Every year Isabel spends a perfect summer at her family friends’ house. There’s the swimming pool at night, the private stretch of sandy beach . . . and the two boys. Unavailable, aloof Conrad – who she’s been in love with forever – and friendly, relaxed Jeremiah, the only one who’s ever really paid her any attention.
But this year something is different. They seem to have noticed her for the first time. It’s going to be an amazing summer – and one she’ll never forget.
When I first heard about this series by Jenny Han, it sounded like the perfect summer read. I had only heard good things about this series so I decided to pick the first book up a couple of days ago.
I have really mixed feelings about The Summer I Turned Pretty. In some ways, it had everything I expected in terms of summer. The main issue I had with this book was the main character, Belly. I could relate to Belly in quite a few ways, especially with her being left out by the older kids. A lot of the time though, I found Belly to be quite childish and annoying which I could understand at certain times but most of it was unnecessary.
This book takes place when Belly is 15 and I really enjoyed the flashbacks to previous summers. I found that the flashbacks enabled the reader to learn more about certain characters and what they were like before this particular summer took place. It was especially nice to see how the relationships had changed between all of the characters from the flashbacks to the present day. The Summer I Turned Pretty does touch upon quite a few different issues such as friendships, relationships, divorce and illness. I did really enjoy reading about all these different issues and seeing how they all individually impacted the characters.
The only other issue I had with this book was the romance aspect. I felt that the relationship between Conrad and Belly was forced upon the reader constantly throughout the book. I didn’t hate Conrad and Belly’s relationship but it was frustrating that everything was focused upon Conrad. Other than that aspect of the book, I did really enjoy it. I flew through the book and fell in love with the way that the characters spent their summer. It made me wish that I could spend my summer the way that they all spent theirs.
I ended up giving this book a 3.5/5 stars as I did enjoy the majority of it.