Monday, July 12, 2010

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

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 wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

I picked this up from the library on a recommendation from my friend Ariel after one of her high school students gave it to her. She thought I would love it and she knows me well! I really enjoyed this book.

It's a great summer beach read, however it's not just a summer beach read. It deals with deeper issues than catching rays and kissing boys. It's about friends and family. It's about growing up and thinking about someone other than yourself. That would probably be my only complaint about the book. I felt that Belly was pretty self-absorbed and pretty bratty. Other characters mention it, she even mentions she's a pouter, but that doesn't really excuse her behavior in some cases. I think, near the end, she had some sobering moments that really opened her eyes to how self-centered she'd been. I'm hoping that in the sequel we'll see some maturity and character growth from Belly.

Belly. I have to comment on the name. Any girl with the nickname Belly (short for Isabella?!) would have to be pretty. No way would a normal girl be cool with being called "Belly". I certainly wouldn't have, of course I was always a little overweight and that name would just remind me of those few extra pound around the middle. I just thought it was kind of a horrible nickname. Or is that just me? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Overall, I enjoyed the story. I enjoyed the banter between Belly and Jeremiah; the pining and longing for Conrad and his bad boy, broody self. However, I'm not sure I liked who she ended up with. Looking forward to reading the sequel, It's Not Summer Without You, to see how the relationships between Belly and these two boys evolve and change.



  1. I really liked this one, too, though like you I had a few moments when I was annoyed by Belly's self-absorption. On the other hand, in a way that childishness rang true for me. It's a weird summer for her--one where she's caught between looking back and looking forward--and I can understand how feeling forced to let go of part of her childhood could make her end up acting more childish for a little while. Like you, I'm looking forward to the sequel!

  2. Nope, I agree with you, Belly is a really awful nickname! I don't know how she stands it.

    Hmmm, self-absorbed heroine. Not sure it's for me ^_^;

  3. You're definitely not alone in thinking Belly is a HORRIBLE nickname. Especially for a teen girl? Yeah..

  4. Glad you liked this one! I bought it not too long ago. :P

  5. Yeah I thought the Belly was going to toally distract me. I know I wouldn't be going by it. lol. I did LOVE the book though. I liked the second one even more!

  6. Hey everyone, despite the horrid nickname I did enjoy the book immensely. Just got the second book in from the library! Glad to hear you liked it even more Kelley!

    Ames I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

    Nath, it's a little frustrating but she really wasn't too bad. And at the end she realizes how selfish she'd been and starts to redeem herself!


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