This second teen chick-lit, Christian book in the "Real TV" series by Wendy Lawton is published by Moody Publishers.
Flip Flop is written for kids ages 14 to 16. This age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Briana Harris loves hanging out at her best friend Channing "Chickie" Wells' house. Chickie's fun-loving Christian family treats Briana like one of them. They make it easy for her to escape her troubled home. Chickie manages to get herself and Briana on their favorite reality show, Flip Flop, where each week, two best friends redecorate each other's bedrooms. Briana prays that she can enjoy the excitement of the makeover and a TV crew in her house for several days without anyone learning about her father's alcoholism. With the help of Chickie's cute brother (Sebastian) and one of the show's decorators (Petra), Briana discovers that God may have planned all this to bring her stressful secrets into the light.
Church, mealtime prayers and spiritual searching are an integral part of the Wells family's life. Because of their example, Briana began attending their community church. Briana loves the serenity prayer, but spends much of her time realizing that she must let God have control over her circumstances. Chickie suggests that she and Briana pray before they go on camera for the bedroom makeovers; she asks that their actions will exemplify Him. Petra, the designer with whom Briana works, subtly shares the salvation message as she tells Briana about her own conversion.
Chickie's parents treat Briana like a family member; they share in the Flip Flop excitement by catering wonderful meals for the TV crew, and they behave warmly toward Briana's parents, with whom they've had little interaction despite their daughters' close friendship. Initially, Briana's mom's example is one of pretending the family has no problems; she remembers the husband she knew and loved before alcoholism overtook him. Briana's father holds a respectable job and travels often. He never becomes violent when he drinks, but his rants often keep the family up all night. Petra opens up to Briana about her dysfunctional past and spiritual quest, encouraging Briana to hang on to God and not hide her pain.
Other Belief Systems
Petra says that before finding Christ, she investigated a number of other paths to spiritual enlightenment.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- Briana prays a lot.
Why do you think God didn't give her what she asked for?
- Are there areas of your life in which you try too hard to control things?
- Have you ever asked God what He might want to reveal to you?
- What are some ways Chickie, Sebastian and their parents share their faith without being preachy or turning people off?
How could you practice these behaviors in your life as you interact with others?
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.