Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
It's about: From the moment he moved into the neighborhood, Julianna Baker has found herself drawn to Bryce Loski, who's been running away from her as fast as possible. All Bryce sees in Juli is an obnoxious know-it-all freak who likes to sit in stupid trees and raise chickens in her back yard, whereas all she can think about are his beautiful blue eyes and watermelon-scented hair. Their relationship remains this way for a good 6 or 7 years, until 8th grade their perspectives of each other begin to change. Like maybe Juli isn't such a weirdo after all. Or maybe Bryce's eyes aren't a good enough reason to chase him. Told in he said/she said points of view, the characters come to realize just how wrong they are about each other, their families, and their own lives.
I thought: Goodness, I love this book. Oh, man. The characters are real. Bryce was stupid and paranoid, but then again, I understood exactly why he felt the way he did. I felt Juli's passion for the sycamore tree and knew all about her school-girl crush on Bryce. This isn't some average love story. It details the fickleness of people and the difference between good intentions and actually carrying them out. The voices of both characters are distinct and unique to both of them. It's pretty hilarious, too.
Verdict: Stick it on the shelf and make copies for all your friends and any other kid you find.
Reading Recommendations: You can read this anywhere and everywhere. In fact, I highly suggest you do, so then when people see you reading it, you can talk about it and make them read it, too.
Warnings: Uh...pretty sure there isn't anything to worry about in this book. Squeaky clean.
Favorite excerpts: "She didn't just barge into my life. She barged and shoved and wedged her way into my life."
"My heart stopped. It just stopped beating. And for the first time in my life, I had that feeling. You know, like the world is moving all around you, all beneath you, all inside you, and you're floating. Floating in midair."
"Eggs scare me. Chickens, too. And buddy, you can laugh at that all you want, but I'm being dead serious here.
It started in the sixth grade with eggs.
And a snake.
And the Baker brothers."
"He just grinned and said, 'Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss...' He turned to me. 'But every once in a while you find someone who's iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare.'"
"That's when the fear of being up so high began to lift, and in its place came the most amazing feeling that I was flying. Just soaring above the earth, sailing among the clouds. Then I began to notice how wonderful the breeze smelled. It smelled like...sunshine. Like sunshine and wild grass and pomegranates and rain! I couldn't stop breathing it in, filling my lungs again and again with the sweetest smell I'd ever known."