Wednesday, 18 February 2015

'The Summer I Turned Pretty' trilogy by Jenny Han

Book Summary: Belly has always lived for the summertime because it means all her favorite things: swimming, the beach and the Fisher boys, Conrad and Jeremiah. She has spent every summer with them at Cousins Beach for as long as she can remember. She has always been in love with Conrad and finally, one summer, it seems like he might have feelings for her too. But it turns out, so does Jeremiah.

As the summers go on, Belly has to choose between two brothers who love her as she comes to the realization that she will have to break one of their hearts.

First of all, I've read all three books in Polish translation so I didn't have an opportunity to get to know raw writing style of Jenny Han. I use English on daily basis so I was able to find a few little mistranslations especially of typical sayings or idioms, but overall it was a solid and fair rewording.
I don't want to make 3 separate reviews for all parts of trilogy, so I'll try to shorten and summarize my thoughts and impressions in one blog post.

The story
I liked the idea of adolescent girl developing her feelings to two of her best friends throughout summers she has spent with them. She was always closer to older of brothers - Conrad, mysterious and serious, but Jeremy who was funny and easygoing, had also a very special place in her heart. Throughout the books we follow Belly's on and off feelings to two brothers but also her memories of summers she spent in Cousins beach house with them, their mother Susannah (who was very dear to her) and her own brother and mom. To be fair, these retrospections are the warmest and the most adorable part of the whole series.
We're not only the witnesses of characters' growing up and redefining their feelings and priorities but also of them dealing with loss, pain and life turning points.
In the first book only Belly is the teller of the events, in It's not summer without you we can get to know Jeremi's point of view and in the last book we can finally read the thoughts of mysterious Conrad.
While reading the trilogy we will wonder who will win Belly's heart in the end. Which brother will she pick to be with, which brother she loves more and how it will affect the relationship between Jeremi and Conrad.

They are likeable but not always mature. They are still teens though so this is their right. Sometimes Belly's choices and decisions were annoying me, because she should have known better, even at the age of 15. Jeremi is a bit reckless, Conrad mysterious till the end and Belly? Belly is just growing up - and we all know what does it mean to be a growing up girl. Throughout the series characters are developing and changing but they're still very young, discovering the world and themselves.

#1 The Summer I Turned Pretty
The first book in the series is a kind of indtroduction to the whole story. We're getting to know all characters, their past and events that led them to this very point in time. It was a very light and even paced read, although personally I think it's the worst of all three. I'd give it 3,5 *stars*

#2 It's Not Summer Without You
It's more emotional than the other previous one. Characters are growing up, stuggling with loss and making hard decisions. Better and more solid than the first book. 4 *stars*

#3 We'll Always Have Summer
While we think everything is said and done and Belly has finally made up her mind... The storm is coming up. The most confusing of all three, having the reader wondering all the time, till the very end. The ending was not a real surprise for me, but how it all happened - was a surprise indeed. 4 *stars*

Overall the Summer I Turned Pretty series is a fun and light read, great for teenagers and great for summertime. It's adorable and easy to get along with. Plus the new covers are incredibly cute!


  1. Ohhh .. these are great reviews. I actually read the first book in high school, I never got a chance to finish the series, but it looks like it gets better so I shall get on with that :) Glad you enjoyed them <3

    Benish | Feminist Reflections

  2. I read this series last year and I enjoyed it. My fav book in the series was the last one. And I did not like Belly most of the times.
    Great review:)