Thursday, May 05, 2011

REVIEW: It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

It's Not Summer Without You
by Jenny Han
Pages: 288
Publisher: Puffin
Publication Date: 5th May 2011
Format: Paperback

Last year, all of Belly’s dreams came true and the thought of missing a summer in Cousins Beach was inconceivable. But like the rise and fall of the ocean tide, things can change-- just like that. Suddenly the time she's always looked forward to most is something she dreads. And when Jeremiah calls to say Conrad has disappeared, Belly must decide how she will spend this summer: chasing after the boy she loves, or finally letting him go.

So, picture the scene, 'kay? It's Wednesday's pretty hot and I just dug out my copy of The Summer I Turned Pretty to reread in preparation of the second book in the Summer trilogy, It's Not Summer Without You. I first read the book in Easter last year, and I couldn't *wait* to experience the fun again! I managed to finish the whole book, but too tired to start INSWY, I went to sleep. The next morning I woke up about 9-ish thinking "hmm, I might just read a couple of pages of INSWY before I go brush my teeth. Just a few pages. But I really couldn't help myself, and ended up spending a good few hours in bed until I finished the book. And I finished it on a TOTAL high. 
I thought that It's Not Summer Without You reflected life even better than The Summer I Turned Pretty, something I didn't think was even possible. Han deals with issues that teens have to face in a thoughtful, understanding way, and I really loved her portrayal of the situation because where many would think that Belly has the perfect life (there's two gorgeous boys after her, she's gorgeous, and she spends her summer on a beach that sounds like PARADISE..need I say more?), we see that it's not all rainbows and cupcakes. She manages to capture all these raw, touching emotions in such a magical way and I can't help but admire her for that.

One of my favourite things about It's Not Summer Without You, is that we also got to see some of the things through Jeremiah's eyes! I thought Conrad's attitude towards Belly was horrible - I was practically in pain because he was just so UGH! - but seeing it from Jere's point-of-view? Heart-wrenching. Totally, utterly heart-wrenching. Seeing things from his point of view, his feelings and the way he sees everything,we finally realize how much Jeremiah's loves Belly and it made me question how much about him we really know. You can tell from his parts that he obviously has a lot to say, and it made me melt a little bit inside.. But I'm still Team Conrad..always will be. I think.

I LOVED seeing how Belly has changed and grown since The Summer I Turned Pretty. The novel highlights this other side of her and it really gave her character depth. In her eyes, the world has changed. Belly trying to bury herself in the kind of summer activities her friends participate in while she's away at Cousins whilst dealing with her grief made me want to grab her, hug her and never let go.

I devoured this book big time. Every second I spent reading it was worth it - I had this big, cheesy grin on my face throughout most of it, and I'm just glad that it was in the comfort of my own bedroom where nobody could notice and laugh at me!

By the way..I have to give Laurel a shout-out. She's just..well, in Belly's words "a badass." 

The ending? Hated it. Why? BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!!!!! The book is left on a huge cliffhanger and it's *breaking my heart* knowing that I was to slow to read We'll Always Have Summer before it expired on GalleyGrab!!!! So y'know, if anybody has a copy they'd like to give me..I'M READY FOR YOU, COUSINS BEACH!

*has a huge girl crush on Jenny Han*
My predictions for book three: it seems that both boys struggled with their feelings towards Belly in the book, and I honestly don't know what's going to happen next. I'm actually a little bit scared, knowing that either one of them has a chance now.. *bites nails* LOVE TRIANGLES FTW. (especially when they work, which in this case, THEY DO.)



  1. It was after reading this series that I realised that love triangles aren't necessarily as cheesy and irritating as they are noways if done the right way. And boy is it done wonderfully in the series. OMG the third book is just as amazing as the others. Save up and buy it, seriously!!

    PS; If you still love Conrad then in the third book you will -- LOVE/ADORE/FANGIRLY Majorly over him!!

  2. If you're team Conrad you'll love the 3rd novel in this series because you get to see things through his perspective. Plus, he's a lot nicer lol.

  3. This one sounds really good, fab review :D

  4. I love this series! :D I can't wait for the 3rd one, but it's like, a year away... A WHOLE YEAR! D: Great review! :D


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