The Summer I Turned Pretty By Jenny Han

I am not a big fan of books where the main plot genre is romance but I finished this entire trilogy in two days because it was simply that gripping. This book is absorbing in a way that at times you feel like throwing the book away but realise that you can’t because you just gotta know what happens.

The reason why I ended up buying this trilogy is because of the name. I knew it wouldn’t be relatable after I read the synopsis but I bought it anyways. This summer, all of a sudden, my friends and family members have been telling me that I have turned pretty. I still look like a panda though! It’s kind of sad because the only reason they say that is probably because my skin has become fairer as an adaptation to the cold climate. I was always fabulous, alright!

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han is the first book of the series. The sequels are: It’s Not Summer Without You and We Will Always Have Summer. These are romance/family books written mainly from the point of view of the protagonist, Belly. It is about family, friends and relationships. What could be more relatable than that?

Every summer, Belly stays with Conrad and Jeremiah (brothers) in their beach house along with their families. Belly always had feelings for one of the brothers but that summer both of them notices Belly in a more than friends sort of way for the first time. There’s more to the story than that but I shall not spoil it. It is a simple story but has a meaningful depth to it and subtle humour.

Personally, I really hated Belly in the first book. Before deciding not to read it please read this post to the end! She is annoying and attention seeking. I cannot stand when female characters fish for male attention! Seriously, there’s more to life than that. Anyways, she does grow as a person in the next two books. However, I still didn’t like her. I think a lot of people can relate to her in some ways though.

Conrad’s personality was more on the introvert spectrum but I still didn’t like him. He was the handsome, athletic and brooding character. I am not a hater but I did have a hard time liking the characters. Although, Conrad does become better in the last book.

Jeremiah is probably the only character I liked in the first or second book. Dammit, I can’t remember which one. He is a more relaxed character. He is also described as being athletic, handsome but jolly instead of broody. I kind of ended up not liking him in the last book. Besides, he had a very mainstream personality. Hating fictional characters can’t make me a hater, right?

The characters that left an impression were the mothers. They were strong female characters and I loved them. I know I am portraying most of the characters in a negative light but it just makes reading the book all the more enjoyable because you are reading the story of humans that are by no means perfect. Regardless, I truly do think a lot of people will relate to the characters.

I didn’t imagine I would actually like this book so much that I would go in a reading slump afterwards! I am scared by how much I enjoyed reading these books which shows that you don’t always have to relate to the characters to like the book. I just don’t have the words to tell you how special this book is minus me hating the characters! At times, I couldn’t wipe this stupid smile of my face while reading the books. I would definitely rate this book a four out of five and recommend it to romantics, contemporary readers and people who like a book where there is an element of family.


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