Book Review: WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER

we'll always have summer coverAuthor: Jenny Han

Number of Pages: 291

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Release Date: April 1, 2011

“It’s been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college– only, their relationship hasn’t exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It’s time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.”

– Goodreads.com

I have finally read the entire Summer trilogy by Jenny Han! For a while it seemed like everyone had read this trilogy but me. Well, not 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 three, it still did not blow me away.

This book was great in the sense that it was really engaging and dramatic the whole way through. The drama started in the very first chapter, and that sense of excitement lingered until I finished reading the last page. The change in the setting from high school to college made the story feel new and fresh, even though it was more of the same drama as the first two books. It also allowed for the introduction of more characters, which added more depth to Belly’s life. It was getting hard to believe that the only people she communicated with were Jeremy, Conrad, Taylor, and her mom.

I really appreciated the unique aspects of this story, particularly the focus on family and the incorporation of marriage. Parents are becoming more and more sparse in YA fiction, so it was really refreshing to see Belly and Jeremy’s family a lot more. There were some tense moments between family members for sure, but that’s what happens in real life. The romance between Belly and the boys may have seemed cheesy and forced, but the family dynamics were incredibly well done. Another unique aspect of this story is marriage. I don’t think I’ve ever read another YA novel where the characters thought so seriously about marriage at such a young age. Did I agree that it was the right thing for them to do given their situations? Not really, no. But it was really interesting to read about nonetheless.

Yet even though there were some parts that I enjoyed, this book still didn’t click with me. There was nothing about it that made it really special or that struck a chord inside me. I couldn’t connect with Belly at all- not that I really expected to, given how I’ve felt in the previous two books. The major thing that bothered me about this book was the fact that if Belly, Jeremy, and Conrad had just talked to each other about how they really felt, none of the drama would have happened in the first place. It totally could have been avoided, but they were too stubborn to give in.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and this trilogy. Did I love it? Nope. But I still think it’s worth reading if you’re a fan of YA contemporary fiction, romance, or summer/beach stories in general.

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) 4 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes.

Have you ever read any books in this trilogy? What did you think of them? Does Jenny Han have any other books that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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