|Title: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han
Publication: April 6th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: Paperback, 276 pages
Source: Personal Purchase from National Bookstore
Thoughts in General:
Then we have Belly’s childhood summer buddies, Conrad and Jeremiah. I will start off with Conrad, who was the apple of Belly’s eye. I dunno about you, but I wasn’t that fond of him at all. Maybe it was due to the predicament he was in (with what was happening with their mother), but he acted such a douche in the entire novel. Seriously, even in the flashbacks I just didn’t like him that much. He was so stuck up and the way he treated Belly was just… ugh!
Jeremiah on the other hand, was loads of fun to read. I liked his attitude more than his brother and he just felt real to me. He tried to make things lighter and he was just really nice to Belly, which was a treat to see. I felt bad for him when Belly ripped his heart out when he told her about his feelings for her (this magnified my negative emotions towards our heroine). I am not one for Teams in books, but so far I am on team Jeremiah.
Belly’s brother Steven was kind of annoying, however, he still captured the true essence of a brother and an older sibling. I related to Belly when she felt left out of the group (being the youngest of two, I had my fair share of that scenario). We also have Laurel, Belly’s mother, who was stern but a comforting mom. She was the epitome of a metaphorical pillar. She was so strong and sure of herself. Jenny Han has done a great job in portraying this mother-daughter relationship.
We also have Susannah, a.k.a Beck, Laurel’s BFF and the mother of Conrad and Jeremiah. She was super nice and I felt that Belly appreciated her more than her own mother. She seemed so charming, calm and a really lovely woman. I was just saddened when I found out that her cancer came back and she was having a divorce to boot, which was kind of a harsh outcome for her.
Then we have Belly’s summer fling, Cam. Honestly, he didn’t stood out to me and he just felt like an accessory in the book. He was there just to stir things up and make it interesting. At first I kind of wanted Belly to end up with him, but you can tell from the get-go she wasn’t over Conrad and she couldn’t move on. The way their relationship ended was so abrupt that it never left a lasting effect on me.
We also had a sneak peek of Taylor, Belly’s closest friend in her hometown and school. She didn’t made such a huge splash on the book, but Belly portrayed her as this minx who gets all the boys and I didn’t like her when she hooked up with Belly’s brother.
I had a big issue with the overall story of The Summer I Turned Pretty. I felt like it lacked a strong plot line, which made the whole book kind of bland for me. I guess, since I had a problem with Belly’s infatuation towards Conrad, I just didn’t see the overall plot of the book as exciting.
The flashbacks melding with the current summer, was blended really well though and I have to hand it to Jenny for making it coherent. I did love the family aspect of the book with Belly’s relationship with her mom and Susannah. Also, I enjoyed the friendships between Belly, Steven, Conrad and Jeremiah. They made me want to spend the summer at Cousins.
Overall I give The Summer I Turned Pretty a…