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.