1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2011
I really enjoyed The Summer I Turned Pretty, the first book in this trilogy, and so when this book arrived in the post I was so annoyed that I had to save it for my holiday. It's been sitting on my bookshelf for a couple of months, staring at me and teasing me. But I was finally able to read it while I was sitting by the pool in Crete this July, and I'm so glad I waited.
There are a few differences between this book and the first. The main one is that this book is told from two points of view this time - Belly's and Jeremiah's. It's pretty obvious what is going to happen from early on in the book, but I won't spoil you. You must read this for yourself!
Belly, on the other hand, hasn't changed much at all. Her main concern was Conrad, as usual, and it annoyed me. SO much. She had much bigger problems than chasing after him, but I guess that's just Belly for you.
Conrad was also being annoying in this book. No, actually, not annoying, just frustrating. I hate it when people can't share their feelings and instead they shut off.
That said, they were all going through a lot, so I can't really blame them. I can't blame Conrad, anyway.
I absolutely LOVED Jeremiah in this book. He was adorable in the first, and in this one he's stepped up and matured and... Wow. I love him. And I really enjoyed reading things from his perspective, for example when he talks about how his dad has always favoured Conrad and left him out. I felt so sorry for him, I just wanted to hug him.
This book also marks the beginning of a love triangle. Gah. We'll have to see where it goes, although I'm pretty sure I know. But it's okay, because I like what happened at the end. I like it a lot.
It's Not Summer Without You wasn't as good a read as the first book in the trilogy, but I think that's because it doesn't have such a summery feel to it. The first one was perfect for the beach, whereas this one could have been enjoyed just as much in the hotel room. Plus, look at the title. It's not supposed to be as summery.
I really did enjoy it, though, and if you haven't picked up this trilogy yet then I highly recommend doing so. Especially if you're going on holiday this summer!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2011
''The Summer I Turned Pretty' was one of my absolute favourite books of last year and introduced me to the wonderfully talented Jenny Han. I was therefore extremely eager to read the sequel and second book in the trilogy, 'It's Not Summer Without You'. I am hugely pleased to report that it's just as good, if not even better than the original. It's a perfect summer read and will definitely appeal to the majority of the teen audience.
The story picks up after Belly's life-changing summer in Cousins. She thought she'd finally got the boy she'd always longed for; the boy who'd always held her heart in the palms of his hands but nothing is ever perfect forever and things for Belly are set to change. After the death of Susannah, Belly will never spend the same summer in Cousins again. So much a part of her childhood, everything seems to be changing around her, whilst she's also dealing with overwhelming feelings of grief and sorrow. When she receives an unexpected phone call from Jeremiah, telling her that Conrad is missing, she immediately agrees to help find him but soon finds herself caught between the two boys yet again.
The relationship Belly has with Conrad and Jeremiah has always been at the heart of the series so far, but in this book is really brought to the fore. Belly has always loved Conrad but he's never been able to reciprocate her feelings fully, except for the one perfect night they spent together. He's so intrinsically linked with the person she is; her hopes and aspirations for the future, that she wonders if she can ever let him go. One of the things I admire hugely about Jenny Han's writing is her ability to vividly recreate and evoke feelings that we've all experienced, such as those of first love and of knowing someone and falling in love so deeply that it's impossible to see anyone but them.
Jeremiah has always been on the sidelines. He's the responsible one, the one that takes care of everyone else and the one who Belly never chose. I really enjoyed the chapters interspersed throughout which showed how he viewed certain events and these provided great insight into how he truly felt about Belly.
Reading the book, I was absolutely torn between the two boys as well, so I know how Belly feels. Conrad has hidden depths and is extremely private but is capable of deep emotion (and he's oh so hot!) while Jeremiah is the boy who will never let you down. Okay, okay, maybe Conrad just has the edge for me but how lucky is Belly to get to choose between these two.
Although this triangle lies at the centre of the book, it also highlights much deeper issues, such as the death of a loved one. I thought that Han dealt with this sensitively and realistically, showing the impact a bereavement can have on people and the different ways in which they cope with an event like this happening.
This was a wonderful book which I fell in love with. No second book syndrome here, that's for sure! The characters feel like old friends, the writing is clever and witty and conjures up all those feelings of growing-up and standing on the precipice of adulthood. I've added it to my favourites shelf already.
I have to just end by say that the ending is evil! I couldn't believe how Han left it and I am now dying for the last book in the trilogy, 'We'll Always Have Summer'. The anticipation is going to kill me! Will we finally know what or who Belly chooses for her future. I can't wait to find out!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
IT'S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU is the second installment in the series by Jenny Han, following THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY. The story picks up after the summer.
Belly relates her history with Conrad and what has happened since they kissed at the end of summer. She knew he would call in the fall, and eventually he does. The two have a tenuous relationship, but that all falls apart when Conrad's mother, Suzanne, dies.
Suzanne was the bond that kept the two families close. Each summer, they would be together at the house at Cousins' Beach. Now, with Suzanne gone, the threads are unraveling.
