~ Warning! Spoilers! Book Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by – Jenny Han ~


The last movie for the “To All the Boys” trilogy has been released, and it feels like an end to an era. However, have no fear, Amazon has announced that it will adapt Jenny Han’s ‘Summer’ series. I am super excited and feel so happy for Jenny Han. I decided to pick up the audiobook for this series before the show drops. I borrowed all three audiobooks hoping to listen to them in one go. Sadly, I was extremely underwhelmed by the first book and will not be continuing with the trilogy. Nonetheless, I will watch the series when it drops though.

The Summer I Turned Pretty follows Belly who along with her mother and older brother, Stephen, visit the summer house of her mother’s best friend, Susanna. Susanna has two sons: Conrad and Jeremiah. Since Belly is the only daughter and the youngest at that, she often feels left out by the boys, summer after summer. However, Belly is soon turning 16, and she is no longer everyone’s baby sister. Plus, she has since forever harbored a crush on the older brother, Conrad.

At first, I was super worried that this would be a love triangle between two brothers. I hate those type of stories. I get disgusted over siblings fighting over the same person. Luckily, it never truly went in that territory. Mainly, everyone knew Belly only had eyes for Conrad, so Jeremiah accepted his rejected confession. Plus, Belly dragged around poor Cam trying to get Conrad jealous, so there’s that. Yes, this was technically a love square which just sucks, especially for Cam. Frankly, this book read really young. The main character was too immature and selfish; I was unable to relate to her. Thus, I did not like listening from her perspective. She explains how grown she is when that is exactly what a child would do. Instead of listening when others are hurt, she without regard for the other party, puts her feelings first. I understand that I am a jaded adult, but this book came off as too childish for me. In addition, I cannot stand the fact that Belly is an embodiment of One Direction’s song, That’s What Makes You Beautiful. I hate the troupe of ugly ducking who has always thought of herself as unattractive is actually gorgeous; the female character will acknowledge this at times but mostly will hide away from her looks because she can’t actually say that she’s pretty even though the title would suggest otherwise.     

Personally, I have past the age where I can find this enjoyable. It happens, so the story pissed me off a few times, and I really wanted to quit listening. Yet, it wasn’t a long book, so I pushed through. Honestly, my library app needs to have faster speeds.

In conclusion: Poor Cam. Poor Taylor. Poor Jeremiah. Bad Bellie. Typical Conrad. Sucks for the two moms. As for the actual end, a college freshman drives in the night to surprise a high school girl, and she sneaks out of her house to go on a drive with him.

I am considering giving this, two stars, but then I am reminded how towards the end it felt like such a chore to even listen and my strong urge to skip. This will be low, but there was just too much that didn’t work with me. 1.5/5 Nevertheless, I can recognize why others would enjoy this book. Like I stated earlier, I will not be continuing with the book series, but I look forward to the show.