Published: May 9, 2009
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Series: The Summer I Turned Pretty #1
Acquired: Digital copy
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.
It is a very well rounded and very delightful read. This book is for all seasons really! I laughed at Isabel's nickname which is Belly. It was such a cute nickname for someone who is really beautiful in my head. Having to grow up around boys is either a pain in the butt or something to cherish for your whole life. For Belly, it was both.
She was the odd one out when they were kids because she's the only girl and she's the youngest. I love the flashbacks of Belly in this book. It gave a deeper meaning of Belly's friendship with the Fisher boys and her older brother, Steven. You can relate to her in a way that I think most girls have gone through the phase of wanting to belong somewhere. Whether around girls or with the boys. Belly is determined that this summer is going to change everything and change it did.
Belly's deep and profound love for Conrad is just so beautiful. You just have to root for her. Conrad, on the other hand is an enigma. It's impossible not to fall in love with a handsome enigma. I knew off the bat that Conrad has feelings for Belly and he won't show it. Jeremiah, Conrad's younger brother, was Belly's first kiss. Jeremiah is such a sweetheart. He's very close to his mom, Susannah. When they were young, Jeremiah would often stay with Belly when she gets sick. His relationship with Belly is something that I think all girls dream of. To have that best friend who will love you no matter what.
Aside from the teenagers spending time at their favorite place, this is probably the last summer they'll spend with each other as Susannah Fisher is on the last stages of cancer. Susannah Fisher is this mother T-Rex. She is just so strong and so funny and so vibrant that you can't not fall in love with her character and hug her and call her 'Mom'.
Each character is written in such a way that each one stood out on their own which is why I love this book so much. The love I have for this book are not only words I can express.
Jenny Han was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She went to college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and she went to graduate school at the New School in New York City, where she received her MFA in Writing for Children. She lives in Brooklyn.
Don't forget to get your books signed on June 21!