17 October 2010

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Title: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han
Series: Summer #
Genre: YA
Release Date: April 6, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Edition: Paperback
Some summers are just destined to be pretty
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 wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

There were some things about this book that made me put it in my shelf and not start to read it until I decided it had been sitting there long enough. One of them is that the name of the main character is Belly. I know that the book explains why they call her that, but some times I couldn't take someone who everyone calls Belly seriously. I think it would have been fine if only her family and close friends did, but that wasn't the case.

The story is very simple: summer, a love triangle and some life changings events and choices the main character and people around her had made. What makes this book so good are the characters. Even though I've probably read a lot of books with the same story elements, the author makes you care for every single character in the book. When someone made a mistake I was thinking "why would you do that? Fix it!", when Belly was trying to sort out her feelings for the boys I could actually see why she couldn't choose and when something bad happened, even though I knew that it wasn't going to turn out well, I was still hoping for a miracle, just like Belly.

Some parts of the story were told in flashbacks, and while most of the time I hate that, the author makes it work perfectly. They gave me a depth of understanding that I wouldn't have had without it. While I'm happy that this is just the first book of a trilogy, I still wish there could have been a more solid ending. I especially wanted to know what happened to the rest of the characters after summer.

This was a great YA book with an incredible different and three dimensional cast of characters that make you care for them since page one.

Memorable Lines:

Conrad hugged me first, but a faraway kind of hug, careful not to get to close. He'd just gotten a haircut, and the skin around the nape of his neck looked pink and new, like a baby's. He smelled like the ocean. He smelled like Conrad. "I liked you better with glasses," he said, his lips close to my ear.
That stung. I shoved him away and said, "Well, too bad. My contacts are here to stay."

Next Books:
2. It's Not Summer Without You
3. We'll Always Have Summer (May 3, 2011)