Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han
Published: May 05, 2009
276 pages 
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.

My Review: 

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.


About Anjie @ Love thy Shelf

Hello there -- call me Anjie! I made this book blog where I can put down all my bookish ramblings and talk to those who have the same interests!
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7 Responses to Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han

  1. Pingback: Monthly Review #1 & May Book Haul | Love thy Shelf

  2. Danni Mae says:

    I’m really curious about the title- it makes me think of a horrible deed done to gain popularity. Glad you found a way out of your reading slump! I find that as I get older, I get more and more of those too.


    • Yeah, I can see the title as a marketing scheme. It’s basically about how Belly is past the awkward puberty phase with the pimples and all. Now guys are noticing her and she’s no longer someone’s little sister or the annoying little kid that followed the older brothers around. Thanks! It’s so hard getting over these slumps. Happy reading 😀


  3. This was one of my first contemporary reads when I first started reading, it actually got recommended to me by my best friend, and Oh My WORD I fell in love with this book so so much! So happy to see you enjoyed this book, now I have someone to fangirl with! This book made me sob so much it was ridiculous! Awesome review, you must definitely pick up the rest of the rest of the series there just as good, it is definitely something you could binge read!

    Happy Reading!x


    • Haha yes! Binge read, which is exactly what I did… The amount of crying I did in this book was insane. I can’t even form words! I was just so happy about the ending with Conrad, I was freaking out haha. Thanks for stopping by, can’t wait to talk about the rest of the books.


  4. Casey says:

    I just finished reading To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and while I’m still waiting for the sequel, I’ve really wanted to read some of Jenny Han’s other books! I’m so glad you liked it because I think I might have to pick it up now (since her other book was SO CUTE)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so excited for P.S I Still Love You. It can’t come any sooner haha. While I loved To All the Boys more than this trilogy, this one was a lot of fun, too. It was really cute! I hope you do pick it up!


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