by Jenny Han
Series: Summer #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on April 6th 2010
Genres: Young Adult
Source: Barnes & Noble, Library
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.
I’m going to go ahead and do a full series review on this one. First, because I read the whole series in 3 days, and second, because this series has already been out for years anyway! Back in high school I had a friend who could not recommend this series enough to me. She’s the reason I bought the whole series, before letting it sit on my bookshelf for 5 years!
I’m going to try and keep this as spoiler free as possible, but one or two might slip in there!
These books really weren’t all that bad, and I could see how they would appeal to high school age girls going through that self-hate and boy crazy phase. Me, not so much. I recognize that I am now a 23-year-old adult in a healthy, committed relationship, so I’m not always able to connect with these young girls in YA Books swooning over the brooding asshole who secretly loves her anymore. I’m starting to realize that the best type of guy is the kind that doesn’t hold back his feelings for whatever reason! That said, a really good book can still get me hooked on that bad boy. This book did not.
Let’s start with Miss Isabelle “Belly” Conklin. Oh my Lord is this girl annoying…. But first of all, who calls someone “Belly” until they’re 19 years old! There was one particular series part of the book that should have required a serious tone and serious conversation and when you start the sentence out “Belly…” it just doesn’t seem serious to me. But anyway, not that big of a deal. What is a big deal is how incredibly whiny this girl is! She is by far the whiniest character I have ever had the displeasure to read about or listen to. She did grow up some by end of the last book, I will give her that. But she was still extremely self-centered through almost the entire series. She didn’t care about anyone or anything but her ridiculous “epic love” for Conrad Fisher (which, if you ask me, was misplaced and completely and totally confusing). The entire book was “will Conrad pay attention to me today? What’s Conrad doing? Why is Conrad with that other girl and not me? Why is Conrad being mean to me? Why won’t Conrad pay attention to me? Will doing this make Conrad jealous?” Seriously girl, get a grip.
As for the Fisher Boys, Jeremiah and Cooooonraaaaad (ugh). Eh. At first I was Team Jeremiah. And then? I realized I really didn’t care and that the girl honestly didn’t deserve either of them because she was just annoying and honestly acted like an idiot most of the time. The love triangle was seriously annoying. Will she or won’t she? Please tell me she’s just not gonna, okay?
Yes there was some serious stuff going on in the background that I would have liked the book to explore more, but Belly was so wrapped up in her own stupid head worrying about Conrad to really see what was going on around her.
If you’re looking for a light read that will take you into a summer full of obsession and “romance” then this will be a good read. Like I said, it took me 3 days to finish all 3 books, so if nothing else it won’t waste much of your time if you decide it wasn’t for you. But don’t expect to jump into this book in order to find a compelling story, because you might be disappointed. That said, teen readers: you will probably love this and give it infinite stars!