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.
I am officially in love with Jenny Han's “Summer” series. Wow. This series is addicting and beautifully written. After reading and loving The Summer I Turned Pretty a few weeks ago I knew I had to pick up the sequel as soon as possible. I was in no way disappointed and I am now anxious to crack open the third, and, final, book in the series.
I love getting into the world of Belly and her friends and family and reading about the experiences she has.
The book starts off a few months after the first book ended and a lot has happened. I don’t want to spoil anything but know that Belly is dealing with a lot of emotional and romantic turmoil. I am so glad we get to see more of Jeremiah and Conrad in this installment and to get to know them even better. We got to see another side of Jeremiah and by the time I finished It’s Not Summer Without You I can firmly say I am Team Jeremiah.
Jenny Han has crafted a set of characters so real and complex that I wish I could go inside the book and visit Cousins and spend time with the main characters. Belly is a girl I have liked and admired from the start. She is in no way perfect and she knows it. Belly doesn’t worry about what other people think of her and is determined to do the right thing. She has a lot on her plate but stays strong and by the end of this sequel she has learned a lot about herself and the people she loves. Jeremiah and Conrad, the two brothers she has grown up with since she was young, are once again key characters and the love triangle is even more intense.
There are quite a few flash backs that help the reader understand what transpired from the time the first book ended and the second one began and also memories from visits to the Cousins beach house years and years ago. The dates at the top of the chapters help a lot and even so the chapters flowed well and I was never lost or unsure of what was going on. One thing I loved about this book that wasn’t in The Summer I Turned Pretty was that Jeremiah got his own chapters! Yay! Several chapters were told from his point of view and I loved getting inside his head and getting to know and understand him that much more.
This series will suck you in and spit you out emotionally battered. I was alternately laughing and crying and the ending left me eager to start book three- We’ll Always Have Summer. If you haven’t read the first book in the series I don’t recommend reading this one first. Definitely pick up The Summer I Turned Pretty and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. The “Summer” series has a permanent place on my favorites shelf and won’t be leaving any time soon.
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
April 27, 2010/Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing/275 Pages/Young Adult/Book Two