the summer i turned pretty coverAuthor: Jenny Han

Number of Pages: 276

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Release Date: May 5, 2009

“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.”


This trilogy has been recommended to me countless times. It seems as though everyone has read it and absolutely loved it, which I took to be a sure sign that I would enjoy it immensely. Bubbling with anticipation, I went out and bought the entire trilogy with the plan to read them at the most optimal time: the peak of summer. After all, these books have been described so very many times as the ultimate summer YA novels. So it was with soaring expectations that I plopped down on a sunny beach and cracked open The Summer I Turned Pretty. 

Sadly, I was not all that impressed.

I mean, it certainly wasn’t terrible. The setting was the idyllic summer beach house of my dreams, complete with the promise of being able to return year after year. The writing itself flowed nicely and made the novel a quick, easy, fairly mindless read. The ending was satisfying, yet still open enough for there to be another book. But other than that, this novel fell sort of flat for me.

I think my problem was that I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. Belly really annoyed me, despite my best efforts to like her. She was only fifteen years old in this book, yet she was incredibly cocky when it came to romance. She was also all over the place when it came to her maturity level. One minute she’s going to parties with older kids who are drinking alcohol, and then she suddenly decides to have an all-out temper tantrum. I just couldn’t take her constant emotional mood swings.

I was also really disappointed  with the two love interests, Conrad and Jeremiah. I expected them to be undeniably swoon-worthy, yet I didn’t find their personalities very attractive. At least Jeremiah was nice, but Conrad was a selfish jerk. And who did Belly love? Conrad, of course, because she has no common sense.

Overall, this book was just meh. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t think it was anything special, either. Hopefully the next book in this trilogy is an improvement!

My Rating: :0) :0) :0)  3 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: It depends. Possibly for someone who was Belly’s age (around 15ish) because they might be able to relate to her more.

Have you read this trilogy? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!




15 responses to “Book Review: THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY”

  1. Sorry to hear you didn’t love this one as much as you hoped. I actually read this one when I was younger then Belly and therefore oblivious to her naïveté. I do think both of the guys get better in the next couple of books. Conrad especially. I hope you like the other two better! 🙂


  2. Like the commenter above me, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one much. I read the first book awhile ago too and I gave it 4/5 stars, but probably because I was oblivious to some of the faults in Belly’s characterization, as well as the lack of development in her love interests. From how you end your post it appears that you’re going to still read the next two books – is that correct?


  3. I agree with everything you’ve said. Even with both the main character and I being the same age, in some cases I just couldn’t quite connect with her. Though it was entertaining enough to keep me reading, I agree with you over the fact that overall, it did feel flat. I read this book few months ago but still haven’t posted a review for it because I just couldn’t quite figure out my feelings towards it. To me it was just a good book and not an amazing one. So I’m glad there’s atleast someone out there who didn’t LOVE it as much as majority of the people do. This was a great honest review! 🙂


  4. […] being less than impressed with The Summer I Turned Pretty (click here to read my review) I was quite hesitant to dive into the next book in this trilogy. Fortunately, I enjoyed this […]


  5. […] anymore! I have a lot of mixed feelings about these books, which you can see in my reviews of The Summer I Turned Pretty and It’s Not Summer Without You. While I do think that this is my favorite book of the […]


  6. […] The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han […]


  7. […] but when I read it last summer I just thought it was okay. (To read my full thoughts on it, click here!) But since so many people love it and it really is the perfect summer setting and atmosphere, I […]


  8. […] The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. I’ve read so many amazing, incredibly enthusiastic reviews about why this book is so wonderful, but when I read it I honestly didn’t think it was that great. It wasn’t TERRIBLE, but I thought Belly, the main character, was really annoying and she made some choices that were pretty foolish. If you want, you can read my thoughts on it in my review by clicking here. […]


  9. […] 1. Belly from The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han […]


  10. […] weakness. What over-hyped book will you chuck at the zombies? The first one that comes to mind is The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. For years I looked on as people praised this book for being the quintessential […]


  11. […] heard for this novel and the two other books in the trilogy, I was disappointed when I read The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. The personality of Belly, the main character, just didn’t click with me at all and I found […]


  12. […] going to use my go-to answer for this one: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. I feel like I talk about this a lot, but it was just SO disappointing because everyone […]


  13. […] don’t think I have an all-time least favorite book, but one that I didn’t enjoy is The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. The protagonist bothered me, the love triangle plot was unoriginal, and the hype definitely caused […]


  14. […] answer to this is usually Jenny Han. After not being very impressed with the trilogy starting with The Summer I Turned Pretty I’m just never in the mood to try any of her other […]


  15. […] much better than Han’s earlier summer trilogy, in my opinion (you can read my review of that here.) Would definitely […]


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