The Summer I Turned Pretty (Book #1)
This book starts off clean and cute. We meet our main character Belly (Isabel), 15 as she’s arriving at the beach house she stays at every summer on Cousin’s Beach with her brother, Steven. The intro to this was really perfect because we weren’t just thrown into the beach house, we are introduced to Steven and Belly’s sibling relationship on the way to Cousin’s. We meet Conrad and Jeremiah, the two boys Belly and Steven have grown up with. Belly & Steven’s mother, Laurel is best friends with their mother, Susannah/Beck. In this book, we learn a lot about Belly’s childhood especially her first times such as her first kiss who was Jeremiah.
This is more of an introduction to Belly’s feelings and relationship with the older brother, Conrad. Conrad is very jerky here and his jealousy gets the best of him. I didn’t like him in this, but Jeremiah made me swoon! Belly meets a new guy, Cam Cameron and he’s so nice to her. But her childish acts get the best of her. She started to annoy me a lot because of her decisions and actions. Steven bothered me as well because he never let Belly hang out with him and the boys so I was glad he left but I felt that he still needed to be there. It kind of felt very awkward without him. This ends very sad with Beck’s cancer coming back and my heart just broke a little.
I loved the flashbacks because they made sense to what just happened or what was coming. This book was really family-oriented which I loved, Susannah & Laurel were so lovely! The dialogue was spot-on, boys can be hard to write and Jenny Han did a great job! Especially with Conrad and Steven. I really enjoyed this because it brought me to continue the trilogy.
It’s Not Summer Without You (Book #2)
This was the hardness book for me to get through. I was just depressed and sad the whole time. Beck dies in May and we’re set two months after her death. This book really captured grief beautifully and realistically. Conrad goes MIA and his summer schooling isn’t doing so well. Belly isn’t sure what to do and just wants to mourn. We see more of Laurel and her relationship with the boys + her promise to Beck really kick in. She’s with Beck every day before her last days. Conrad is a main focus in this book because he’s dealing with his mother’s death in an aggressive way (the fights with his dad and Jere). He just keeps remembering Take care of him, Connie. We get to see where Belly & Con’s relationship stands and what has happened since their outing in the winter. Belly finds her necklace, the infinity necklace and just takes it- which I disliked. We see a very different side of Belly in this book, especially when the boys let her get super-duper drunk – not acceptable! We also see Taylor again – never liked that girl and she is way more annoying and snippy this time around.
Basically, we’re left with a crazy ending! Jere kisses Belly and Con is his jerky self again!
All of my emotions came out in this book, I hated Mr. Fisher more than I have because of his decision to sell the summer house NOT OK! Then Laure steps in and saves the day! Thanks, Laure ♥
We’ll Always Have Summer (Book #3)
A couple years later… Belly is ending her freshman year of college and has been dating Jere for two years. She has a new friend, Anika and Taylor has followed her to college. Jere is in a fraternity and Conrad transferred to school in California. Jeremiah and Belly are planning to go back to Cousin’s after their finals but things change at Jere’s fraternity party when Belly over hears that he cheated on her while they were on a”break” during Spring Break. And, that’s basically how it starts off. To redeem himself, Jeremiah proposes *gasp*. They keep this a secret from their family until the night of Susannah’s garden ceremony at dinner, Jere blurts it out. Mr. Fisher and Laurel are not in favor of this decision while Steven and Conrad are appalled. I thought that they should wait and Belly shouldn’t have accepted it because HELLO THEY’RE ONLY 18. The couple rebels against the family and start planning the wedding. Belly learns how hard it is to plan a wedding with a very low budget and with just the help of Taylor. Laurel & Belly’s relationship changes drastically when Belly won’t come to the conclusion to not get married. This is where we get to see Laurel and Isabel’s relationship for what it was, their mother/daughter relationship really stands out in this book. It gets so bad that Belly moves into the summer house until the wedding. The same place Conrad is staying…They get along pretty well and Con stays out of her way. He’s super cute in these scenes!! This is kind of where I change to #teamconrad but I’m still not settled on the marriage idea. Belly doesn’t end up marrying Jere because Conrad confesses his love and changes Belly’s mind once again. (YAY!!) Enter Jere/Con fight!! Jere basically smashes Con’s face in for messing with Belly’s feelings, but Jere comes to realization that he’s not who should end up with her…
I actually teared up a lot near the end of this book—any mention of Susannah basically— The letters on their wedding day just made me super emotional (this may be the first book to actually make me cry!) The ending was perfect, we see Conrad reaching out to Belly while she’s studying abroad in Spain. They’re in their late 20s and Con’s really trying to win her back. Eventually, he does and do do do do do BELLY MARRIES CONRAD ♥♥♥♥ I love how Jenny Han closed the trilogy this way because we really get to see Belly grow from childhood to adulthood. We’re shown that she’s ready for the next chapter in her life and they’re not just doing it on a wim. PERFECTION. Jenny Han has done it again.
I really enjoyed reading this and it’s the first trilogy I’ve finished as I started reading again – what an accomplishment! I suggest that if you’re into love triangles, family & emotion then this may be the perfect summer read for you!