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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fab
This book encompasses all that is needed in a perfect summer read. It was a delightfully light read and thoroughly enjoyable. Having never read any Jenny Han before I wasn't really sure what I was letting myself in for when I first picked this up to read but I was pleasantly surprised and was a welcome relief from the vast amounts of paranormal romance and dystopian...
Published on 17 May 2011 by Kirsty at the Overflowing Library

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Light, Easy, Summer Read.
(Source: Purchased on kindle from Amazon.co.uk.)
15-year-old Isabelle (Belly) is heading off with her mother and brother for a summer at the beach, with her mom's best friend Suzanna, and her boys Conrad and Jeremiah.
Belly has had a crush on Conrad for as long as she can remember, but he treats her like a little sister. Belly is hoping that this year things...
Published 14 months ago by Sarah


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fab, 17 May 2011
By 
Kirsty at the Overflowing Library (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Summer I Turned Pretty: 1 (Paperback)
This book encompasses all that is needed in a perfect summer read. It was a delightfully light read and thoroughly enjoyable. Having never read any Jenny Han before I wasn't really sure what I was letting myself in for when I first picked this up to read but I was pleasantly surprised and was a welcome relief from the vast amounts of paranormal romance and dystopian novels I have been reading lately (which don't get me wrong I love but it was a nice change).

I liked that Belly, the main character of the book, was such a teenager. The author captured quite well the struggle of a 15 year old in a world where she is trying to be grown up and deal with all the new emotions going on in her head balanced alongside the need to still act like a little kid at times. I loved that sometimes trying to hold it all together got too much for her and she threw a bit of a tantrum and a sulk but then spent time after than feeling that she'd let herself down. For me the best thing about Belly was that she wasn't perfect and was still trying to find her own little niche in the world she was growing up into.

I loved the setting of the book. This idyllic and huge beach house with a pool by the sea. It added to the story and the summeryness of it all.

The boys in this book did drive me a little crazy. I don't quite agree with Belly on the whole Conrad vs Jeremiah debate (I'm probably too much of a softie) and found Cam to be a bit too smarmy for my liking.

I also liked the relationship Belly had with both her mother and her mother's best friend and the comparison between the the two. As someone who could never quite do the girly chit chat with her own mother (especially when we lived under the same roof) I found the comparison to be quite poignant.

I really enjoyed that the book occasionally had chapters which were scenes from summers Belly had previously spent at the beach house. I love it when books do this as a way to fill you in with the backstory of the characters involved.

All in all a fab little book which, while not mind blowing, captures the spirit of growing up and summery holidays brilliantly well and is an awesomely engrossing page turner.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect summer read, 21 July 2010
This review is from: The Summer I Turned Pretty: 1 (Paperback)
Fifteen year old Isabel - a.k.a. Belly, unfortunately - has spent every summer of her life at Cousins Beach with her mother and big brother Steven at the beach house of the Fisher family: her mom's best friend Susannah and her sons Conrad and Jeremiah. Despite her adoration for the Fisher boys, Belly has always been a little bit left out as the only girl, but those moments when she's connected with them have been treasured highlights. Her summers there are everything to her. She's always loved seemingly out-of-her-league Conrad, the oldest of the two brothers, although she did share her first kiss with the younger and more amiable Jeremiah. This year, with her sixteenth birthday looming, she has a third love interest in the form of endearingly geeky Cam. Over the course of the story, the reader is kept guessing about which boy - if any - she'll end up with at the close of the summer.

Although this may sound like your average summer romance, it soon becomes clear that this is a story with substance. As Belly gets her first taste of what it's like for the boys to notice her - not just any boys, but these boys, the ones she's always wanted - the tension rises around her, but maybe not for the reasons she thinks. And though this is a book about one girl's flirtation with three boys in the course of one summer, it's all in the spirit of discovery and genuine connection. It's a journey. Belly has always felt that she's just waiting for summer to arrive, but if this is the last of the summers these people will share at Cousins Beach like this, what comes next? Who will she be?

The Summer I Turned Pretty is written with a sense of memory so strong that you can almost taste it; so tangible that all the summers before seem to echo in this place, this summer. Narrator Belly speaks with a laidback but intimate voice that at times tells the reader rather more than she is noticing herself, as she switches between the present and events of previous summers spent at an idyllic beach house with everyone who matters most to her. Belly's awareness that this one is likely to be the last that all of them spend there lends the tale a nostalgic flavour, even as events unfold in the here and now, that heightens every emotion. It's a tale of heart-bursting joy, the bittersweetness of first love, and the heavy weight of an approaching loss.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, summer in a book, 25 July 2011
This review is from: The Summer I Turned Pretty: 1 (Paperback)
*Spoiler Free*

Stop reading my review and go get this book. Like immediately. This was an amazing, beautiful, heart-wrenching read. I started at midnight and read 'til like 4 am. It was addictive. I'm not too sure how to describe Jenny Han's writing. It was subtle. It sort of creeps up on you and then blows you away or wacks you in the face - whichever you prefer. It is painfully good. It's so good, it hurts. The book was like a vortex, it sucked me in and it was hard to escape from its salty, sea breezy gasp. It made me feel like summer, it made me want to go swimming, it made me want to catch a plane from dreary England and go to Cousins Beach (the setting of the book). It was that good.

