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.
I decided to finally pluck The Summer I Turned Pretty from my TBR pile once Misty of Book Rat told me what a fast paced read it was. While this book looked like a forgettable beach read, lots of bloggers had mentioned how good The Summer I Turned Pretty is, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Although I enjoyed being transplanted to the beach for a few short hours, The Summer I Turned Pretty fell short for me.
Jenny Han knows how to write friendships between two girls. As I watched Belly interact with her best friend, I understood a lot of the interactions between them. The dynamic between Belly, Jeremy, and Conrad also felt realistic.
Aside from that praise, I had several issues with this book. I disliked Belly as a character, and I have a few reasons. Her character only seemed to have three elements: her love of summer, her drama with the boys next door, and her desire to fit in with the guys. I felt as though this left me without any real reason to care about Belly.
I’ll be honest and say that as I write this review, I don’t remember every detail of the ending. I will say, however, that I didn’t like it. I remember feeling that it was too abrupt and that it came across as an ending which was meant to make me want to buy the next book in the series. I think books in series should leave you with enough closure to make you satisfied while still leaving you wanting more.
I feel conflicted about The Summer I Turned Pretty. Jenny Han is neither an abysmal writer nor the greatest writer ever, and I’m not sure if this was the story for me. Rumor has it that the series dramatically improves as it goes on, so I’ll give the others a try and see if those sit better with me.
Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book.