Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han

My rating: 5 of 5 genies
Published: May 5, 2009 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 276
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library Loan
Purchase At: The or

Goodreads Summary

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.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 1/2 genies

Characters: 5 genies

Setting: 5 genies

Plot: 4 genies

Honourable Mention: To Susannah. For being the embodiment of summer, and pretty much perfect.

***OOH, possible spoilers ahead guys, watch out!

Well. So that was...

I feel a lot like this:

Because I am sure of two things:

1.) I freaking love this series. And Conrad. I really freaking adore him, more than Jeremiah I am happy to say. Ah, to be young and fictionally in love...

2.) This is my new favourite series.

And three, because I'm just boss that way:

3.) Reading this series takes my mind away from the horror that is snow all around, and while I'm reading this all I imagine are rainbows, the ocean and glorious warmth. Basically by endeavouring to read the rest of the series, I'd like to delude myself longer.

What I'm getting at here:

Is that this is a well-rounded and great book. I was so hesitant to try it because the other beachy novel on my CR shelf is stale and quite frankly, irrelevant to me at the moment. This however, this was relevant! It had so much heart and such soul...I love Belly, and Beck's boys.

You know at the back of books where the book blurb is all like, "...A true tale of touching inspiration and growth?" Well I feel just like that! I feel like donning my creep glasses and jacket and writing something inspirational too! You know what! I will:

One step at a time, my friends, this book has touched me. Severely.

Summary (brief): Belly is this awkward teenager I couldn't help relating to because at her age I was just as clueless, if not more! She turns pretty one summer and everything changes, her two life-long "friends" begin to act differently and tensions rise as further complications threaten to ruin the tradition of Summer. Let me start off by saying Cousin's beach is a place I most definitely have to go!

I started off reading this with a bit of a raised brow because I didn't know if the importance Belly and everyone held for this place would rub off unto me or not. I knew that I really wanted it to and am all kinds of crazy mad-glad it did. Some authors can try to capture the idea of summer, but what Han actually does is that she grabs a hold of the very definition, transforms it and personifies it into a person. And one.

Both Belly and Susannah were summer personified to me; summer at different stages. Belly is at the beginning, like a beach inexperienced or sand yet to be tread--she's smooth canvas. Susannah on the other hand is the shore at twilight and she symbolizes something we have yet to ever see, the end of summer. She doesn't get there in this book but the gradual decline taking place is made very evident, and yet through it all she's this picture of dignity, something to behold. I kind of love this woman.

Women if you factor in Belly and Han, the author, because I adore them too. This book was so good that I left thinking I would nick-name my baby Belly somehow.

Yeah, I know!

It was just this awesome ride and reading it was such a privilege, I cannot begin to explain. I have nowhere to begin because I am at a loss for words, all I can say is that I have been thoroughly pleased. And for once (those of you who know me will know just how much of a breach from character this is) I cannot focus solely on the men, I just can't It would be an insult to do so, because despite the fact that they were major and wonderful parts of this book, they just didn't seem to matter more than the overall story.

What mattered were Susannah and Belly and their growth because there was so much happening here. So much character development took place that it was crazy and incredible at the same time! This feeling of watching someone learn and transform into something better than what they once were is what drives me to read, I hardly see enough of it in real life.

There were things I wished were better resolved, say Cam and Mr. Fisher, I wanted to know the reason for the impending divorce, and I also thought the adorable geek that is Cam deserved at least an explanation! No fair, Bells.

Other than that I am good. So good that I already have the second book sitting around somewhere waiting. I'll try reading a bit of Endless Summer again but if nothing comes of it, I'm dropping it like a hot potato.

Because every book should be as good as this one.

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Going by FTC guidelines, allow me to point out that all the novels reviewed on this blog were either bought by me, or given by an author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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