Book Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

"Sometimes it’s like people are a million times more beautiful to you in your mind. It’s like you see them through a special lens — but maybe if it’s how you see them, that’s how they really are. It’s like the whole tree falling in the forest thing."

--The Summer I Turned Pretty, Jenny Han

The trilogy Summer I Turned Pretty depicts the passage from childhood to early adulthood. The experiences that Belly and the Fisher brothers have as they mature are used in the novels to show how a kid grows into an adult.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer—they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

My reaction to this novel...

Before I go any further, I’d want to state that Jenny Han is one of my favorite romance novelists. She has the ability to make me read a book in a single day. There will be no stopping till I finish it. That’s how she’s been for me. She made me smile the entire time I read her novels. That is why I had such high hopes for this story when I first read it. For a long time, I had this as a copy of an e-book. And because I’ve been so busy over the last few years, I’d forgotten it was on my iBook shelf. My friend only told me last month that Primevideo had converted the book into a film. I was both astonished and delighted. I even promised myself that I would not watch the series until I finished the book. So I started reading this novel right away.

I couldn’t place myself in the plot while I read the book. It’s as if it doesn’t fit. I put myself in the shoes of the main character every time I read a novel. But I felt like an outcast here. I liked Jenny Han’s Burn series and To All the Boys series, and I expected this to be just as good, but it was far from it. Belly, the main character, irritated me to no end. She was an immature, self-centered brat who was constantly overly sensitive. I didn’t think I could ever relate to her. I was expecting that something amazing would happen to her when she mentioned that summer would be different. But it was so dull that I hoped for a good plot, which I couldn’t find. I was annoyed by her attitude throughout the story. She’s a spoiled brat who just cares about herself. I’m seriously disappointed. You know, like when you believe you’re attractive but deny it to yourself. That’s how she is, and it’s not cool. She denies it, then flaunts it. She is so childlike, even though she believes she is no longer a child. The only thing I loved about this book was when Conrad told her that Belly wanted cake and eat it, but she also wanted cookies and ice cream. That’s how self-centered she is.

The plot was tedious. I honestly couldn’t give less about what occurred in the end. I could hardly finish the book because I was so bored with it. I also don’t like it when Belly starts seeing someone who actually adores her but ends up acting like she simply used him that summer because of his first love. Every man is drawn to her and glances at her whenever she is at a party because she is lovely, but she denies it to herself. That occurred a lot, and it was really annoying. There were moments when she wanted Jere or even the guy she’s dating to kiss her, but she quickly realized that she only likes Conrad. I also don’t like how she ended her relationship with Cam, whom she’s currently seeing. She brought the song “Summer Lovin'” to life. What a player she is.

I’m not sure if I’ll read the sequel to this novel, but I watched the trailer for the TV series and think I’ll simply watch it. Perhaps it will not be as bothersome. When it comes to recommending this book, I will not do so. As you can see from my review, I am totally, absolutely, utterly upset. This is how I felt, but I’m not going to take it from Jenny Han. She is and always will be one of my favorites.

 My Overall Rating: ⭐(1/5)


Disclaimer: Booksreadbyhannel is not a business website. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and based only on my own feelings and reactions while reading the books I featured here in my blog. My reviews reflect my utmost sincerity. I paid for the books I review here out of my own pocket. Books provided by authors and publishers are otherwise specified.