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 wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
This is another book I've had in my pile for a while. I decided to pick it up recently because the snow has melted, the weather has been getting warmer, and I was in the mood for a romantic, summery read. Something light and sweet that would put me in the mood for some summer love. I couldn't have made a better choice!
The Summer I Turned Pretty starts out with Belly on her way to the beach house with her mom and brother, and through the progression of the story we learn of her history with Jeremiah and Conrad through current events and memories of summers past. At first I had a little trouble following what period of time we were actually in, but I soon caught on and followed the flow of the book very easily. I really liked the way we were with Belly at the beach house and feeling the excitement that this summer was going to be different from all the rest, and were able to travel back to earlier times through her memories and see just how this summer was unique.
Not only does this novel tell us a heart warming love story, it also touches upon issues of family, friendship and what it means to grow up and come into one's own. The history between their parents makes the characters of Belly, Jeremiah, and Conrad feel richer and allows the reader to understand a little more of who they are while providing a more complex storyline.
The only negative thing I would really say about this book is that I felt like I really didn't know Jeremiah. To me, Belly's feelings toward Conrad were much more obvious. I really really liked what I did see of Jeremiah, but I wanted so much more. He was sweet and adorable but it felt like I met this great guy and then really didn't get a chance to talk to him or learn anything about him. Maybe I'll get more of him in the next book, It's Not Summer Without You.
Overall I thought The Summer I Turned Pretty was a very enjoyable read. I read it in one day and it left me feeling happy, and with dreams of the ocean and the fresh summer air. I'll definitely be picking up the sequel when it's released on April 27th.