Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A Review for The Summer Trilogy by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)Posted by Jess
Release Date: January 10th, 2010
Finished Date: 16th May, 2012
Publishers: Puffin
Source: Gifted
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 276
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US / The Book Depo

Some summers are just destined to be pretty. 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.
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The Review: “We sat around the kitchen table picking off of foil-covered plates. Conrad kept sneaking looks at me, and every time I looked back, he looked away. I'm right here, I wanted to tell him. I'm still here.” -Belly
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I read this a little over a month ago now, and I still love it. It was such a quick and fun read that I simply couldn't get enough of it. I'd heard nothing but praise for this book, and it most certainly didn't disappoint at all.  It had so much fun to it. It was full of joy, and laughter, full unrequited love from all three.
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Belly is extremely likeable, she is quite young to begin with around 15 I believe, and this is pretty much shown in the narration of the story. This summer Belly (Isabel) is suddenly 'pretty' she doesn't wear glasses any more, she's grown into her body etc, and she gets noticed. Noticed by the two boys she's known forever, she's a great heroine, easy to relate to. Although there were certain moments where her age shows, she was otherwise pretty grown up for a 15 year old. Which brings me to Conrad and Jeremiah, absolutely fantastic boys, both extremely well written. I loved all the interactions between them and Belly. When I was reading this it made me want a summer just like it. 
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I really enjoyed the flashbacks to the past summers Belly had. Throughout the book during these flashbacks we see different stages and years of Belly and the boys, it felt good to get a good sense of their history, and how the boys eventually grew into men. Seeing the way Belly grows with them, and eventually falling in love with not one, but essentially both boys. 
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The Summer I Turned Pretty was a perfect little read to keep you going. It's a good read to get you out of a reading slump. It's a perfect summer read. I would most definitely recommend this, save it for when you're by a pool, and picture yourself with Conrad and Jeremiah dunking you into the pool instead.
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It's Not Summer Without You

Posted by Jess
Release Date: May 1st, 2011
Finished Date: May 17th, 2012
Publishers: Puffin
Source: Gifted
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 288
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US The Book Depo

Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started--at Cousins Beach.
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The Review: “He started to say something, maybe an apology and maybe not, and then he stopped, he leaned over and pulled me toward him - like by gravitational force. He kissed me, hard, and his skin was stubbly and rough against my cheek. My first thought was, I guess he didn't have time to shave this morning, and then - I was kissing him back, my fingers winding through his soft yellow hair and my eyes closed. He kissed like he was drowning and I was air. It was passionate, and desperate, and like nothing I had ever experienced before. This was what people meant when they said the earth stopped turning. It felt like a world outside of that car, that moment, didn't exist. It was just us.”-Belly
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I picked this one up straight away. I enjoyed the first one so much that I had to have more. The book picks up right from where book 1 ended, and everyone is slightly older, slightly more mature and are all now grieving having lost someone extremely close to them all. The book now deals with how each character is dealing with this grief, how they come to terms with their loss.
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We see a whole new side to Belly, Jeremiah and Conrad. This book now alternates between Belly and Jeremiah points of views. And I loved that. I loved reading about Jeremiah, about how he's dealing with the loss, how he's dealing with his growing feelings for Belly, and how he's trying to handle and out of control Conrad. It was great to see Jeremiah in a new light and thoroughly enjoyed reading his pages. Belly, I'm not sure how I felt about Belly in this one. Although she does grow, there were moments in this book that had me shaking my head thinking "You need to stop being a child Belly". But after Conrad disappears she wakes up and helps hunt him down. I wasn't shocked to see that Belly and Jeremiah were growing closer, with Conrad being distant, and Jeremiah being the only one that was ever really there for her, it was pretty inevitable that it was to happen. And I was okay with it, it's not who she should be with, but it was fine for me. There was a lot of repetition from book 1 about how things came to pass and how those actions led to the decisions made in book 2. The refresher isn't really needed especially if you've already finished book 1 and immediately picked this up, but it does work.
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This again was a quick read, although it wasn't as cute and fun as book one as it dealt with some real issues, it doesn't take away any of the awesomeness out of it. Jenny Han managed to deal with a real issue, that people go through in everyday life and it was done really well. It will make you want to keep turning pages. Book 2 is pretty much an emotional roller coaster that will leave you reeling in some parts. I most definitely recommend it. 
We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3)Posted by Jess
Release Date: May 3rd, 2012
Finished Date: May 18th, 2012
Publishers: Puffin
Source: Gifted
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 304
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US The Book Depo

One girl.
Two brothers.
The biggest decision of her life . . .
Just when she thought she had all the answers . . . Isabel has only ever loved two boys, Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher.

