Oct 10, 2011

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty

Title: The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1)
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 276
Challenge: YA Series
Source: Library
Retailer: BN / Amazon

My Rating:

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.


  1. Fantastic review!! I felt the same way after reading this book for the first time.. it's so much more than just a summer romance. The book does a superb job of incorporating every one's story in to it. I loved that! So happy to see that you enjoyed it :-) Get on book 2 & 3 stat! It just gets better & better!!

  2. I got an older sister and I know what you mean about duty to be bratty! It's easy for older sibs to make us feel left out, I think.

    As for Belly & Co, I liked them and I finished the book but it also drove me crazy. LOL
    But I can appreciate how Jenny Han makes a point of showing rather than telling how all these feelings are changing and happening.

    :D Lovely review!

    Book two was the only I liked best - tighter plot and all that - :D

  3. I've been wanting to read this one for a while. I like the fact that you get to flip through past summers and the current one with Belly.

    I have met the author, Han, and I'm not surprised by the way you've described her writing because she's brilliant. :)

  4. These books keep popping up all the time and they sound so lovely. I really need to get around to reading them soon. Great review, Diana! :)

  5. I really liked this one, too! I read all three over the summer. I didn't like the third book as much as the first two, but it does well at wrapping up the series. Great review!

  6. Aww, it sounds like such a sweet read! I've been wanting to read this one for forever, but your review just makes me want to read it even more! I love that it's not just your average summer love story. :)

    Awesome review, Diana!

  7. Great review! And book 2 is awesome, though I want to strangle Belly sometimes (that happens a lot in this series).

    ALSO: stopped by to let you know me and the girls @ PiF have nominated you as a Versatile Blogger recipient. :) Congrats!
    Click Here

  8. Awesome review! I read this one a while back and liked it too. I never got around to the second book cause my library doesn't have it. If you read the second I hope you review it so I know if it's good or not :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts Diana!

  9. I have heard a lot of good things about this book. It looks really cute. Hopefully I will get around to it eventually.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on Eve. It is a sob fest, but I still really need to know what is going to happen. It was really well written. Let me know what you think of it if you read it :)


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