Review - The Summer I Turned Pretty - Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)Title: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: May 5th 2009
Pages: 276
Source: Library book
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.
When I went on a library visit, promising myself (And my parents) that I wouldn't check out any more books as I have enough to read, I wasn't planning on getting too many books out. But then...when I was browsing the teenage section I saw The Summer I Turned Pretty and Its Not Summer Without You sitting on the shelf. I had a major hyperventilating freakout as I had knew they had the books after checking on the library website, but whenever I had looked for them they were ALWAYS checked out! So of course I was EXTREMELY excited!

When I went to to the library I was currently reading Confessions of a Murder Suspect (my review) and when I came home I quickly finished it and then immediately started The Summer I Turned Pretty. When I started TSITP, I never expected for it to be such an addictive read, I started reading it ten o clock at night, not expecting myself to become so immersed in the story, and not being able to put it down. I had to eventually, when my parents made me turn off the light. The next day I decided I was going to be a hermit, just so I could stay in bed and read the whole day. I finished The Summer I Turned Pretty in a few hours, and then moved on to the sequel, thirstily seeking more of the summer house, and the characters. 

The Summer I Turned Pretty is about Belly. The beach house. Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly's mother has been best friends with Susannah since they were nine years old. And as long as anyone can remember, Belly and her mom and older brother Steven have gone to the beach house. Belly has always had a crush on Conrad, one of Susannah's son,  but she has always been viewed as the "little sister". But this year, this year its different. This summer is the summer she's turned pretty. The summer where Conrad and Jeremiah might just view her in a different light. This could be that magical summer that changes everything. 

The plot was interesting, it was a perfect summery, beach read. I thought it was going to be a light read, but there was depth to it, and I think that is going to be developed more in the next book. I was sad towards the end of the book. I didn't want the one character to be sick, I didn't want things to be broken between Belly, Jeremiah and Conrad. There was stuff I wasn't expecting, stuff that saddened me, but stuff I think that is going to make the next book even better. 

Belly was likeable main character. A lot of people found she was immature but I didn't. She was used to always being considered the baby, the "little sister". But this year, its different. She can feel Conrad and Jeremiah seeing her in a new light, and she doesn't know how to handle that. I could feel how confused and frustrated she was, she didn't know where her place was and that caused her to act unlike her usual self. 

The two main love interests were intriguing. They were, for one, both brothers, that had grown up with Belly, therefore treating and thinking of her as a little sister. We really got to comprehend their relationship with each other, as every few chapters it would flip to one of the previous, more memorable summers and see how they use to leave her out and not include her. The summers consisted of first love, first crushes, first kisses and first fights. Followed by lots of heartbreak. 

I liked Jeremiah. He was such a lovely, happy, friendly guy and even when Belly yet again rejected him for Conrad, the boy she could never have, he went on pretending it was fine and  still joking around and being her best friend. And that;s what Belly viewed him as. Her best friend. I want Belly to end up with him, although I don't think she will. But then again, I want her to end up with Conrad.

Conrad, Belly's first love. She has never forgotten about him, never stopped thinking about him. He stole a piece of her heart and she will never get that back, he consumes her mind, and heart, too much.

Conrad I don't like as much as Jeremiah. He is quiet and moody towards Belly and not acting like the boy she once knew. He never spent time with them, never realised she was old enough to make her own decisions. I wanted him to come out of his shell, to stop being so serious, but alas, he didn't. Not really. What I did like about him, is that you could see he cared about Belly. He didn't want her to drink, he didn't want her wearing too much make-up. He cared for her in the way that I don't think she wanted to be cared for. She wanted him to care for her as a girlfriend and not a sister. 

Susannah. Susannah is such a lovely person. She's sweet and gentle and didn't deserve to be going through what she did. I won't say anything more as it would spoil the story. 

The ending to me, was heart-breaking. Everyone was growing up, everyone might not return to the beach house the next summer. With Conrad going to summer school, Jeremiah going to football camp, Belly starting college. I felt that this would be the last, perfect, incomplete summer and that saddened me. When you read the entries of the previous summers, you feel like you experienced those summers right next to them. 

The Summer I Turned Pretty is a fantastic first instalment to what I am sure is going to be a wonderful series.  I enjoyed reading about all their summers they had, summers filled with an abundance of firsts. I did feel like it could be quite monotonous in the books, the love/hate relationship with some of the characters and I also felt like I didn't get to connect with Conrad and Jeremiah, but hopefully that will happen in the next book, that I shall be able to connect with them on more of an emotional level. But I care for the characters and can't wait to read more about them!

I give it: 4 CUPCAKES!