*contains spoilers. there is a warning before and after the spoiler*
Title: Summer (The Summer I Turned Pretty, It’s Not Summer Without You, We’ll Always Have This Summer)
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Penguin Books
Synopsis: “Belly has always lived for the summertime because it means all her favorite things: swimming, the beach and the Fischer boys, Conrad and Jeremiah. She has spent every summer with them at Cousins Beach for as long as she can remember. She has always been in love with Conrad and finally, one summer, it seems like he might have feelings for her too. But it turns out, so does Jeremiah.
As the summers go on, Belly has to choose between two brothers who love her as she comes to the realization that she will have to break one of their hearts.”
I don’t even know what to say about this book. I had very high expectations because everyone (and I mean everyone) who read this book said many great things about it like how fun it was or how it portrayed an incredibly cute summer relationships. One thing you need to know about me: I love cute & funny books. So yeah, why wouldn’t I have high expectations when the first book has a 3.99 average rating?
However, I didn’t like the books at all. The first book was okay at first but as the ending came closer, the events took a very unexpected turn and I found everything after that a bit senseless.
My main problem was with Isabel, our main character. I found her and her behavior very childish. I feel like I can’t really explain how I feel towards her right now but basically, I didn’t like her because of the immature things she said and did. And there was no character development at all, like how can a person manage to make a lot of mistakes and still make them time after time?
She has an anger management problem which she needs to find a solution to as soon as possible. Throughout the whole book she said some very mean things to her loved ones, especially those who were the closest to her, when she got mad. I’m pretty sure she did these without thinking about their consequences, just to get rid of the anger inside her. The funny thing is that after realizing what she did was rude and saying sorry, she does the same thing again, and again, and again. To top it all, she also thinks everything will be normal and okay after saying those rude things. Isabel, stop being mean.
Isabel was also very dependent on the two boys. It was as if she couldn’t function without them. This didn’t make sense to me at all because sure, you can love someone but you can’t ever be that dependent on someone. She needs to learn how to survive without having a boyfriend.
We learn that Isabel –Belly– has a crush on Conrad and is friends with his younger brother, Jeremiah. Jeremiah is probably the one closest to her because Steven and Conrad are always together, usually messing with Isabel for being younger and a girl. Still, this doesn’t affect the crush Isabel has on Conrad. In the first book though, because of the indecisiveness and childishness, I felt as if Isabel was playing Conrad and Jeremiah. We knew she
had a crush on was in love with Conrad and I don’t really have a problem with that but sometimes, she was also leading Jeremiah on or getting a little bit too close to him (which eventually led to Jeremiah having a crush on her–or maybe he was the one in love with her from the start?) After that, everything became repetitive:
Isabel loves Conrad. Isabel tries to get closer to him. Conrad treats her like shit. Isabel is sad. Isabel spends time with Jeremiah. Conrad softens. Isabel sees this. Isabel tries to get closer to him. Conrad treats her like shit. Isabel is sad. …
“That’s when I finally got it. I finally understood. It wasn’t the thought that counted. It was the actual execution that mattered, the showing up for somebody. The intent behind it wasn’t enough. Not for me. Not anymore. It wasn’t enough to know that deep down, he loved me. You had to actually say it to somebody, show them you cared. And he just didn’t. Not enough.”
I laughed so much while reading the third book. I came to the point where I wasn’t trying to search for a sensible reason for the characters’ actions. Especially when Isabel said “yes” to Jeremiah when he proposed AFTER learning the he cheated on her.
I was literally crying from laughter when Jeremiah asked the question and it became even worse when Isabel said yes, like, girl, have some self-respect?!
*end of spoiler*
In conclusion, this book was a complete disappointment to me. If the main character was a bit smarter (and likable), I would easily get along quite well with her + most of the senseless events that happened wouldn’t even happen, which would make the book more… rational and real. I honestly expected more from it but I guess it just wasn’t my cup of tea ._.
“Maybe that was how it was with all first loves. They own a little piece of your heart, always.”