Title: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 21, 2010
Page Count: 292
My rating: 3 stars
About the book:
Belly has an unforgettable summer in this stunning start to the Summer I Turned Pretty series from the New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (soon to be a major motion picture!), Jenny Han.
Belly’s never been the kind of girl that things happen to. Year after year, she’s spent her summers at the beach house with Conrad and Jeremiah. The boys never noticed Belly noticing them. And every summer she hoped it would be different. This time, it was. But the summer Belly turned pretty was the summer that changed everything. For better, and for worse.
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han is the first book in the young adult contemporary Summer series. The story is a bit of a coming of age tale with a side of romance and family dynamics.
Fifteen, almost sixteen, Isabelle or Belly as she’s always been known is ready for yet another summer at the beach. Each year Belly’s mother packs up Belly and her brother and heads to her best friend’s beach house with Susannah and her two sons, Conrad and Jeremiah, at Cousins Beach.
Every year Belly has gotten more and more of a crush on Conrad and every year Belly is the little sister the boys never had. This summer however Belly is starting to blossom and change and really hopes the summer will be different.
The Summer I Turned Pretty wasn’t too bad of a read, a bit out of my normal reading spectrum maybe but turned into a decent coming of age tale. Belly is obviously young and naive in the story and in some ways that made it seem a bit unbelievable as kids these days generally are more advanced at her age. This in a way made this one feel a bit dated as if it were something from decades ago, along the lines of Dirty Dancing and Baby being naive and growing over the summer just without the dancing side. Of course I loved that movie so when giving up trying to picture the story in this decade I found myself enjoying it more.
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About the author:
Jenny Han is the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series; Shug; the Burn for Burn trilogy, cowritten with Siobhan Vivian; and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You. She is also the author of the chapter book Clara Lee and The Apple Pie Dream. A former children’s bookseller, she earned her MFA in creative writing at the New School. Visit her at DearJennyHan.com.