Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)
"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." (Description from

With a winter that never wants to end, what could warm yourself more than a great summer read? For me, The Summer I Turned Pretty, is one of the great YA books out there. Whenever someone is looking for a great YA summer read, I recommend this book. Heck, I recommend this book to almost all of the YA readers I know or ask for help. 

This book represents the coming of age story told from Belly's POV. We meet her in present and throughout the book read different events that happened with her family and the boys. I think most women can remember that summer when you went from the fuggly stage of awkwardness to holding your back straight and head high, knowing you feel confident in the person you're becoming. It also helps at that age when your arms and legs finally make sense and you can walk a straight line without tripping. I remember that age. It was going into my freshman year of high school, I finally felt like I knew how to do my hair and behave around a group of people with embarrassing myself.

Belly discovers she's moving into a new phase in life almost immediately after arriving at the summer house and seeing the boys again. Their funny boy antics right away trying to impress Belly will make you chuckle. What's more important is that you learn about the bond she has with the boys. It was formed over many summers together and is strong even with in-fighting and quibbles. 

As stated above, Belly discovers a terrible thing later on in the novel and turns everything on it's head and that's what the series will focus on in other books. Love, life, death, and what it means to honor someones memory. These are all things you read about in this series. More importantly, you read about the girl slowly becoming a woman and understanding her choices in life. Living with the decisions that she makes and the consequences of those actions...that's mostly in book three.

What's not to love? A summer book based at a summer house with cute brother's. Conrad or Jeremiah? My opinion changed on these two as I read the series. I loved one in one book and hated him in the next. I feel that's a  nod to incredible writing. The characters are developing and changing as they grow up. Nothing in these books felt forced or done to make the story move forward. You truly felt you were with Belly in each and every moment. So, as we face another cold, cold day, give this summer series a try!

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