Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)
Title: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han         
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: May 5th, 2009
Pages: 276 Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult Chic Lit
Series: Summer #1
Source: Hardcover


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.

I haven't read too many contemporary romances or realistic fiction and decided to give this one a try. I liked the book. It was a good fast read full of laughter and tears. 

This is a story about a girl, her family and friends, and her summer events that lead up to this particular summer. Belly has been coming to the beach house every summer since she can remember with her mother and her brother Stephen, her mother’s best friend, Susannah, and Susannah’s two sons, Jeremiah and Conrad. The story flips back and forth between the present summers and past summers. Belly remembers past summers as she goes through the emotions she has for Jeremiah and Conrad in the past and the emotions has for them in present time and how they have all changed has the summers have progressed. Belly’s story explores a multiple amount of emotions as she realizes so many things have changed from prior summers. Conrad and Jeremiah changed and so has she. She is filled with questions without finding many answers even in the end.

I think the author did an amazing job of tapping into a girl of 15 years mind as she matures physically but not yet emotionally. The Story does flow smoothly in the present chapters but I found myself having just a bit of trouble adjusting to past summers. I think this was mainly due to the fact they did not follow in age but jumped around to summers that drew into her present memories.

Belly was a decent character. I think she rang true to a normal 15 year old girl, emotional, unsure of herself, in between being a girl and a woman. There were quite a few times I felt like slapping her but other times I felt she was handling pretty well. She is thrown by some pretty decent changes and ones that really weren't expected and she comes out learning something. I really liked this.

I really enjoyed the setting in the book. Feeling apart of the vacation at the summer beach house while I was reading the book during the winter was nice, warming, and a wonderful escape. 

I really enjoyed the book. I will continue the series and see what else comes to life for Belly and her family and friends. 


Jenny Han

Jenny Han (Han like Han Solo, not Han like hand) was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She went to college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Heels!) and she went on to graduate school at the New School in New York City, where she received her MFA in Writing for Children. She lives in Brooklyn.

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