After reading, and loving, Jenny Han’s series ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before‘, I thought I’d check out another series from the author and came across ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty‘.
The first book in the series is about a young girl called Belly, who spends every Summer with her family up in Cousin’s at their mother’s best friend’s beach house – along with her and her two sons, Conrad and Jeremiah. This year, Belly is returning to Cousins looking a lot more different and grown up than usual, causing the two brothers to see her in a different light.
Conrad, the eldest of the two brothers, is Belly’s first crush and this Summer proves no different, as she tries to show him the woman she has become, however, growing up as their ‘little sister‘, Belly can’t seem to break free from that label and spends the Summer moving on and trying to squash the butterflies fluttering around in her stomach.
I really enjoyed Belly’s story and the love triangle blossoming between her and the two brothers. It was a really fun dynamic, being as before this Summer happened – Belly was an outsider, the ‘little sister‘ they didn’t want to hang around with except when teasing her, etc. The boys treated her differently and after all those years of desperately hoping she’d be welcomed in to the group – also including her older brother, Steven – she had finally found her way in.
If you love a story that has you picking a team, this one is the one – Team Conrad? or Team Jeremiah? Personally, I was definitely more #TeamJeremiah because he was the most genuine and lovely brother of the two, treating her as the best friend she had always been. Even if that meant pushing his long-lasting feelings towards her away and accepting the fact that the only person she’d have her eyes on that Summer, was Conrad.
I wouldn’t say Conrad is one of those bad boys you love to hate, or hate to love, but there is some arrogance around him and he doesn’t have anyone’s best interests at heart, except his own. He spends the Summer extremely moody towards Belly, treating her like the little girl he’s always known. That being said, you could still see the care he had towards her, even if that care was only there because he thought of her as a little sister.
Whilst this book was definitely a light-hearted Summer read, there was definitely a more deeper story within the families, including an illness and because of this and other things such as the teens all going their separate ways after Summer was over – you could tell that this was going to be the last time at the Beach House where everything was like every other year before. I was glad to have read little snippets of previous Summers, as it would’ve been sad to see it all go so quickly.
The first instalment to ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty‘ series was a great read, with the shortest of chapters (thank you Jenny Han!!) meaning I absolutely whizzed through this book within a day or two. I would describe it as a book that you can’t put down once you pick up, however, that being said, it will only be that type of book for you if you’re in to the cliche’s, cheesy romances, love triangles, etc. like myself! I have grown to care for every character including; Belly, Conrad, Jeremiah, Laurel (Belly’s mum), Steven (Belly’s brother) and Susannah (Conrad & Jeremiah’s mum) and can’t wait to see what awaits them next Summer!