Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mini-Reviews: It's Not Summer Without You and We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han


It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2) 
Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?

It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.

But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started--at Cousins Beach.

(Summary from GoodReads)

The Summer I Turned Pretty was okay for me.  I didn’t love it, but I wanted to finish out the series.  It’s Not Summer Without You fell incredibly flat for me.

Trust is a major theme in this book.  When Conrad disappears, no one trusts him.  No one thinks that whatever he’s doing is legitimate, helpful, or in any way productive.  This resulted in a book where everyone treats each other like crap, and I didn’t like reading about that.  Their drama felt silly and needless to me.  There was, however, a major twist that made me really want to read the third book.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book.

We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3)  
It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.

(Summary from GoodReads)

We’ll Always Have Summer starts off with Belly and Jeremiah together, but they aren’t happy.  Jeremiah is not a great boyfriend and Belly wants more.  Even though Belly hasn’t spoken to Conrad in a while, he finds his way back into the picture.

The story here bored me.  Han chose to focus on two particular plot points, and to me, they were flat out boring.  A lot of it revolves around Belly doubting Jeremiah, and there came a point where I wanted here to either move it or milk it. I also found it painfully obvious who Belly was going to end up with, which made matters worse.

All of my problems (note I say my not the) with this series begin with the construction of Belly’s character.  Belly is sort of immature in book one, and that’s fine.  However, we never see her grow when the boys aren’t around.  I wanted to know who Belly is without Conrad or Jeremiah.  They may have been a huge part of her life growing up, but who is she without them?  I never got to find out, and that was vastly disappointing to me.

Han’s ending to this series was sweet and what I wanted, but she picked the wrong plot points to focus on.  This book should have been about Belly, and it never really was.  I know a lot of people who disagreed with me, though, so I’d check out other reviews before relying solely on my opinion.

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library. 

Other reviews of We'll Always Have Summer:

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