The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Description: 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.
Review: I have just come to the conclusion that I love novels set in summer. Everything is so much nicer in the summer. I'm sick of this New York winter, and I just want to wear sundresses and flip flops. I want to feel the sunshine on my back, and soak up the sun's rays. I can't do that when there is a big gray cloud of MISERY over here.
I wanted to read this book for the longest time. It has never reached my brand of library, and a few weeks ago, the sequel appeared in my local thrift shop. I was seriously considering reading the sequel. Thank God I didn't, because this was such an amazing book. I hope it doesn't have Sucky Sequel Syndrome.*
The Summer I Turned Pretty tells the tale of Belly, who only lives for summers at the beach house. She's been going forever with her mother, Laurel, and brother, Steven. They would meet up with Laurel's best friend, Susannah, and her two boys, Conrad and Jeremiah. Conrad and Jeremiah are the two most interesting people Belly has ever met. Jeremiah, who is more the joker, and Conrad, who is the deep, broodster, are like brothers to Belly. But Belly has loved Conrad since she was ten. And this summer will be no different.
I loved all the characters in this book. Except Taylor, but I usually have a problem with the main character's best friend. The best friendship in this book was that of Laurel and Susannah. I highly respected that they were still friends about having their own families, and growing apart, and growing up. Everything they did together was so cute, from yelling at their kids to smoking pot together. They were grown up teenagers, and it rocked. Steven wasn't in the book a lot, mostly because he travelled to college orientation, but from what I caught in flashbacks and the drive there, he was an awesome older brother. He reminded me a lot of my brother, and I guess that's why I liked him so much. He teased his sister in front of Conrad and Jeremiah, and he knew that Belly liked Conrad, and still didn't get pissed, even though they were his friends.
Jeremiah and Conrad. They're the big brothers you wish you had. But then you hookup with them, so I guess you don't really want them to be your brothers. They're such nice boys. The way they treat other females, the way they treat their mom, Belly. It's so sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. Like I said above, Jeremiah is the joker, and I would probably fall for him. He broke my heart in the book, and I really can't wait for more Jeremiah in the sequel. And then there's deep, dark Conrad. The boy that Belly has always loved. I hated him at first, but then he grew on me like mold. He's such a douche, but there's something that makes you keep coming back to him. And Belly couldn't get over him. He was her one true love. And the way she described him, that a piece of her will always be with him, made my heart cry. Because it was so true. (Kudos to Jenny for the realistic writing and the awesome scenery.)
Belly. Belly is a girl who thinks she is grown up. She has lived under the boys shadow her whole life at the beach house, and this is her first year of doing things her way. She has her own male firend, and the boys have to deal with her. She's going to the same parties as them, and she's going to be experiencing things like them. Yeah, she's immature at times, but she's sixteen. This summer was like her debutante ball. Her coming out. And she's going to do everything she wants to do.
I really liked the set-up of this novel. I liked the way the author would mention something like we were supposed to know it, and then went into an explanation of it. I liked all the symbols that meant something to Belly. Again, I really enjoyed the setting and I liked the feels this book made me feel. I also liked how there was no in-depth description to the characters. I like imagining my own.
God, I can't wait for summer.
Overall, The Summer I Turned Pretty is a must-read for lovers of contemporary fiction, girls getting dudes, and hot summer tans.
PS: I couldn't hide this any longer, and no offense to the author or whoever makes the cover, but the people on the cover look like such doffuses. Especially the guy on the rights smirk, omg.
Because for the first time, I felt it. Pretty, I mean. Every summer up to this one, I believed it’d be different. Life would be different. And that summer, it finally was. I was."
-The Summer I Turned Pretty//Jenny Han
*In which Lauren makes up a phrase for when there is a brilliant first novel, and the sequel sucks butt.