The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han
Release: May 5th 2009
Genre: Contemporary, YA
#1 in the Summer Trilogy
Sequels: It's Not Summer Without You (#2), We'll Always Have Summer (#3)
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.
Sometimes a book is so outdated that it just really doesn't fit your current mindset and social views anymore, but there's still something that's simply so entertaining you so you keep on reading, even though you don't know why.
This book literally consists of every single cliché there ever was, with the douchebag love interest, the damsel heroine and, even better, not a love triangle but a love square.
Seriously, Conrad was such an annoyingly infuriating dick who was selfish and arrogant as fuck, never caring about anyone else but him, and I just cannot understand why Belly took all of his shit and dealt with it. Especially when she not only had one, but two guys who where in love with and really sweet to her. Instead, she just chose to let Conrad walk all over her.
Then again, Belly seemed like exactly what she is: A fifteen-year-old. A kind of dumb, immature and annoying fifteen-year-old. I mean, I can't fault Han for writing a believable heroine who acts appropriately for her age, but it really was frustrating most of the fucking time when she couldn't see what was right in front of her.
I already predicted the plot twist on page 20 or something because of a single line, and Han continued to drop so many damn hints and still, Belly was too naive to see it. And then this is pulled out 200 pages later like it's some kind of big reveal, when it really, really isn't.
Still, something needs to be said is that Han creates a really beautiful atmosphere with this book, creating a very vivid cast of characters inhabiting the summer house, with everyone having their place in it and playing their own part in it. They had all their own personality and contributed to the novel.
In the end, it's an okay novel ... it's entertaining enough for some reason, managing to hold the reader's attention the whole time. It's also pretty short, so it's perfect for, like, the beach or a long flight, because you can just fly through it.