By the way although it is supposed to be summer here in England, it is cloudier than it's sunny. I have like turned on the heating, is how cold it is here right now, so this book, making me feel like summer and sunshine was no mean feat. That's how amazing this book is and Jenny Han:D

As you can imagine the descriptions and the writing of this book were really special. The writing was nothing like that of authors such as Lauren Oliver's, yet it had that same awe-inducing effect on me. It just really fitted with this book. It worked, that's for sure.

I really loved the protagonist, Belly. I completely felt her pain, her heartache, her frustrations alongside with her. All her emotions were easy to relate to, I think any teenage girl could find a bit of themselves in Belly. However, she had her flaws and in certain parts of the book I was annoyed at her decisions. For example with her mum, she was so unkind to her yet so loving to her mum's friend Susannah. Some of her decisions concerning Cam, a boy she meets that summer, were also not the best. Yet all the things she did felt real, she was human and that meant making a few mistakes along the way. This book was definitely about growing up and you could clearly see Belly maturing through the book. There were also flashbacks that Jenny Han wove in seamlessly, providing a background to the character's lives and also adding to the book in the present day. They were a fantastic addition and I really enjoyed learning more about their lives. As for Jeremiah and Conrad, well I loved them both. Although I had to admit I wasn't too keen on Conrad at first. He just seemed like a bit of a jerk to me, whereas Jeremiah was always so sweet. However, as the book progresses you just start to like them more and more. They just seemed so believable as characters and you can see why Belly loves them both.

THE VERDICT
5 stars - Boy oh boy this was one spectacular read, I'm moving on to the next in the series with a big ol' smile on my face:D
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite summer read, 29 Jun 2011
By 
meelanie (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Summer I Turned Pretty: 1 (Paperback)
Yesterday I finished reading The Summer I Turned Pretty - the first out of three in the series.
I must say, at first I didn't knew if I would like it or not. Mostly because the book start out with very short chapters and a lot of flashbacks. But after I started reading I noticed that I couldn't put it down. The story is so gripping and exiting. Love the open-minded way the book is writing on, where you get to know Belly's feelings and thoughts. I'm glad I found this book, and I can't wait to order the next one in the series!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Summer I Turned Pretty, 1 Jun 2010
By 
Jenny, Wondrous Reads (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Summer I Turned Pretty: 1 (Paperback)
Everytime I think about The Summer I Turned Pretty, I end up with a huge grin on my face. Jenny Han's writing is fantastic, the boys are gorgeous, and Belly is definitely high on my list of best female characters. If you want a summer read with charm and romance, then this is the one for you.

Belly goes to the beach house every summer, to spend time with her mum's best friend Susannah, and her sons Conrad and Jeremiah. Before now, she's been like a sister to them, much to her growing annoyance. However, this summer, something changes, and they actually notice her in the way she wants them to. This summer is all about growing up, with an emphasis on how all relationships inevitably change and evolve.

Jeremiah is sweet and caring, while older brother Conrad is more closed off and aloof. Both boys have attractive qualities and attributes, and it's really hard to choose between them. Just when I thought I had a clear favourite, one of them would say or do something to make me change my mind. I've come to the conclusion that I'm supposed to love them both equally, so I'll just leave it at that (though I think Conrad would *just* win, if I really had to choose). Belly is one lucky girl!

If you're a fan of The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols, run out and get a copy of this right now - I guarantee you'll want to join the Jenny Han fanclub ASAP. The Summer I Turned Pretty is realistic and relatable and, while not the most original of ideas, it's the writing and characters that will draw you in. It's a stroke of YA genius, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you feel fifteen again, 2 Oct 2011
By 
TG "What I Read and What I Thought" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Summer I Turned Pretty: 1 (Paperback)
Isabel (who everyone calls Belly) and her family spend every summer in the beach house of her mother's best friend, Susannah, and her two sons, Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly has crushed on Conrad all her life, but as the youngest and the only girl, the boys have always treated her dismissively and left her out. This summer, however, is the summer right before Belly turns sixteen and she has grown up and filled out and suddenly, the boys are paying a lot more attention to her.

