This review can also be found on my blog
Rah! I finally got a chance to start this trilogy!!! So excited.
Belly is a 16 year old girl who is head over heels in love with Conrad Fisher. Every summer, she, her brother and her mother go to Cousins Beach, and stay in a beach house with Susannah, Jeremiah, and of course, Conrad. Her mother has been going since before Belly was born, and together they've gone every year since. This year though, things are different. Conrad has changed, and Belly isn't the annoying little sister who wants to tag along anymore.
I really needed something light to read when I picked this up. I've been reading quite a few heavy, depressing books lately, and a palate cleanser was desperately in order. I felt like nothing could be happy again, ha. The Summer I Turned Pretty was just what I thought I needed - cheesy romance, summer vacation, and cute boys. While it did have all of that, it also was a lot deeper than I expected.
Jeremiah was probably my favorite character in this book, and I'm guessing that will continue through the rest of the series. He was likable, funny, and sweet. Conrad was a (for lack of a better word, so I apologize,) douche. Susannah was beautiful, and Belly was just....Oy.
Belly is what kept this book from getting a higher rating. Yes, she was 16, and Jenny Han did an amazing job with making her sound like a real 16 year old, not an adult woman posing as one. But Belly herself drove me nuts. It just seemed like she followed Conrad around like a lost puppy, and I just wanted to shake her and say "COME ON GIRL!" Then she loved Jeremiah, then she didn't love him, she loved Conrad, then Cam came into the picture, then she didn't like Cam anymore because she loved Conrad. I know that was a run-on sentence, but that's a bit how the whole book felt. I just got tired from the love...square? Rectangle? Diamond? Although it was a nice change from the YA love triangles, I must admit.
I touched on this briefly, but the writing and story-telling was superb. Jenny Han really knows how to "be" her characters, and make them come alive. Not only that, but you pick up this book thinking it's going to light and fluffy, and then BAM! You get hit in the face with Susannah's problems (trying not to give away any spoilers). Right in the feels, Ms. Han, right in the feels.
All in all, I will be continuing this series. Hopefully I'll see Belly grow as a person and won't be so irritated by her actions anymore.