The first time she saw him, she flipped. The first time he saw her, he ran.
And fom the second grade to the seventh, that’s how it was. She says: “My Bryce. Still walking around with my first kiss.” He says: “It’s been six years of strategic avoidance and social discomfort.”
But in the eighth grade, their views of the world – and each other – turn upside down. He says: “I’d spend so many years avoiding Juli Baker that I’d never really looked at her, but now I couldn’t stop.” And she says: “I felt a cold, hard knot tighten in my heart. I was through with Bryce Loski.”
Is there hope for happiness in junior high?
Have you flipped?
Took me years to find this book. It’s just not available anywhere locally. Except on that fateful day when I decided to check out the Robinsons branch of Booksale (March 10, 2010). Wouldn’t have noticed it had not my eyes strayed to the bottom portion of the softbound books section. You bet I squealed in delight. It was like finding true love (although in real life, I was rather slow in recognizing that it already is ^_^). Didn’t matter if the book appears used (and abused). At Php 20.00, it was more than a bargain I could have hoped for. :)
Now onto the story.
Little Juli Baker has been wanting a playmate ever since but has found none until Bryce Loski moved in as Juli’s family’s neighbor. Too bad though, Bryce doesn’t like her. But did that stop Juli from befriending him? No. In fact, she was rather persistent in letting him know just how friendly and happy she is that she now has someone to play with. For the next few years, the two have been dancing a crazy cha-cha: 2 steps forward for Juli, 2 miles backward for Bryce. And she wouldn’t have stopped her crazy obsession with him had she not realized that Bryce is not as nice as she thinks he is (despite the fact that her heart still skips a beat when she’s with him). And he would have gone on avoiding her had he not realized that she is way special than any other girl he has met. But will these two hearts find what they’re really seeking?
If you haven’t read this book yet, then don’t expect it to be the usual girl-falls-in-love-with-boy-who-ignores-her-then-falls-out-of-love-for-him-later-when-boy-finally-realizes-her-worth. Because it really is not. The premise might be based on that but it’s more complex than it appears. It’s a lot of things, actually: junior high issues, puppy love, being true to one’s self, having conviction to believe and fight in your dreams, being contented with the things you have, acceptance and understanding for persons with unique qualities, having dreams, and being awed at the mystery called life. But how Ms. van Draanen was able to orchestrate all of them together with not one aspect competing with another, is just simply magic.
I especially like the line of Bryce’s granddad when he told him this one tinny tiny secret about love and finding that special person:
Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss… But every once in a while you find someone who’s iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare.
Ha. You bet after reading that, I asked myself if The Dude thinks I’m iridescent. Hehehe :D
So that’s Day 1 of our Love in 28 Days countdown. Stay tune for tomorrow’s review. :)
Image taken using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-F2. L*ve Only logo© Pachuvachuva, 2011.
Trivia: Was singing Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now while posting this entry. So yeah, I don’t just sing in the shower. ;)