The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han
Published: May 05, 2009
Source/Edition: Bought at Amazon, Paperback
Summary provided by Goodreads:
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.
Woah! Let me first say that this was the perfect book for me to get over my reading slump! I’m worried that I’m getting these slumps more often now. Secondly, I did not read reviews of this book/trilogy because I know it received mixed reviews. I didn’t want any preconceived notions about this book because I love Jenny Han’s writing. Suffice to say, it went beyond my expectations. Well, I didn’t really let myself form any. I just dove right in and I loved it! Before getting into the deeper topics of this books, I want to praise Jenny Han’s writing. I loved it in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and I loved it here. I don’t know how she did it but she made it so much easier for me to step into the lives of Belly, Conrad, and Jeremiah. I loved that she went back and forth between the past and the present. It was as if I was growing up with these boys and living my summers in that beach house in Cousins. I went through a lot of emotions because of her writing. I was happy, sad, frustrated, confused, and sad. I cried a lot — or in my case the normal amount.
Now let’s get to the heart of the story. In its simplest form, this is a love triangle, possible square, and I know many frown upon and sometimes I do, too. But hey, sometimes you just need that drama and this was the dose I needed today. It can get juvenile but we’re dealing with ages between 8 to 15, so I expected immaturity. The reason why I liked this book so much was because I totally related to Belly. Not in all aspects, I wouldn’t make the same choices she made if I was put in the similar situation, but definitely when it involved Conrad. She grew up with Conrad and has loved him for so many years. Her first love. Her first unrequited love. I know what that felt like, I still do. I’ve been in love with the same person for such a long time — like they say, the first love sticks with you. So I understood her every time she defended him, every time she forgave him, and when she said that no matter what happened in her life, she’d someway still love him, I knew what she meant.
Don’t misunderstand, though, this isn’t solely a love triangle story. It’s coming of age. There’s intense heartbreak that doesn’t necessarily involved the love interests. These parts are what actually what I cried over the most because again, I could relate having experienced it firsthand. There’s betrayal, loneliness, and so much more than a love triangle. There’s not just love between Belly, Conrad, Jeremiah, and Cam Cameron (haha). There’s love between the two families and that warmed my heart the most. The family brought together not by blood but pure love for one another.