Also by this author: Summer I Turned Pretty, To All The Boys I\'ve Loved Before, We'll Always Have Summer
Series: Summer #2
Also in this series: We'll Always Have Summer
Published by Simon and Schuster on April 27th 2010
Genres: Young Adult, Social Themes, Dating & Relationships, Family, General, Friendship, Social Issues, Dating & Sex
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Belly thought her romance with Conrad was picture-perfect: She was all grown up and dating the boy of her dreams. But things with Conrad were never exactly as she had dreamed (obsessed) about. He keeps getting more distant and distracted, and Belly wishes she could walk away. But when Jeremiah calls her to tell her Conrad has seemingly gone missing, it takes her only seconds to start packing her things. Belly embarks on a journey to find him…no matter how much what she discovers will hurt her.
It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han is the second in her summer series, so if you have not yet read the first book which is The Summer I Turned Pretty, check out this review and read the first book and then come back. So you know how you get a shiny library card and are all like THE WORLD IS MINE FOR THE TAKING! I am going to read all of the books and all of the things? That is me right now with all the books.
So, of course, I somehow decided it is summer and I am reading what I want. What I want is to finish up the Summer series and then the Lara Jean series. It’s been about four years since I read The Summer I Turned Pretty. Honestly, I am used to going a long time between series books due to how long some fantasy authors take to write books. Plus with how Jenny Han writes, it was so easy to dive right into It’s Not Summer Without You.
You should stop reading right here at this sentence if you do not want to be spoiled for The Summer I Turned Pretty. It’s Not Summer Without You takes place a few months after The Summer I Turned Pretty. We learn that Susannah has died, which is awful and heartbreaking. We learn that Belly and Conrad dated but something happened between them that ended the relationship. This summer everyone is grieving and it seems that Belly is not going to Cousins Beach for the first time that she can remember. And so, she receives an unexpected phone call from Jeremiah that Conrad has gone missing and he needs her help to find him. Certain wounds are about to be reopened, but trust, this story is so incredibly compelling.
Belly is such a real character. I should preface this with saying I finally get why they call her Belly because her full name is Isobel. Anyways. So, Belly is a bit mopey with good reason. Susannah has died and she’s always sort of thought of her as a second mom. They were very close. The boy that she thought she loved wants nothing to do with her. Things with her own mother are kind of tense. Also, her best friend really is pushing her toward this one guy but Belly wants none of it. I loved all of the drama that Belly’s character was going through and how hard it was to make up her mind. Let’s be real, being a teenager is tough and this book really nails that reality.
So, of course there is kind of a love triangle in It’s Not Summer Without You. Belly has it bad for Conrad, she always has. Conrad cannot seem to make up his mind. Jeremiah, of course, is into Belly. Belly seems a bit oblivious to this. I know people typically dislike love triangles. Personally, I enjoyed the back and forth Belly goes through. I liked reading the unraveling of Belly and Conrad. Maybe I am horrible though because I am team Jeremiah. He is never a douche to her. However, I get that she just has all these big feelings for Conrad, but over here, I am thinking MEH.
It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han is a single session perfect for your beach chair kind of book. The story draws you in immediately. I felt like I never was left behind or out of the loop despite it being so long between books. I was engaged by pretty much every chapter. I began this book semi late the night before and finished it this morning before noon. I mean, the day that I am writing this not the day that you are reading this. Anyways, this series is definitely a pillar of young adult contemporary books. I cannot wait to finish it up with the next book which I am totally going to be binge-ing on.
Other reviews of It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han:
YA Librarian Tales – “I truly loved it”
GReads! – “lived up to the first”
Wondrous Reads – “left me on edge”
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