After watching To All the Boys I Loved Before on Netflix multiple times I had a yearning to return to the pages of one of the only contemporary writers I enjoy.
When I initially read Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) I had rated it at a solid 4.5 stars.
Interested to see whether or not The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) kept its initial star rating? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
_ _ _
The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 5, 2009)
Print Length: 276 pages
Audiobook Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
Narrator: Jessica Almasy
When each summer begins, Belly leaves her school life behind and escapes to Cousins Beach, the place she has spent every summer of her life. Not only does the beach house mean home away from home, but her favorite people are there: Susannah, her mother’s best friend, and her sons, Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly has been chasing Conrad for as long as she can remember, and more than anything, she hopes this summer will be different. Despite distractions from a new guy named Cam and lingering looks from Conrad’s brother, Jeremiah, Belly’s heart belongs to Conrad. Will he offer his to her? Will this be the summer that changes everything?
While rereading The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) was like being reacquainted with an old friend, I found that by the end of the novel the memory I had conjured in my head was better than the reintroduction.
The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) is a YA contemporary novel that tells the story of 15-year-old Isabel ‘Belly’ Conklin as she travels to Cousins Beach for another year of summer boys, tans, and drama. As the summer progresses Belly is faced with the choice of finally acting on her feelings for family friend and beach house bad boy Conrad, or realizing that the boy she’s been waiting to have that summer romance with is none other than Conrad’s brother, Jeremiah.
A fun, easy read, The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) is the perfect read for days when you want to relax. Jenny Han knows how to structure a lighthearted coming of age story, and while I guessed at some of the ‘twists’ in the novel, it was refreshing not to have to, or honestly want to, think through every small detail mentioned or character introduced.
Where I struggled with The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1), and what ultimately lead to its reduced star rating, is with its main character, Belly. Teenage girls can be a bit self centered and whiny, speaking from experience here, but Belly was that to the nth degree. For someone who looks forward to the summer, spending it with her family and the Fisher’s, she never spent any real time with them. Plus, when all the twists were revealed, and Belly was angry that she wasn’t told anything, I really had no sympathy for her.
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
_ _ _
And those are my thoughts on The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han. Have any contemporary recommendations you think I should check out? Leave them as a comment below and help my TBR grow.