The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han Book Review

Belly had been spending all her summer vacations at the summer house in Cousin’s beach for as long as she can remember. Even though the place always felt like home away from home, she always felt like an “outsider”. It was her mom’s best friend’s summer home, Susannah. Her mom had Susannah, her brother Steve had Susannah’s sons, Conrad and Jeremiah while she had no one. This is also the reason why she always felt like she always had to squeeze in herself amongst the people around her. She tried to fit in by always proving herself worthy.

But the summer for her 16th birthday was different. She just got her braces taken off and got new contacts. She could tell that she was turning out to be a pretty young woman by how Susannah’s boys looked at her or so she thought…

Then along came Cam, whom had seen her from her “non pretty” days and still claimed that she was beautiful and he just couldn’t take his eyes off of her. If only, she could feel the same way for him. As much as she wanted that, she couldn’t for she has always been in love with Conrad, the brooding, serious and handsome older brother of Jeremiah, Susannah’s eldest son.

The summer Belly turned pretty will be a summer of new discoveries about herself and the people she loves. It’s the summer when everything changes and it may be the last she’ll spend at Cousin’s beach with all the people she cares about.


At first I hated how Belly was. She was so naive about things, she couldn’t make up her mind and I felt that she played Cam but then I realized, she was 16. Raging hormones! Lol! I was that age once and I was somewhat like her too. I couldn’t make up my mind, not only about boys but a lot of things! And like her, I made most things “dramatic”. Things that I shouldn’t worry about, worried me too. But hey, nuff ’bout me!

I thought that I wouldn’t like the book but I did. Although I wouldn’t say that I would look for a kindle download of it or look for it from a bookstore or anything (my niece lent it to me). Probably because the genre was too young for me.

I liked her style of writing which is “first person”. Although not very many of how Belly felt were described. It left me trying to grasp how it felt like. I just based it from how I was when I was younger which I guess is a good thing and a bad thing. It leaves something to the imagination, something you can create with your own mind yet leaves you unsure if that was really how it was for Belly.

I’m glad though that it’s a trilogy which means that I will get to read about Belly as she grows older.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I love, love, love the setting simply because it’s on a beach. Kudos to Jenny Han, I love the beach!

My favorite part of the book was when Jeremiah left Conrad and Belly in the car. Conrad was drunk at the back and Belly was in the passenger seat next to the driver where Jeremiah would sit. Conrad said Belly’s name and then touched her hair. He sighed and then… Jeremiah came back.

An excerpt from the book:

I say, “I can’t believe that you are really here.”

He sounds almost shy when he says it, “Me neither.”

And then he hesitates, “Are you still coming with me?”

I can’t believe he even has to ask. I would go anywhere. “Yes.” I tell him.


I give it a 6 out of 10 stars. From ages 13 up to whoever still wants to read it 🙂

~ by TM on November 25, 2011.

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