia aside, let’s talk about the book!
Right off the bat, this book deserves a shoutout for being one of those very rare stories about a character who is 13. Middle-grade often favors characters who are 11 or so; YA usually starts with characters around age 15 on the younger end; age 13 is sometimes a no-man’s-land in fiction, and readers right on the cusp of high school will likely appreciate.
I loved the framing of the story through Maddie’s eyes. Her anxiety was often at odds with her desire to handle problems on her own—so many of her choices to go things alone were rooted in the fact that her parents had taken to babying her, always assuming that she “couldn’t handle” stressful information or situations. It was rewarding to watch her come into her own and tackle hard questions without parental intervention, while simultaneously seeing ways that her anxiety made things harder for her—inability to sleep, a panic attack, and so on. And as someone with anxiety, I also loved seeing the destigmatization of therapy and medication, even in a younger character—the story doesn’t make a big deal about it, and it’s just something that she has dealt with for a long time.
I also seriously appreciated that the book dealt with the very sticky situation of a romantic suitor who won’t take no for an an answer. The very opening of the book (as also featured on the cover) involves Maddie figuring out what to do about this boy giving her a romantic snow globe (sparkly, heart-shaped, with two polar bears) as a gift—when she has explicitly rejected him multiple times. His advances continue to be a subject of both discomfort and frustration for Maddie throughout the book. The situation was one that I’ve never seen depicted with younger characters, especially when the boy’s behavior isn’t violently abusive; this example of someone who acts “nice” but is actually failing to respect boundaries, and how Maddie dealt with him, is one that will be valuable to young readers. (Also valuable for young readers: the deconstruction of the toxic Friend Zone concept, and watching Maddie’s blossoming healthy first romance with the new boy in town, providing a pointed contrast!)
And speaking of healthy relationships, the friendships in this book were excellent. My personal favorite was Maddie’s best friend Ez, an extremely dedicated swimmer who also has alopecia. (Side note: pretty sure this is the first time I’ve read a fictional character with alopecia?) Ez is a fiercely loyal companion but not without her own stresses and insecurities. Ez and Maddie’s friend group, including a pair of rambunctious boys who love pretzels (very on-brand for boys that age, honestly), was always delightful and never tried to shoehorn any weird boys-and-girls-drama into things. And even Maddie’s relationships with her older siblings felt convincing—the mix of teasing and support hit perfectly.
Now, there were a few places the story faltered. The ultimate culprit in the swim club’s sabotage was not very surprising, but the ride to get there certainly strung the reader along for a bit and still left some satisfying sleuthing. One particular act of sabotage turned so dangerous, it was genuinely shocking to me that (a) the saboteur didn’t realize how dangerous it was, and (b) the consequences for it weren’t greater. While I did like that the author seemed very current with the technology the characters use—one girl is a TikTok star, the parents rely on their kids to do social media outreach, and at one point Maddie notes that her parents take care of Facebook promotion because only the adults use Facebook anyway—sometimes it felt like we were being needlessly subjected to endless notes about one character always filming TikTok dances (and always, always saying it’s for TikTok, never just saying “a video”) in her swimsuit/cap/goggles and getting friends to join in her content. Like, we get it, you know what TikTok is. The thing is, those complaints are things that I, as an adult reading this book, found a little off-putting, but I know younger readers might not have the same issue with them.
If you’re trying to hold on to the last vestiges of summer for just a bit longer, this might be just the fun, fast-paced story you need.
Rep: MC with anxiety, SC with alopecia, Asian-coded SC, two sapphic side couple
Flip Turns is a middle grade mystery that follows a 13-year-old girl named Maddie as she tries to figure out who has been vandalizing the pool at the community center her family owns and runs.
I will say that as a mystery novel, the culprit was obvious from the very beginning of the novel. I kept hoping that it wasn’t going to be what I predicted, but, alas, it was. It should be noted, however, that I am a fully grown adult and this is a book for middle grade readers. I would be interested to see what middle grade readers thought about the big revelation at the end, because I think the author didn’t give them enough credit in terms of deductive reasoning with this one.
That being said, I still enjoyed this book quite a bit. There is a good amount of representation for things like anxiety disorders, alopecia, and queer relationships. On top of that, the portrayal of healthy family dynamics was *cherry kiss*. Even though the main family experiences adversity at several times throughout the novel, they never failed to stand up for each other and have each other’s backs when necessary. In particular, I thought Maddie’s relationship with her brother Jack was one of the best sibling relationships I’ve ever read.
As expected of middle grade novels, there are important themes and messages for the audience to take away at the end of the novel. The book emphasizes the importance of empathy and open communication when it comes to solving problems and handling difficult situations. A good portion of the book has to deal with Maddie experiencing unwanted romantic advances and manipulation from a boy named Lucas and I thought Catherine Arguelles handled that aspect of the plot beautifully.
Thank you so much Netgalley, @tbrbeyondtours and @arguellescath for the gorgeous review copy❤️
Picked up for the cover, stayed for the story! I loved Maddie, her struggles with anxiety disorder and how she tries to hide the issues regarding Lucas from her family to not make them worry. It's so realistic because most of our go-to reaction is to try and solve the problem ourselves without involving our family members due to a variety of reasons. Maddie's family can be overprotective sometimes and though they want the best for her, them trying to shield her all of the time often add to her anxiety and make her upset. The starting is gripping and it sucked me right in. The portrayal of stalking and its consequences was great. Recommended!
was drawn to Flip turns because it was not only diverse but it had anxiety rep. One thing I will say about Maddie's Parents is that I found them too OTT of not making Maddie anxious. Speaking as a person with Anxiety I question how will Maddie cope in certain situations if they have not had to go through any?
