Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Some summers are just destined to be pretty

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'm ashamed to say The Summer I Turned Pretty has been sitting on my to be read shelf for waaaay too long. I adore realistic fiction and contemporary novels hold a special place in my heart. The Summer I Turned Pretty did not disappoint. I started it early one morning and did not put it down until I was finished a few hours later. I was completely submerged in reading about Belly and her magical, heartbreaking summer. Jenny Han has written a truly fabulous novel.

The characters in The Summer I Turned Pretty were all extremely complex and developed. I felt as if I knew each and every one of the characters in this novel down to the very minor ones. Belly was a main character I will feel attached to from now on. She was by no means perfect which made her that much more relatable and likable. The reader gets to experience the ups and downs of Belly's life. She has her angry, immature moments just like anyone else, yet also has a great sense of humor and love for those around her. Belly has spent every summer she can remember with her mother, brother, her mother's best friend and her two sons, Jeremiah and Conrad. Every one of these characters plays a large role in the story and by the end I felt like I truly knew them. The novel mainly focuses on Belly, Jeremiah, and Conrad and the feelings they have for other people, and, they may discover, each other. Jeremiah and Conrad were two terrific guys and although they were brothers they had very distinctive personalities. Readers got to really know the brothers and see how things in their life were a lot harder than anyone may have originally thought.

The Summer I Turned Pretty is a truly magical start to what I'm sure will be a romantic and emotional series. The plot was original and drew me in right away. I also enjoyed reading the "flashback" chapters that featured certain key moments from summers past. There are some very emotional parts in this novel and all of the characters are dealing with a lot. Belly is faced with some difficult decisions friendship and romance wise and I'm eager to find out more concerning that in the sequel. The ending was sweet, but left me teary!

Overall, The Summer I Turned Pretty was a beautiful and engrossing sophomore novel and I am dying to pick up the sequel, It's Not Summer Without You, as soon as possible. If you haven't picked this up already, I highly recommend it! Jenny Han has successfully made it onto my favorite authors list.

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

May 5, 2009/
Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing/276 Pages/Young Adult/Book One

Source: Bought (Hardcover)
Other books in the series: It's Not Summer Without You,We'll Always Have Summer (2011)


  1. I just read and reviewed this one as well and felt the same way. I LOVED it. I read the sequel and have the third downloaded onto my nook (from galley grab). I also loved Shug by Jenny Han, she is one of my favorites as well!

  2. I think I have this on my book shelf.

  3. I loved this book as well! And the cover is beautiful.

  4. I just recently heard about this and added it to my TBR pile. I keep hearing fantastic things about it!

  5. I LOVED this book so much! It's one that I feel like I could read over and over again.

  6. I have this one on my shelf too! And I so want to read it too! :D

  7. you know that icky feeling when everybody you know LOVES a certain book and you fail to understand what could possibly have been so wonderful about it to them that they're so into it? thats kind of how i feel about this book.
    oh well...
    but im still going to read the second book and third one, which i got off galleygrab. hopefully itll get better as it goes along! :)

  8. Sounds like such a good book and I've now added it to my 'books to buy' list, but I'm really put off by the MC's name. I know its petty, but I feel as though it may distract me when I read it :-/

  9. I'm trying to read more contemps so I'll put this on my list. Sounds great!

  10. Sounds like a nice realistic fiction story. I had not heard of this before.

  11. Great review. I've heard lots of great things about this book series, but I'm still unsure about it. I guess I'll just have to read it for myself and see what all the hype is about.

  12. I just read this yesterday and absolutely loved it. Man, Jenny Han nailed it! I was really crying at the end.

  13. omg i can't tell you how much i love this trilogy i read it so many times and i still get that exitment feeling


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