The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

TitleThe Summer I Turned Pretty

Author: Jenny Han

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Date of Publication:May 5th, 2009

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages:Hardcover, 276 pages

Summary: 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

summer I turned pretty

I bought the whole series in one book a while ago because I thought it would be worth it. Sadly, the book was not worth the hype.

This review is going to be hard to write because I read the whole series in a short amount of time and since the books were all slammed into one book, I am having a hard time separating details from each book. The Summer I Turned Pretty takes place over the span of a summer. However, there were many random flashbacks that occurred without warning. It was confusing when trying to find out whether the events were occurring now or in the past.

The basis of the story is that Belly returns to her beach house one summer and is pretty. Her mom’s friend’s sons are shocked to see that the Belly that they grew up with was now beautiful. Because of her newly found beauty, the sons, Conrad and Jeremiah, develop feelings for Belly. Belly now has to choose between her lifelong crush, Conrad, and her best friend, Jeremiah.

This book was not one of my favorites. First off, the characters weren’t likable. Our main character, Belly, is a horrible person. Also, do not tell me she is relatable as a teenager because I am a teenager and she is still horrible. Do you need reasons why?

  1. She spends most of the book being selfish and rude. She brings her friend to her shore house and then gets mad at her for liking both boys. Newsflash, you can’t have both boys, Belly! Also, she’s terrible to the people she “loves”. She constantly freaks out on all of them as if she never does anything wrong. She is an emotionally weak character.
  2. Belly obsesses over Conrad, a boy who has shown no interest in her and lacks a personality, for most of her life. She revolved her life around a guy who seemed to not care for her. It was so pathetic.
  3. She annoyed me in so many ways. Whenever she was not included in things, Belly would whine and complain. Also, she always threatened to tattle-tale. Belly wanted to be treated as an adult, but she acted like a helpless child.
  4. SHE WAS SO INSENSITIVE!!! All she cared about was herself. Her comments about other people’s problems were obnoxious. 
  5. Finally, Belly was extremely superficial. Half of the time, Belly would mention how pretty she had become. Also, it seemed like every male in the entire world was attracted to her. I hate when authors make their character seem like everyone’s prized object. Honesty, Belly was too annoying to have all those guys attracted to her.

Next, Conrad was extremely moody. He was supposed to be described as a dark and dreamy love interest. Sadly, he was a helpless asshole who only cared about himself. The children had to always help Conrad despite him being the oldest.

Another thing that I did not enjoy was how superficial the book was. I feel that the message in this story was that if you are pretty then everyone will be attracted to you. Basically, the message says that being pretty is everything. Not a very good message for teenage girls.

Though I did not like this book, I enjoyed a few things. The relationship between the mom and Susannah was adorable. I felt that their bond was expressed very well. I also liked the setting and beach vibe.

Overall, I would not recommend. The good did not outweigh the bad.


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