Mind you I did like Maddie and her Friends and Family but question how quickly she went into a Romance with Nico when she was still being harassed by Lucas . Also her Parents should of been sooner. Bravo for discussing this subject in a Middle Grade which I have never seen before.
If you want a Contemporary with a hint of Mystery set in the world of Swimming Competitions then Flip Turns is the book for you. For all these reasons I am giving Flip Turns 4 stars
Disclaimer: I received this arc and e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: Flip Turns
Author: Catherine Arguelles
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: MC with Anxiety Disorder, Sapphic couple characters, Mixed Latino character, Character with Alopecia
Recommended For...: middle grade readers, mystery, romance, relationship violence/stalking
Publication Date: September 13, 2022
Genre: MG Mystery
Age Relevance: 11+ (relationship violence, sexual harassment, gore, stalking, vandalizing, romance, cancer)
Explanation of Above: The book focuses on a failed relationship between a boy and the MC, in which she sees the signs of relationship abuse and stalking. There is also one scene where there is some very slight sexual harassment. There is some gore mentioned, like poop and blood and surgery. It’s very slight. There is some property destruction shown in the book. There is some small romance. Cancer is briefly mentioned.
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Maddie just wants her classmate, Lucas, to leave her alone. He keeps asking her out—as if she hasn’t already said no a thousand times! Focusing on her competitive swim team, the Electric Eels, Maddie tries to ignore him, hoping he’ll go away.
But then, when someone starts sabotaging Maddie’s family-owned pool—glass on the deck, ketchup in the pool, followed by a “code brown”—Maddie worries it’s her “admirer” trying to get even. After Maddie’s parents rule the problems at the pool just harmless pranks, Maddie and her best friend Ez decide to investigate on their own. Could it be Lucas? And how can Maddie get him to leave her alone once and for all? The future of the Electric Eels and Maddie’s family legacy are on the line.
Review: I didn’t expect the book to be what it was, but I’m very impressed by it! I loved the story and I felt like it did so well to explain the signs of relationship violence and stalking to younger children. It’s a horribly unfortunate thing that happens, but the sooner your young children who are dating/starting to see their friends going out know what signs to look out for, the better prepared your young one will be if that situation comes up with themselves or their friends. It can be very slight and look a lot like children picking on each other, but things like this should not be ignored for numerous reasons and victims should always be heard and believed. The book is so impressive that I’m going to get a copy for when my friends young child becomes of that age range, because I’d rather her be educated and weary than hurt and afraid. The book also did well to be a well crafted mystery. The character development was well done and the world building was stupendous.
The only issue I had with the book is that I felt like the perpetrator of the relationship issues should have been told as going into therapy or some other consequence, but it was resolved and the most important part of the book (the education) was solid.
Verdict: I absolutely love this one! Highly recommend!
Thanks to Netgalley and Flux for the ARC of this!
This was such an emotional read with a lot of serious topics - vandalism, a boy who can’t take no for an answer, and some big family concerns to name a few. The mystery of the vandal definitely kept me engaged and I think this is perfect for the intended audience. I loved the portrayal of anxiety in a MC as well!
This book has made me giggle. I love the personality of the main character, Maddie, a girl who has an anxiety disorder, yet is smart, diligent, and careful enough to light this story up. I couldn't help but always chuckle at Maddie's brother, Jack. A famous guy in California and what most girls called him "A hot guy or he is good to look at". And of course, As a big brother of Maddie, I love how he can take care of His young sister and is cute enough to throw some jokes at her.
It is the first time I read a book in this genre and as the story sets for teenagers, so I've enjoyed it enough!
Thank you to The publisher and NetGalley Team for approving me this book.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
I adored this book. The characters felt as if they were real. The relationships were incredibly well done and believable. There were some amazing decisions made regarding the storyline that really worked to emphasize the delicate situations and human behavior. I think this a great conversation starter for so many important topics that need to be talked about more such as dealing with anxiety, what is sexual harassment and parental pressure. The situations within this story are dealt with in a way that will connect with the intended Middle grade audience.
This is one of those books that really does a lot right, however, it certainly isn't perfect. What I didn't like about Flip Turns was the fact that there was a love interest. I feel like this book could have been more effective without it.
In the end, I think this is one of those books I think every Middle grade (or even younger and older) should have access to. There's a lot to appreciate about this book and I highly recommend giving it a shot.
I was going to read this with my grandaughter but life got in the way and she read it herself ( correct target demographic 13 yrs).
Apparently it was - so real just like school. The people spoke to each other like real people (not story book people). Theres some boys like that in her school and it makes her uncomfortable (great conversation starter). The parents treat the girl as a child ( apparently we all do and 13 is a teenager, not a little kid) and then realise that was not the right thing to do. She is going to tell all of her friends about this great book.
Thank you to #NetGalley, Catherine Arguelles, and the publisher for the eARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Maddie just wants classmate Lucas to leave her alone instead of ignoring her no when he asks her out. Suddenly, someone starts vandalizing her family's pool which makes it have to constantly close and costs her parents lots of money. More than they are able to afford. Are they truly just pranks or is the vandalizing meant to hurt Maddie and her family? Is the person vandalizing her family's pool Lucas or is it someone that would totally shock her? The fate of Maddie's family's pool and their swim team is on the line. Will Maddie be able to figure out what happened.
One of the reasons I liked this book and will recommend it to others is for the fact that Lucas will not leave Maddie alone. I hope it will team young girls to speak up when boys will not leave them alone. I hope this will also teach girls that it's okay to say no to boys and this type of behavior is not normal.