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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned PrettyThe Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han was never really on my TBR list. The cover flap specifically says that there are two different boys for her to choose between, and as I've said (over and over probably) I hate this kind of conflict, but then it was there when I was browsing at the new library and so it came home with me.

Belly, her brother and mom have spent every summer of her life at Cousins Beach with her mom's best friend Susannah and her family. Susannah has two sons the same ages as Belly and her brother and they have always been close. Belly has been in love with Conrad, the older brother, forever. This summer, the summer Belly turns 16,  is the summer that she finally gets noticed as a girl, and not just Steven's little sister.

And that's pretty much it! Belly (this makes me crazy, what a stupid nickname) meets a boy who really likes her (Cam), but can't seem to forget that she loves Conrad, who is a jerk. The entire book rotates around between the two brothers and the new love interest, while Belly tries to figure out who she really wants.   Belly isn't particularly likable nor is Conrad, but Cam is terrific and I really liked Jeremiah, the younger brother. I can relate to teen indecision and feeling like something huge is happening to you, but I had a tough time understanding how Belly treats Cam at the end, and it seems like too much bad behavior is excused by too little. The books ends with a romantic match, but I didn't really feel the romance or the attraction at all.

Despite this, the book was actually ok for me. I love the summer beach teen setting which this one came through with in spades. I just think that Sarah Dessen's Along for the Ride (review) does it much better. Final verdict: nice and breezy, summer romance, not going to hit my top ten list. Borrow it from the library, don't buy it.

The Summer I Turned Pretty
By Jenny Han
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
288 pages
Library copy

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  1. The summer beach setting would be fun but the name has to go. Belly?? Ugh.

    How have you been? I saw you on Twitter so does this mean you have Wi-Fi now or are you still at the McDs?

  2. I agree, Belly is a lame nickname. I love the beach setting and the title is certainly catchy but now I can skip it! Thanks.

  3. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this more. I saw Jenny Han on an author panel and thought she was adorable.

  4. Totally agree that Belly is an incredibly dumb name! I noticed that in an early review a long time ago and it actually turned me off the book. That's a dumb reason not to read something, I know, but it's true!

  5. I Loved The Summer I Turned Pretty. Once i sat down i couldn't stop reading it i ended up spending the whole day with the book. I love the love triangle between Belly, Jeremiah and Conrad throughout the book and throwing in another summer romance opened the book soo many possibilities. The Book also had a very sad aspect tp it and the way Jenny Han wrote the response of the characters had me wanting to reach out to them.


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