a big white book with a girl and two boys on the cover lies in the grass in the sun

Jenny Han’s “The Summer I Turned Pretty” Review

By Timia Cobb
Web Content Contributor

Jenny Han is a very talented author that has recently gotten a lot of attention due to her book “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” getting a movie adaptation on Netflix.

Even though I love all of Han’s books, I have to say all the boys is far from my favorite and not even close to what I believe is her best work.

I was only in sixth grade when I read “The Summer I turned Pretty” for the first time and ever since, It has become my tradition to read it every summer. What makes a book good is when someone reads it they’re able to feel the same emotions the characters are going through, they can cry, laugh, etc. and become so familiar with the book it’s as though it has become a part of them.

The book revolves around Isabel “Belly” Conklin, who spends every summer with her family and her mother’s best friend’s family. Her mother’s best friend was Susannah “Beck” Fisher, a cancer survivor who was a second mother to Belly.

Beck had two sons, Jeremiah and Conrad, who were also the loves of Belly’s life. The first book deals a lot with Belly trying to figure out her emotions for each boy while also dealing with family problems.

The first book is followed by “ It’s Not Summer Without You” and the final book, “We’ll Always Have Summer.”

The series shows Belly, Conrad and Jeremiah coming of age and how life makes them change over the years. This was the first book I read that made me understand that love isn’t all happy endings and rainbows.

Love can hurt, be confusing and take years to understand.

It made me see that even though two people can love each other, that doesn’t always mean they can be together. It isn’t always that simple.

The biggest lesson it taught me is that for you to unconditionally love someone, you have to learn to love yourself and know what’s best for you.

The book series has characters readers can fall in love with, like the main character who isn’t selfish and annoying. This book is a genuine romance that warms your heart.

“The Summer I turned pretty” isn’t just a book to me due to the meaning it holds. I read this book at a time in my life when I was young and in love with the thought of love.

I had this idea that love was only happiness and could fix everything in your life if you had it. However, reading this book made me understand that even if I have to go through years of heartbreak and confusion to find someone who needs me the way I need them, I would do it.

Love doesn’t always have perfect timing. Sometimes life just needs to happen first.“The Summer I turned Pretty” taught me so much without me even realizing it and that’s why It will always be a book I come back to.

Featured image by Timia Cobb.

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