Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Challenge: YA Series
Retailer: BN / Amazon
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 terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along. -summary from goodreads.com
I thought this would be a simple book about a summer love…. Couldn’t have been more wrong! To put any sort of label on this book would be an injustice. 16-year-old Isabel, or Belly, has spent every summer of her life at Cousins Beach. Belly has been in love with Conrad ever since she can remember. But he just doesn’t see her in “that” way….. But this summer? Everything is about to change. Events force secrets to be revealed and feelings to be exposed. When revelations start flying, the results are tremendous.
This was a very thoughtful book, which I wasn't expecting. The first half was a little on the slow side as Belly spent more time reminiscing on past summers rather than living the current one. But the way the book flipped back and forth from the previous summers passed to the present day gave it a coming-of-age feel. Han is a brilliant writer. She uses the most languid phrases to describe the simplest things, and it's very refreshing to see that in the YA genre, as opposed to the standardized simplistic writing. Even the language and thoughts throughout the book was so inline with how teenagers act, or at least the way I remember acting. Belly’s relationship with her brother reminded me of my brother and I (around that same age). They are absolutely awful to each other and yet that nastiness is still a sign of love. Was Belly bratty? Maybe, but as a little sister, it was her duty! I remember feeling/being just that way in my family.
Overall The Summer I Turned Pretty is a pleasurable summer read with a solemn lesson learned. It’s a touching story about friendship, love and loss as well as a realistic portrayal of growing up. …. This book was just wonderful! Very much looking forward to starting book 2.