The Compulsive Reader: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Every since she was born, Belly and her mother and brother spend the summer months at their mother's best friend Susannah's beach house with her and her two sons, Jeremiah and Conrad. The time they spend there is idyllic and perfect, everything Belly could want for in a summer. The summer she turns sixteen though, everything is different. Her mother and Susannah are being secretive, Conrad is extremely moody, and the boys can't seem to understand that Belly isn't a little kid anymore. As everything around her changes and Belly falls in and out of love, she’s certain of one thing: this summer will be far different than all the ones before.

Skillfully combining the present and scenes from summers past, Jenny Han portrays a summer of change and discovery in The Summer I Turned Pretty. Belly is a very realistic character, eager to prove she's not a little kid anymore to her childhood friends, but also reluctant and just a bit apprehensive to embrace the future and the change that comes with it. Though it's hard to pinpoint one main plot point or focus of the novel, Han deftly portrays the meandering and almost dream-like qualities summer vacations can have and the qualities and personalities of teenagers, and her insights are so keen and her characters so endearing that a structured plotline isn't really necessary. In the spirit of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Sarah Dessen's novels, The Summer I Turned Pretty is a witty, wise, and thoughtful book about change, relationships, and love that is hard to put down.

Cover Comments: I love, love, love this cover! I do admire white covers, but then the sunlight in the background coming acorss the models and highlighting the girl's hair is just such a stunning effect. It's a simple, elegant cover, but it certainly conveys a lot. Perfect!

(On a side note, the guy on the right is a dead ringer for this guy who is in my class...so weird!!)


celi.a said...

great review! this book was 'staff recommended' in my local barnes & noble, so that's where i picked it up. lots of people seem to like it. and i completely agree about the cover. lovely.

anotherpageisused said...

Wow. I really wanna read this book. It sounds sooo good. Good review by the way. I also agree about the cover, really pretty.


Michelle said...

I love this book. Supposedly it's part one of a trilogy which is really exciting.

And I completely agree about the cover, it's gorgeous!!

infiniteshelf said...

Good review! :) I definitely want to read this one. I love the title, the cover, and the story looks interesting!

Kate said...

Great review. This is another book that I want to read. The list never seems to end :D

Belle said...

I really like the title - it says a lot. The cover is definitely very nice - simple but really quite perfect.

Frenchy Tari said...

Great review ! This book is amazing and I recommend it to anybody !

Louise said...

I really like this book. But the the British cover is allot nicer.