In Belly, Jenny Han has created an exceptionally realistic 15 year-old girl and by that I mean, she is often whiny, over-emotional and self-absorbed. Her narrative voice is full of teenage angst with a capital A; every word, every look, every touch, is obsessed over. I have to point this out because I know it might irritate some readers of YA. But for my part, I found Han's writing to be so charming and so true-to-life, that I found myself completely sucked in and reliving my teenage feelings.

As well as the current summer, the novel flashbacks to previous summers, giving more detail and depth to Belly's life. This is done in random order (Belly at 14, then 11, then 14 again), so it's sometimes confusing keeping track of where you are in the space/time continuum, but it's not too big of a problem. It's not all about boys, either - Belly also deals with her distance from her mother, her preference for Susannah and friction with her best frenemy, Taylor. Again, these issues and relationships all felt very authentic.

So. If you get frustrated by angsty teenage drama, then this might not be the book for you. However, if you want a book that takes you back and makes you feel fifteen again, then you should pick up The Summer I Turned Pretty right now and relive it all - all the stuff that made you smile, made you pout, made you cringe, made you melt.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Depths, 17 Jun 2011
This review is from: The Summer I Turned Pretty: 1 (Paperback)
The Summer I Turned Pretty is one of those books which are deceptively easy to underestimate. As I began reading, I was doing exactly that. All I wanted was a quick summer read that was interesting enough to keep me occupied for a couple of hours. I got so much more than that.
Belly as a character can be self-centred and selfish - but endearingly so; I think most people can remember a time when they believed that the world should revolve around them. This instantly reached me at a personal level, making me relate to Belly in a way that I hadn't expected. Adding in to this her uncertainty about who she wants to be with, and who might want to be with her, I think that there are very few people who don't understand what she is going through in this book. We, as readers, are witnessing a very important stage in her life, thereby already changing this book into more than a quick summer read. The other characters are all decidedly less developed than the protagonist, but that is not an issue, as what we are really reading about is not how Belly decides who she likes, but how she develops as a person.
More than this average development, however, we see how Belly reacts to several major issues which are thrown in her way, such as divorce, separated families, and illnesses. Through these issues we see how Belly changes and matures and I think it is testament to Jenny Han's writing skills that she introduces these darker elements without making light of them, or destroying the beach read aspect of it.
Definitely recommended, especially for people who like their summer reads not being all sunshine and roses.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than just a light, summer read!, 21 Dec 2010
By 
Jo (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Summer I Turned Pretty: 1 (Paperback)
I picked this book up half expecting to enjoy it - a love triangle is always enjoyable - but half expecting not to be wowed that much - light, summer reads are normally quick and enjoyable, but not much to write home about. How wrong I was! This book is just brilliant!

At first, I thought I was going to end up disliking it. It's not clear for a while exactly how old Belly is, and she felt quite young. I'm not really the best fan of novels for those at the beginning of the teenage spectrum. Although I'm a big kid, I've matured past that level, and find their interests - or at least the interests teens that age are pretrayed to have - well, uninteresting. And Belly seemed to be one of these young girls who worried about and liked things that just aren't me. But after a few chapters, I realised these were only small things, and she started to seem older. I came to really like her.

One of the things I really liked about this book was how every now and then, a chapter would be dedicated to a summer at the beach house from the past, and would say under chapter number how old Belly was at the time. They're not necessarily in chronological order, but they're linked to things that happen this summer, things that remind Belly of past holidays. It was great to see all the characters at various ages, to see their individual personalities stay pretty much the same, but see them mature.

This is more than just a light read, though. Serious issues are covered, like divorce and betrayal of friendship. It's not always smiles and laughter, there are a fair few sad moments, both in Belly's romantic situation, but also in the much bigger picture. There were so many times when I wanted to hug pretty much all the main characters, and even some of the side characters. For such a quick read, a lot of heart-string tugging moments are packed in, without it being depressing. Though I was close to tears at some points.

This really is a brilliant book! Sad and sweet and lovely all at the same time. A really, really good book, I can't recommend it enough. I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel, It's Not Summer Without You, which will be released in summer 2011. It's going to be awesome!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cute summer read, 25 Aug 2014
By 
Megan ReadingInTheSunshine (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Summer I Turned Pretty: 1 (Paperback)
Really cute, really fun - a WONDERFUL read for the summer!

Made me laugh and smile lots, and now I REALLY want a summer beach house too :)

Looking forward to the other books!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Teenage read!, 20 July 2011
I loved this book it is just right for the summer holidays. It is romantic and funny, it is perfect for teenage girls.

For Belly summer is the best part of the year and she has been spending it the same way for as long as she can remember at her two best friends house Conrad and Jeremiah, who are older than her and are basically her brothers, but this summer everything comes together for Belly and it is the most romantic summer so far.

A happy sunny book- read during the holidays not when you return to school.
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The Summer I Turned Pretty: 1
The Summer I Turned Pretty: 1 by Jenny Han (Paperback - 3 Jun 2010)
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