Belly receives a call a few months after the funeral from Conrad's brother, Jeremiah. Conrad has gone missing from summer school at Brown. He asks Belly to help him try to find Conrad. Without telling her mother, Belly and Jeremiah set off to find Conrad.
They quickly figure out that he is at the beach house. At first, Belly and Jeremiah think Conrad is running away from everything. But soon they learn that Mr. Fisher, Conrad and Jeremiah's father, plans to sell the house. The kids can't let that happen. But with little hope, they throw one last party to remember their summers at the beach.
IT'S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU is a bittersweet novel of loss and love. Belly has loved Conrad since she was a small child and everyone knows it. But Conrad is so different from Jeremiah and wants to be left alone. They are all grieving for Suzanne in different ways, but join as one to save the only thing that has brought them together every year and has made them a family.
Don't expect this novel to have all the answers, though! The ending leaves the reader eagerly anticipating the follow-up; WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER is due out in May 2011.
Reviewed by: Jaglvr
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2015
It's Not Summer Without You is the second book in the Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy but despite that, this review won't contain spoilers from the previous book. The series is about Belly, a young teenager who has just blossomed into herself and two boys she always spends Summer with, are just starting to notice. Summer has always been something Belly has looked forward to all year round but this Summer, too much has changed.
I liked this book more than the first as the characters were more grown up and I could relate to their decisions and behaviors a lot more than their previous years described in the first book. The book built upon the events that unfolded in the first and I felt it was a natural progression and the books blended together, rather than being jumpy as books in a series can sometimes be during the transition from book to book. The writing was just as intriguing as the first book, and I wouldn't have expected anything else from Queen of Contemporary, Jenny Han.
on 15 September 2014
I thought I’d squeeze this book in as I said goodbye to summer. I enjoyed The Summer I Turned Pretty, but I didn’t love It’s Not Summer Without You as much. I think it’s because it felt like it took a long time for the action to get going. When it did, the book was very much enjoyable and I fully intend to read the last book in the trilogy.
The book starts with Belly dreaming of Cousins Beach, where she used to spend each summer. After the death of Susannah, Belly’s mother’s best friend they don’t spend the summer at Cousins Beach. Everything is changing, and Belly doesn’t like it. Without Susannah, the glue that held the family and friends together, the summer just wouldn’t be the same.
Belly seems more grown up in this book, which I appreciated. I love that she still wants to keep in contact with Conrad and Jeremiah. She still has feelings for Conrad. I loved how Belly was always there for the boys, even when Conrad wasn’t being particularly nice to her. I could understand why Conrad wasn’t being the nicest. He was suffering after the loss of his mother. I loved Jeremiah. He seemed to be dealing with his grief in a strong way. He’s adorable.
Again, I was surprised at the deeper issues in this book. The cover suggests a lighter read, but it’s really not all light. It feels very real, the characters feel like people you know going through very tough times. They’re very well developed.
I really like Jenny Han’s writing. It’s straight-forward and simple and her characters are relatable.
While I liked The Summer I Turned Pretty well enough, I have to be honest and say the main character, Belly, irritated me to distraction. I loved everything else about the book, the setting, the surprising depth, the romance of summer and for these reasons I was prepared to give Jenny Han's summer books another chance and read sequel, It's Not Summer without You. I'm glad I did because I found this time round Belly was far more palatable and I enjoyed the book immensely.
We join Belly several months from the last book and about to embark on another summer. Only this time things have changed. The thing all the characters were dreading has happened and not only has Belly lost her much loved Susannah but also her link to the beach house at Cousins and the boys, Jeremiah and Conrad. And despite the previous book ending with a fledgling romance between Belly and Conrad, things aren't working out as they'd hoped as he becomes more and more distant and Belly is left feeling distraught. But when Jeremiah calls to say Conrad needs help, Belly's there without question.
Where The Summer I Turned Pretty evoked images of the perfect summer and endless possibilities, It's Not Summer Without You has the feeling of the end of an era, growing up and discovering who you are. It's sad and poignant and beautifully written. Once again I found Han's writing very readable but with unexpected depth, even more so in this book than the first, which makes her books less fluffy than you may imagine from looking at the cover alone.
Again, It's Not Summer Without You is told from Belly's perspective with flashbacks to previous summer memories. This time however we get to see Jeremiah's perspective now and then and I have to say I like him even more than I did before! The deteriorating relationship between Belly and Conrad is excruciatingly painful. I hated Conrad's treatment of Belly at times, though could understand it...sometimes she expects far too much from people. Thankfully throughout this book she comes to some kind of realisation about her behaviour and I liked the growth of her character, who eventually has grown on me.
It's Not Summer Without You isn't exactly a happy, care free book, but it is perfect summer reading and one I definitely recommend. With her engaging, readable style and short chapters, which keep you thinking `just one more', it's perfect poolside reading.
on 26 July 2011
I loved this book. So so SO much! Wow, it was heart-breaking, romantic, funny, sad and everything in between. Jenny Han has certainly done it again.
