It's Not Summer Without You
By: Jenny Han
Last year, all of Belly's dreams came true and the thought of missing a summer in Cousins Beach was inconceivable. But like the rise and fall of the ocean tide, things can change--just like that. Suddenly the time she's always looked forward to most is something she dreads. And when Jeremiah calls to say Conrad has disappeared, Belly must decide how she will spend this summer: chasing after the boy she loves, or finally letting him go.
summary from book
My Rating: 5/5
I absolutely fell in love with Belly and her world in The Summer I Turned Pretty. Naturally, when I heard that Jenny Han was continuing Belly's story in a trilogy I was ecstatic. It's Not Summer Without You I believe is a wonderful continuation of the world that was introduced in the first book. The familiar characters continue to grow and their development is very apparent throughout. Jenny Han does not leave readers hanging as she fills them in on exactly what has happened since the last book. The chapters alternate between past occurrences and the present. Another little additive to this novel that I enjoyed was that some chapters are told through Jeremiah's perspective. It was a great way of letting the reader know what was happening in his life and how those around him were feeling, especially Conrad, without spoiling the story.
I have to say that not many books make me cry at the very beginning. I think I can count on one hand how many have done so yet with It's Not Summer Without You, I did. I think it's because I am very much attached to these characters, more than I realized. I don't want to spoil anything but if you read this novel, a few chapters in you'll know what I'm referring to.
As I mentioned above, these characters, especailly Belly, Jeremiah, and Conrad really grow and develop throughout the duration of this book. Belly was a little childish in the first novel which I know many people disliked although I understood where she was coming from given her age and so on. In It's Not Summer Without You, I feel that Belly did the most growing. She still says things she regrets yet I actually like this about her because I think many people can relate seeing as none of us are perfect. A lot of authors like to make their main characters always say and do the right things but what I like about Belly is that she's flawed. Jeremiah and Conrad also matured as well, more so Jeremiah than Conrad which fits in well with the story line. All in all however, the characters really shine through in this series.
Overall: This is a fantastic series about friendships, romance, family, and much much more. It's not a typical light summer read where you enjoy it for the time being and then are able to put it down and move on when finished. These characters and their stories will really stick with you long after you've finished reading the last page, the last sentence. If you're a fan of contemporary YA, much like myself and you're looking for a great book to read, I really do recommend this series.