This book is about how a girl named Juli Baker and a boy named Bryce Loski, who both tell there side of the story of how they meet, they learn to look beyond the surface of people, both figuring out who they are, and who they want to be.
From the very first moment Juli heard a boy her age was moving into her neighborhood, she couldn't wait for him to arrive. All the other kids were too old or too young to hang out with, and she hoped Bryce would be the playmate she'd always wanted. When she sees him, with his shiny black hair and bright blue eyes, she knows it's love. She knows this boy is ‘carrying around’ her very first kiss.
Bryce has a very different first impression of Juli. She's an annoying, know-it-all kid with muddy shoes and a bad habit of hanging around. From the very first moment he sees her climbing over the boxes in the moving van, “helping” and leaving tracks of muddy footprints all over, he knows this girl is bad news. It gets even worse when his mom sees Juli holding his hand and thinks it's all very cute. To get away from Juli he spends his first week inside, watching TV.
Over the years Juli and Bryce continue to bump into each other, and as Juli falls madly in love with him, she gets even more annoying. He feels that he wants to be nice to her. After all, during tests she whispers the answers in his ear and you just can't ignore someone that's keeping you from failing spelling.
Bryce goes to the bus stop every morning and gets on the bus. Juli climbs up a sycamore tree every morning and then gets on the bus. One day, while Juli climbs up the tree as usual and when Bryce wakes up, he sees trucks arriving and men getting out with axes and chain-saws. They are there to cut down the tree because they need more space for the parking lot underneath it. She tells Bryce to come up there with her and maybe they won't cut down the tree, but he says no. When the bus pulls up and the workers ask Juli to get down, she refuses. The bus pulls away, but Juli stays in the tree. She stays there all day until her Dad arrives. After much fuss, she gets down and the workers cut down the tree. When Bryce gets home he thinks that nothing is wrong, but Juli's heart was broken.
Then, Juli catches Bryce throwing away the eggs she's been giving him every week for free (from her pet chickens) for the past two years. Bryce then tells Juli that he will not eat the eggs because her backyard (where the chickens live) is filthy. Juli begins cleaning her whole yard front and back as a project. With the help of Chet (Bryce's grandfather) she's able to clean the whole yard and begins to realize that she doesn't know Bryce at all. All these years, she's never even had a real conversation with him. Now she thinks, he's not worth it.
Now, Bryce is in love with Juli. He had never noticed how her eyes sparkle, or how smart she is. Maybe there is something special about Juli, but she's not falling over him.
When Bryce is chosen as a ‘basket boy’, a boy whose lunch is auctioned off, (though it's usually the boy himself the girls want when they buy the lunch) Juli ‘buys’ another boy. Bryce flips and tries to kiss her in a desperate attempt to show her that he cares, before she starts falling over this other boy. She rejects him in front of the whole school, and soon Bryce becomes a laughing stock. In a desprate situation, runs home to find Juli and knocks on her door and he is not responded to. Then, as a last chance to get her to like him, Bryce plants a sycamore tree in her backyard. Juli doesn't know what's going on. Shes asks her dad and he tells her. He says he let Byrce plant the tree, to let her feel better. As Bryce thinks all hope is lost, he walks back to his house, saddended by thinking his plan failed. Then Juli instantly thinks Bryce is kind and caring. When he waves to her, she waves back, and Bryce is very happy by this wave. The story ends with Juli thinking she should meet him the proper way.