The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Some summers are just destined to be pretty.

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer -- they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along. [via Goodreads]

From reading the synopsis to this book you can't help but think that this is a fluff read - but that was not the case.

Belly looks forward to her summers. Ever since she can remember her summers are full of her favorite things. The beachhouse, her almost-aunt, Susannah, her mother and brother, the beach, the boardwalk and Susannah's boys - Jeremiah and Conrad. Summers mean they all get together and spend three glorious months together. 

And Belly is looking forward to her summer... not just because duh... it's summer, but also because she gets to see Jeremiah and Conrad... especially Conrad. Although they've grown up together, almost considered cousins, she shares a grand friendship with Jeremiah, but Conrad she has always loved. She can't help but want to see them, be with them... but something has changed this summer. Jeremiah continues to be the free spirit he has always been - always making jokes, cracking a smile and just having a fun time. But Conrad has changed since last summer. He quit the football team, he acts irritable, he smokes and just wants to be left alone in his room. This is the summer that, notwithstanding the changes, everything finally comes into place.

Belly, although she comes off (for most of the story) as a shallow, self-centered and most often immature, young lady, really does a lot of personal growth and maturing throughout. Her struggles felt real and I think Ms. Han did a good job of capturing the emotions of a teen girl accurately. The writing was simple but it was precise and clear which I really like - nothing too convoluted to where I got lost. I did have some issues with the jumping in the chapters from past summers to the present summer, but it wasn't to hard to catch up. 

The Summer I Turned Pretty is carefree, romantic, and in the end, I found the story and its characters endearing. Plus, I love books where the story takes place at the beach, at a beach house, pier or boardwalk. Although the book's ending is a bit vague, it can be a stand-alone, but it has come to my attention that it is part of a trilogy - so I'm sure we'll be hearing more of Belly, Conrad and possibly another summer or two.

This is the perfect book to read for the summer, but I would recommend you read it no matter what time of the year.


Emidy @ Une Parole said...

I'd love to read this! I'm glad it's not simply a fluffy read that is easily forgotten. Awesome review!

Liz. R said...

Sounds like a great read, you've got me wondering what happened to Conrad to make him change like that. I'll definitely look out for this book! Thanks for the review.

Sarah said...

I love this series so much! I can't wait for book 3 next summer.

Anonymous said...

I agree in regards to Belly and the fact that she was captured quite well as a character, flaws and all. A lot of people tend to dislike her due to the fact that she is immature and acts irrationally at times but for me, that just makes her realistic. We all have less than faltering traits and act certain ways that aren't always the most flattering. She does a lot of growing up in the sequel to this one which is great as well. :)

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

I loved that book! It really breathed summer and it was one of my favorites last year. I agree with you that Belle really matures through the story. I loved the second book too, but not as much. I can't wait to get my hands on book 3!

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