Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 5th, 2009
Number of Pages: 276
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 five words for you: The Perfect Summer Beach Read. Sure, this novel like any other does have a few flaws, but other then that, I loved it.
When I first picked The Summer I Turned Pretty up, all I was expecting was a fun, cute summer read that would remind me that summer is a time where anything can happen. And I did get that. From the very first page you can smell the salty air, hear the familiar music from the beach radio station and feel the sun on your face. However, under the sand and jugs of ice tea, there's more to this story of undecided love and friendship.
I think Belly was a good main character. Not great, but good. Sometimes, I didn't quite understand her but more often then not when she thought something or did something I'd say to myself, "That's what I was thinking!" or, "Belly, I totally agree with you." But even more then Belly, I loved the supporting characters. Loved. From wonderful Susannah who I wished was my mother's best friend to sweet Cam who I personally fell in love with to the girly Taylor who I had to laugh and yell at along with Belly.
The flashbacks that Jenny Han sprinkled through this novel were a great idea. I got to see a part of the main character that you don't get to often see in books, and I just thought they were plain interesting.
Now about the ending . . . I have a few things to say about it. The first time I read it, I couldn't believe it. In good and bad ways. I kept thinking that Jenny Han should have led the story down a different path, it should have been different. But the second time I read this novel, I think I finally understood. Going down the other path would have been my decision - not Belly's. And even if Belly had gone that way I don't think it would have made much sense. Also, the novel kind of has this unfinished feel to it. Like it has this whole other story that goes along with it that the author just didn't tell . . . so I'm thrilled to say that Jenny Han is currently in the works of writing a sequel called: It's Not Summer Without You. Yay! I'm super excited to find out what's going to happen to Belly and the other supporting characters. Write this one quick Jenny, I want to read it! A.
P.S. The cover? At first, I couldn't picture Belly, Jeremiah and Conrad like that but after reading the book I can't see them any other way. Whoever did this cover did an absolutely outstanding job on it.