Juli Baker meets Bryce Loski as soon as he moves to her neighborhood in second grade. Once she looks into his beautiful blue eyes it is love at first sight. Bryce doesn’t have the same feelings, at all. For the rest of her time at elementary school, Juli follows Bryce around like a puppy. She asks him to play and watches him with great interest. She memorizes everything about him and gets lost in his gorgeous eyes time and time again. Bryce tries to get away from Juli’s excessive attention. Unfortunately, she misunderstands his signals. Bryce can’t stand when she climbs the sycamore tree that she is so attached to at the bus stop, because not only does Juli want him to climb it, but she shouts out how far the bus is from their stop. Later when the town is threatening to cut down her beloved tree she begs Bryce to help protest with her. He doesn’t want any part of it. In middle school, Bryce even tries dating Juli’s enemy, but that plan ends up backfiring. As they advance through middle school, Juli’s crush continues to grow, and she tries to figure out ways to get Bryce to like her back because she knows that he will be her first kiss.
When Juli raises chickens for the science fair, they lay a lot of eggs. She sells the eggs to people in the neighborhood. But, because of her love for Bryce, she picks out the best ones for his family and gives them away to them, free of charge. What Juli doesn’t know is that Bryce’s mom thinks the eggs may not be clean enough, and he was supposed to tell Juli that his family didn’t want the eggs. But he didn’t, and for two years, Juli delivered eggs to his family until one day when she sees him throw them in the trash. Juli is hurt and now Bryce wants to make it up to her. Will she ever talk to him again? After loving someone for years, is it possible to stop? Have Juli’s blinders finally come off? Is there any way for Bryce to make up for treating Juli badly for many years? Is Juli right and Bryce will be her first kiss? Reading this book will make you see that there really are two sides to every story!
I think anyone who has ever experienced their first crush will enjoy Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen. You will really connect with the characters, especially if you have tried to capture the eyes of someone who didn’t seem all that interested. Each chapter is told from an alternating point of view and it was interesting to see two characters’ viewpoints of the same scenarios. I liked having the chance to see the truth in between the “he said, she said”. While I was reading the book I found that I could relate to Juli and Bryce. Both of them are funny, and the way they see things so oppositely makes you realize how often two people probably see the same situation differently. I kept thinking how important good communication is and that when we don’t let people know what we think, things can really fall apart. I like that the book made me think about how we act and how our actions can hurt others. This is a fantastic book for people in fifth grade and up. I have heard there is a movie, and I can’t wait to see it! Crack open the pages and see what happens when things get flipped.