- Jenny Han
Publisher: UK – RazorBillReview copy read thanks to RazorBill and did not influence my opinions.
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
The Summer I Turned Pretty is a very sweet summer read – perfect for whiling away a few hours. Isabel or ‘Belly’ the narrator is fifteen, nearly sixteen and has been going to the summer house with her Mum and brother as well as her Mum’s best friends and her two sons. Belly has always felt a little left out as the boys, older and more boisterous than her often ignore her. But this summer everything changes when Belly has finally grown up.
Jenny Han has done a marvellous job of capturing that unique mindset of the teenage girl – not yet a woman and yet no longer a girl. Belly is unconsciously selfish and so focussed on her own life that she ignores lots of little signs that all is not the perfect summer she had pictured. Yet she is enduring and it is so refreshing to read a YA book where the heroine isn’t already supremely confident and sure of herself. Belly doubts, changes her mind, pouts and laughs all living in the moment – and that joy of live and exploration of what life could be is a joy to follow!
Jeremiah and Conrad – the two boys who Belly has known forever are similarly shown as teens dealing with life and adult issues in very different ways. I also liked Belly’s relationship with her mother and Susannah – the awkward relationship between a teen girl and her mother is so familiar to most girls! Overall, this is an easy read about a girl finding out what she truly wants – and I am really looking forward to reading We’ll Always Have Summer and It’s Not Summer Without You – the next two books following Belly’s growth.
Recommend for fans of Lauren Oliver and Mary Hooper. 8 out of 10