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Book Summary of Flipped by WendelinVan Draanen

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When Bryce Loski moves into the neighborhood, he also settles straight into Juli Baker's heart, and all before second grade. Juli devoutly believes in three things: the sanctity of trees (especially her beloved sycamore), the wholesomeness of the eggs she collects from her backyard flock of chickens, and that someday she will kiss Bryce Loski. Ever since she saw Bryce's baby blues back in second grade, Juli has been smitten. From then on until seventh grade Julie makes attempts to get his affection such as giving him answers to tests, giving his family eggs from her chickens and befriending his grandfather. Unfortunately, Bryce has never felt the same. Frankly, he thinks Juli Baker is a little weird--after all, what kind of freak raises chickens and sits in trees for fun? He only sees her as a nuisance and tries to have as little to do with her as possible. All of this until they reach the eighth grade.

As Bryce is struggling to understand Juli's unusual passions and also the unusual circumstances surrounding her family, Juli starts to think that maybe Bryce's brilliant blue eyes are as empty as the rest of Bryce seems to be after she discovered that he trashed the eggs she's been giving them, and she overhears him seemingly making fun of her handicapped uncle and rented home. After this, she wants nothing to do with him and she begins to convince herself that she is getting over him- after all, what kind of jerk doesn't care about other people's feelings? At this same time however, Bryce realizes he is actually very fond of Juli, maybe even falling for her.

The novel climaxes at the Basket Boy auction when Juli realizes she can't help but have feelings for him, even after everything, and Bryce is dieing to be with her. He is so desperate to find out her feelings that he even tries to kiss her in front of the entire group!

This is a classic he-said she-said young romantic comedy, with each chapter told alternating by the main characters' fresh and funny voices. Van Draanen is at her best with a cast of quirky and very real character and a hilarious series of misunderstandings and missed opportunities. But underlying the humor are two teens in transition. Juli  is learning that to-die-for blue eyes are not the best reason in the world to fall in love, and Bryce has to learn that people who live for their passions might very well be. They are each learning to look beyond the surface of people, both figuring out who they are, who they want to be, and who they want to be with Bryce and Juli's rants and raves about each other ring so true that teen readers will quickly identify with at least one of these hilarious feuding egos, if not both.


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updated: February 14, 2007