on May 5, 2009
Also by this author: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Series: Summer #1
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
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.
I have heard so much about this book. So many good things. I love a really great contemporary. Especially contemps with romance and a drama. In my mind all those things added up to mean, I would love The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, but I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it. I just went into thinking it was going to blow me away. That might have been my problem, too high expectations.
I don’t want this review to sound too negative, because I still rated the book 3.5, but I want to touch on what I didn’t like. My biggest problem was with Belly. She seemed very immature to me. Her relationship with the boys didn’t seem like it had changed from age 11 to age 16. She still pitched fits and stuck her tongue out at them. Maybe that is realistic for someone who has basically grown up around boys. I don’t have any brothers or brother-like friends so I wouldn’t know. But her attitude grated on my nerves at times.
Another thing I disliked was that the supposed romantic interest was not romantically interested through 99% of the book. Plus, he was a little unlikeable until the end. I ended up liking the other boys in Belly’s life much more.
Okay, now I’m done with the bad things. Here’s what I liked about the story: The setting was great. The beach house and everything that went along with it was very vividly described. It felt like I was on the beach too. The way the story was told, with the flashbacks to earlier years, went a long way to developing the characters more and giving you a glimpse of their history. My favorite thing about the book was probably the mom. That’s weird, huh? But I really liked them. They were very involved with the children, and very fleshed out.
I know this review sounds like I’m on the fence about The Summer I Turned Pretty, but I’m really not. I liked it, I just didn’t love it like I wanted to. I did really love the ending, so maybe I will really love the next book.