The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Also by this author: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Series: Summer #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult/Romance
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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.
Since it is summer time I figured it would be a great time to read this book because I completely expected a cute contemporary summer read. I did get something a little different than what I expected and it had some good moments and some bad ones.
The way this book started really bugged me because I felt that the main character, Belly, was very immature. Everything she did seemed to be about her and only what she wanted. All of her actions in the beginning were very childish and I can’t help but remember feeling this way when I read Han’s other book To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. So I’m starting to worry that all of her female characters will feel this way. Plus I found it hard to believe that Belly always thought she was ugly and not good looking when it was obvious in flashbacks that she was very pretty and growing up faster than a lot of other girls would.
The thing that saved this book for me was the fact that the boys were there to balance out Belly’s character. I highly enjoyed all of the boys in this book for each of them had so much life and personality that it made up for my dislike of Belly. I loved seeing each boy and what they had to offer as well as the tension between Conrad and Jeremiah. I enjoyed the brotherly competition and also trying to understand their differences. I enjoyed how they were so different and all of their interactions with Belly. They really saved the story for me. I also have to admit I enjoyed that the moms were featured in this book as well because in so many teen books the adults are never seen and I enjoyed what they added to the story.
Overall by the end of the book I still wasn’t in love with Belly but I started to like the storyline when it had all of the drama over first love and the hardship of relationships and friendships in general and understanding who you will need in life when you find yourself in a tough place.