Here's the situation: girl likes boy, but boy doesn't like girl. Six years pass. Now girl stops liking boy. And—wait for it—boy now likes girl. Needless to say, our boy and girl are in for a bumpy ride.
Now here's the longer version: when Bryce Loski and Julianna Baker meet in second grade, she thinks he's the cat's pajamas, but Bryce thinks Juli is annoying as all get-out. So we've got a situation on our hands.
(By the way, Bryce and Juli tell us their tale a little out of order. So to make the story clear, we've put everything chronologically in this summary. Want to check out the play-by-play in all its original jumbled glory? Then click on our chapter summaries to the left.)
So over time, Bryce and Juli get into some scuffles due to their conflicting feelings. Like when Bryce cheats off of Juli's tests without her knowing. But then later Juli helps Bryce cheat because she feels bad for her crush. Or when Bryce accidentally sparks a fight between Juli and Shelly Stalls, which ends with Juli getting Shelly into a headlock. Yikes, right?
And even though Bryce doesn't like Juli, he sure does spend a lot of time telling us how obnoxious she is. So when she climbs the huge sycamore tree to save his kite, he's annoyed. Or when she hatches six baby chicks for the fifth grade science fair, he's pretty peeved. And Juli? Well she's still goo-goo eyed over Bryce. But she also happens to be a strong gal who loves to climb her favorite sycamore tree and look out across the world. Plus she's a smartie who likes to do well in school and at the fifth grade science fair.
Now fast-forward to eighth grade. This sycamore tree and those science fair eggs become super important to Bryce and Juli's relationship. First they have to face the saga of the sycamore tree. When folks try to chop down Juli's favorite tree, she refuses to climb down—she's a fighter this one. In the end she loses this battle, but the tree really changes the way she looks at the world—and she's also pretty sad that Bryce didn't try to help her out.
Not long after the tree saga, the eggs incident happens. Juli's chicks grow into hens that start laying their own eggs, so back in sixth grade Juli began bringing eggs over to Bryce's house just to be nice… or, you know, because that guy is seriously so cute. But Bryce's family is afraid to eat the eggs, so Bryce throws them out. And he keeps doing this for two whole years. When Juli finds out in eighth grade about the chucked eggs, she's super upset. And pretty betrayed, too.
The eggs incident gets even more complicated when Bryce tells Juli the reason they won't eat her eggs: his family thinks her house is a dump. This mean comment leads to two changes for Juli:
Juli tells Granddad Chet about her uncle, and soon after, Granddad tells the Loski family. We're sad to say that Mr. Loski makes some pretty cruel comments about Uncle David, but fortunately Bryce and Mrs. Loski are both super upset about this.
So now Bryce feels guilty about the tree, the eggs, and the way his dad made fun of Juli's uncle, and on top of all this, he's starting to realize that Juli is a pretty amazing girl. But when he tries to talk to his friend Garrett about his crazy jumble of feelings, he ends up chickening out and letting Garrett make fun of Juli's disabled uncle. When Juli overhears this, she gets so angry that she decides to forget about Bryce. Forever. Can't say we blame her…
Now doesn't this seem like the perfect set-up for a super awkward dinner between the Bakers and the Loskis? Yep, it sure does. After an embarrassing dinner, where Mr. Loski acts like a big huge jerk, Bryce is feeling really down in the dumps. Plus he feels horrible that he didn't stand up to Garrett and now Juli is mad at him.
Right after all this drama goes down, it's time for the eighth grade Basket Boys auction. Bryce and nineteen other dudes go up for auction and their classmates can bid to have lunch with them. Juli refuses to bid on Bryce because he was a pretty big jerk to her, and instead she bids on a guy named Jon who no one else will bid on.
Bryce ends up getting auctioned off to the two most popular girls in school. But during lunch all he can think about is how totally cute Juli is… so he goes a little crazy and tries to kiss Juli in front of everyone.
Juli freaks out and runs away. And then after school and for the next week Juli avoids Bryce like the plague. All the while, lovesick Bryce is doing everything he can to get Juli to talk to him. Looks like the drama isn't going away anytime soon for these two.
In the end Juli doesn't know what to think about Bryce, but Bryce knows he needs to prove to Juli that he's a new dude, so he plants a sycamore tree in her front yard. That's pretty sweet, right? Now Juli has to wonder if maybe just maybe it's time to give Bryce another chance.