One broke her heart; the other made her happier than she ever thought she'd be. But each brother is keeping a secret, and this summer Isabel must choose between the Fisher boys, once and for all. Which brother will it be?






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***Possible spoilers***
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The Review: “I've only ever loved two boys—both of them with the last name Fisher. Conrad was first, and I loved him in a way that you can really only do the first time around. It’s the kind of love that doesn't know better and doesn't want to—it’s dizzy and foolish and fierce. That kind of love is really a one-time-only thing.” -Belly
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This was by far the best of the three. This one starts with Belly and Jeremiah at the same college, both are now 18. For the third time in a row Jenny Han managed to tug at the heartstrings, create a whole mass of drama, and beautifully executed a happy ending. When I finished this book I was crying, and I thought about it for the following 3 days. I kept staring at it on my shelf wishing for a story like Belly's. 
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Belly is very grown up in this book, which is seen through her narration of the story. Not only do we get Belly's story but we get a point of view from Conrad too. And that was amazing. I enjoyed reading so much of Conrad, seeing how he was dealing with the after effects of book 2 and the big announcement made in this book my Belly. I think I fell in love with Conrad all over again in this one. It was beautiful. It was great to see the three of them back and how the three were dealing with their issues toward one another. How Conrad was dealing with his love for Belly and how he struggles to tell her how he feels, and whether it's worth ruining his brothers wedding for it.
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As I gradually read this book, I found myself falling more and more in love with it, and realising what kind of ending I wanted this to have. I most definitely enjoyed this one a lot more than the first two, they were great, but this one felt awesome. I think it helped that they were all older, moving on with the lives. This was full of excitement, and drama, I felt for Belly, trying to make her decision, one of the hardest of her lives. I loved how she handled it. I'm not sure I could have chosen one or the other. 
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The ending felt perfect. It completed the story and gave closure to the characters and to me as a reader. I remember saying to myself "No, Belly, he's the wrong boy. He's not the one for you!" and Jenny Han managed to keep you in suspense right to the last minute when in the end the decision was made for Belly. It was the right decision. 
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If you're looking for quick reads, full of love, drama, unrequited love, summer sun, sea, boys, a great heroine and two wonderful mothers then pick up this trilogy by Jenny Han. You won't regret it. It was all so wonderful. And I want to read them again. And I will. After you fiish all three, you'll be thinking about them for days, and just wishing that you had the same summers that Belly had with Jeremiah and Conrad.
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11 comments:

Jasprit said...

Aww yay! I'm so glad that you loved this series too! I'm actually tempted to do a re-read this summer after your wonderful reviews! 

Celine said...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA DONNA! I was just thinking about how I want to re-read this series so badly and then suddenly I saw that you posted the series' review on your blog and I SQUEALED! Anyway, *clears throat* I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH! It's a PERFECT SUMMER READ! And I agree with everything you said! I'm Team Conrad all the way! I LOVE LOVE HIM. I actually loved Jeremiah too but after reading We'll Always Have Summer, I didn't quite liked Jeremiah! Jenny Han's writing is so beautiful!

Amazing review, Donna! ♥ So glad you enjoyed the whole series! 

BookPforLife said...

Hi Celine,

It's actually me (Jess) that has posted these reviews. But thank you. I'm glad you agree with me lol.

~Jess

Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

I only read the first review as I plan to read the remaining two books soon, but I'm glad to see you liked it! I definitely agree that it's a great summer read. Awesome review Jess! :)

Celine said...

 Yikes, I'm really sorry about that Jess! I wasn't sure who posted the review and thought it was Donna!

Anyways, SUPER DUPER AWESOME review, Jess! <3 I'm really glad you enjoyed the whole series!

BookPforLife said...

Thank you Sam. Definitely get to them, the other two are great. Book 3 was my favourite though. So much more Conrad! :) 

~Jess

BookPforLife said...

Haha, no problem Celine. It can be confusing sometimes. I did really enjoy them, and I love Conrad more than ever! 

~Jess

the autumn review said...

Great reviews! I am borrowing this series from a friend of mine who loved it. I'm really anxious to read it. 

YearningtoRead said...

Sounds great!! I love that you liked the series more and more with each book. I can't wait to read them!  (Although I still can't get over the fact that her name is Belly... Blech!)

Great reviews! :D

Sierra @ Yearning to Read

Rebecca said...

I LOVED these books. So precious. Oh and I cried my eyes out in book 1 and 2. So sad! Great review, so glad to hear you loved this series as well!

Gaby said...

OMG I am so freakin' jealous! I am dying to get my had on that third one. I MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENDS (I'M NOT CRAZY I SWEAR) ok maybe a little :)