Orlagh's Reviews > It's Not Summer Without You

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
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's review
Jan 08, 12

really liked it
Read in January, 2012

In Brief: Ever since she was a child Belly has been in love with Conrad. His brother Jeremiah has been in love with her. The three are dealing with a family tragedy that threatens to tear them all apart.

The good bits: I really enjoyed the 'flash back' scenes in the books - it was a good way to find out about the characters history without having to spend chapters and chapters reading about it. I also really enjoyed the chapters which were told from Jeremiah's point of view.

The bad bits: The ending irritated me a little bit. Not because of what happened, but because it left me hanging for more!

I read this book because: I liked the cover and the title sounded interesting. Yup. Sometimes I really am THAT superficial.

Setting: Cousins Beach, America.

Rating: 4/5

Similar to: Endless Summer (Jennifer Echols), Leaving Paradise/Return to Paradise (Simone Elkeles), Most books by Sara Dessen.

[Ok, so I didn't realise it, but this is actually book #2 of a series (It's the sequel to The Summer I turned pretty). Argh! I HATE it when this happens - you know, reading books out of order. But that's okay. This is the kind of story that you can pick up (just like I did) without needing to have read the first book (except that if you're like me, and you find out that this is actually book two, you'll be really annoyed)!]

I downloaded this book on a whim last night and read it this afternoon. It's a quick and enjoyable read. Belly is grieving. Not just because of the death of her mothers best friend, but also because the boy she has been in love with her whole life has ended things with her. He's also gone missing, and so Belly (worst nickname ever - honestly, WHAT teenage girl would want to be called 'Belly'??) joins his brother to look for him.

They find him at the beach house (which, if I had read book one, would have had greater significance for me I guess. But it's okay, because there are lots of flashbacks to the beach house and the summers they spent there throughout this book). Here, at the house where they spend all their summers, Belly (HAHA... sorry), Conrad and Jeremiah begin to deal with their grief and their feelings, taking small steps towards moving on.

I really enjoyed this book. I think that Jenny Han wrote about Belly's grief really well. Belly herself came across to me like a normal teenager, which is something that you rarely see in YA fiction these days - she's immature, a little bit selfish and awkward at times. It was refreshing to read about a teenager who actually acts like a teenager.

Jeremiah and Conrad were both interesting characters. The two brothers are like chalk and cheese, and from what I read in this novel, I have to say that I liked Jeremiah better. He's just so lovable. Conrad is much more surly and very much the 'strong, silent type'.

My only qualm with this novel is that the ending left me wanting more. The last couple of pages were quite ambiguous and it wasn't clear who Belly was with. I guess we'll have to wait for book three to find out. Until then, I'll have to find myself a copy of the first book
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