The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

What do I want in a summer? I want friendship, fun, and excitement! This is why a read like The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han is a great book for people like me who love romance, but other things, such as family problems and the difficulty with growing up, as well. The first book in The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy is full of romance and amusement that keeps you engaged as we watch Belly, the main character, conquers many love and family situations that this summer throws at her.


Every summer since the day she was born, Belly (Isabel) escaped to Cousins Beach and left her everyday life behind. Belly retreats to a beach house where her mother’s best friend, Susannah Fisher, and her two sons, Conrad and Jeremiah, live. Belly has a developed crush on Conrad and hopes he will finally like her back. However, she meets a boy named Cam and receives flirtatious gestures from Jeremiah. Even though these factors affect Belly’s love life, Conrad is the one who still holds her heart.

Jenny Han has created a piece that can grasp the reader’s interest. The novel has some qualities of a typical love story, however, it is not one that you read all the time. There is more to the story than just hugs and kisses. There is a coming of age theme, realistic traditions between the families, and serious situations, such as a family sickness and a departure to college, that add more suspense to the plotline. These little elements make a big difference, which made me keep turning the page.

The characters were pieced together perfectly, all of them possessing their own unique personality. There were many different traits incorporated in the book. Some characters, like Susannah and Jeremiah, were extremely friendly and sweet. Conrad, on the other hand, was a bit more mysterious and over protective. Han demonstrates well thought-out relationships. For example, Jeremiah and Belly had a strong friendship and they understood what the other person was going through. Belly also has a unique relationship with Susannah; Belly is the daughter she never had. The love between the characters flow well and is so realistic that when you read it, you will get that butterfly feeling and you will be “...walking on cotton candy and clouds...” (pg.160).

Because of its marvelouss plotline, The Summer I Turned Pretty has received many awards that were well deserved. The novel received the ALA Best Books for Young Adults, it made the Capitol Choices List, and was given the Mock Printz 2010 Award. Publishers Weekly stated that the novel was "Romantic and heartbreakingly real" and Lauren Myracle voiced her opinion by saying, "If I could live inside this amazing book, I would." Jenny Han created an atmosphere that makes you feel you are living in the Fisher Beach House, eating dinner with the families, taking midnight swims, and attending parties. The imagery that is produced activates your five senses to form a mini movie in your mind. You are able to feel the sand beneath your feet and on the palms of your hands and the sun’s powerful rays on your skin.

Take a detour from your school life and head to Cousins Beach. Here, you can become friends with Belly as she tells you her story. And boy, does she have so much to say!





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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

WinkieM said...
Feb. 11, 2013 at 11:13 pm
This is godly.
 
Giselle G. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 20, 2012 at 10:01 am
I agree with crazygracie'scomment!
 
crazygracie said...
Oct. 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm
This is so good!!!! Congrats on getting your article published!! <3 You're a great writer!
 
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