- Jenny Han
Review Copy courtesy of RazorBill
Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started--at Cousins Beach.
A second helping of Belly and Beck’s boys is like having a second helping of ice cream for dessert: sweet, tasty and melts in your mouth! It’s a year later and Belly is little more mature, if not entirely grown up. In fact she reminds me a lot of that Brittany Spears song, ‘No Longer a Girl, Not Yet A Woman’. She has loved Conrad for as long as she can remember but while their relationship hasn’t exactly worked she still jumps when Jeremiah asks for her help in finding Conrad when he goes missing.
This story is a bittersweet mix of first love and loss – there is a huge hole in the story where one character is more prominent by their lack. I couldn’t help but feel for all three of the main characters and Conrad especially as the older brother. He still feels and needs that support, but at the same time he doesn’t treat Belly right. He’s too mixed up. Jeremiah, by contrast is so sweet and needy – like a lost puppy. This is a wonderful roller-coaster of emotions that makes you cry, laugh and want to hug all the main characters. My main fault with this story is the lack of decision by the end – it doesn’t feel that Belly has made a choice, just accepted what was offered.
Recommended for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Sarah Dressen. 8 out of 10