Title: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han
Publication: December 21, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books
Genre: YA Fiction, Teen, Romance
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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.
**Spoilers may lay ahead for this book. We always try not to spoil, but little hints may be there.**
I know, I know. I am late to the game. The TV show version of this story kept coming across my screen when I was on Prime and I went ahead and watched it. Then I obviously had to come back and read the book! I had really high expectations after falling in love with the characters on screen. How did the book compare?
Having freshly finished this book, I was a little disappointed. Maybe I wouldn’t have been as disappointed if I had read the book first, before watching the show, but the book disappointed after all the hype. Let me start with what I did like, though. I really enjoy the plot in this book. The idea of having perfect summers with a group of friends and get to look forward to that. I also think Jenny Han did a fantastic job of writing out this scenario in a very relatable teen way. We’ve all been teenagers before and as a grown 30-something adult, I still really enjoyed reading their story and comparing it to my own experiences as a teen.
My biggest issue with the book is Belly. She’s a little bit whiney and at times this makes her extremely annoying. She seems to always be whining and feeling like everyone is constantly out to get her. I did not like that at all. Her whole thing is that she’s not a little kid anymore, but she does act it a lot. I also feel that the last few chapters where feelings from others were shared kind of came out of no where. There was not a lot of chemistry through this book. The boys were constantly treating Belly as a child and kind of talking down to her and then suddenly there are feelings? I just didn’t get that build up. It seemed sudden.
I do really love Jeremiah’s character in the book. He’s fun and probably the nicest one to Belly and I love his protective nature. I love the parents in the book and how they interact with all the kids. Maybe that is my own motherly instincts kicking in.
I will definitely be reading book two and I’ll keep you posted how I feel. This is obviously the perfect read for anyone who loves a good YA fiction story, and because there are more books you have something to look forward to!