The actual story of these books is so simple, yet in its simplicity lies its realness, its similarities to real life, to real emotions we all have. These books are basically about life. And that's why I love them.
The story takes place a while after the first book. However instead of dumping a load of information onto the reader in the beginning chapters, Jenny Han weaves the past in throughout the book, just as smoothly and beautifully as before.
I have to admit Belly annoyed me much more in this book. She was infuriating. But in a good way. Too often in books, I couldn't care less about the characters, I just passively read. However Jenny Han's writing makes you love and care for her characters, so when they're selfish or rude or spiteful you're like noooooo or whyyyy did you have to go and do that?! Haha I hope you get what I mean. This was also the case with Conrad, I really wanted to hate him, but just like Belly, you couldn't. It was impossible. One character I adored was Jeremiah. He was, throughout the whole book, unfailingly perfect (in my opinion). Furthermore, certain chapters were from his perspective which made me love him even more. It was also refreshing to have a different point of view besides Belly's and it really added something special to this book. Despite my love for Jeremiah I still have no clue who I think Belly should end up with. She has an undeniable connection with Conrad and you can't help rooting for them too. Arghh it's so confusing!
The book doesn't just deal with love but also with death, and how everyone reacts differently. I definitely had a lump in my throat when reading some of the sadder chapters. But at the same time I was laughing as well. This book has everything, seriously. One character who I thought was great was Belly's mum. In the first book she was the less cool mum and I thought Belly was just plain awful to her. It was also the case in this book too, admittedly, but her mum finally gets the credit she deserves. She was not perfect by any means, but whose mum is? She was pretty awesome in my opinion.
The next and final book in the series is on standby, and I cannot wait to devour it.
5 stars - Erm... WOW
I loved the The Summer I Turned Pretty when I read it last year and have been looking forward to reading this ever since. And I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute of it.
I love Jenny Han's writing and the way she subtly incorporates flashbacks into the story. It's through these we really get to know the characters. This time we get the story from Belly and Jeremiah's point of view and that works fabulously. I loved seeing Belly and Conrad from his point of view - and of course we get to know him better.
I love Belly. Although she has grown and is more mature she is still the same Belly from the first book. Again I loved Jeremiah - he's a character that is just really easy to like. And I love his friendship with Belly and the way they always seem to know what the other is thinking. Conrad on the other hand is just as complex as he was in the first book - but there is just something about him. And I have to say that as much as I adore Jeremiah it's Conrad's scenes that I look forward to. And the scenes between him and Belly are heart-stoppingly good!
There is more to this than just the Belly-Jeremiah-Conrad dynamic though, and that's what makes it so enjoyable and real. All the characters are dealing with the aftermath of Susannah's illness and do so in a very honest and believable way. You really understand what the characters are feeling.
I can't wait to read We'll Always Have Summer. This is fast becoming on of my favourite series - I love these characters and am truly excited to find out who Belly ends up with. I know who I want it to be!
on 29 June 2011
I really enjoyed the first book, so when I heard there was a second, I was really looking forward to it. The first book could be a stand alone; the girl finally gets the boy, and things will develop on from there away from the pages. But there were still some questions. What about Jeremiah? He showed some interest in Belly. And what happens to Suzannah? So it was great to get a second book and find out the answers.
A lot can happen in the time between one summer and the next. Suzannah died. Conrad went to college. Conrad and Belly split up. These aren't spoilers, we find out these things from the very beginning. But these things have really shaken Belly up. Suzannah was practically family, and she isn't coping well with her death. She's also heart broken over the end of her "relationship" with Conrad - the reason for which we find out as we read. She's emotional yet also emotionally dead, and it's just awful having to read her feeling so, so sad.
But when she finds out from Jeremiah that Conrad has gone AWOL from his summer school - where he was retaking classes and exams, because of time spent away for Suzannah - she is determined to help, no matter if nothing comes from it. If Conrad's missing, something is seriously up. So our story really begins.
I really liked It's Not Summer Without You. It's much more of an emotional book, less happens in this one in comparison to the previous, but it's still sweet in a sad sort of way. I loved that Jeremiah also got to share what he was thinking - about Conrad, about his Dad, and most importantly, about Belly. We still get those wonderful little flash backs like we did in The Summer I Turned Pretty, but most of the time, these are of events that happened before summer.
I could say more, but I would be spoiling the book. It's a sweet, quick read. I loved how it ended, where there is an end yet still more questions. Has Belly really made a decision either way? Will the other try to fight? So I'm really looking forward to the th9ird book in the series, We'll Always Have Summer. A lovely series that comes highly recommended!
on 23 May 2011
I cracked open It's Not Summer Without You expecting more tales of Belly's long, lazy summer days and romantic nights at Cousins Beach with her two favourite boys, Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher. This book though, is quite a departure from The Summer I Turned Pretty. A whole lot of things have changed in Belly's world, and as for the boys, their lives will never be the same again. All three have had a lot of growing up to do in the year since we last met them. Their lives have been touched by loss, and there is a melancholic air to proceedings. The tragedy that has struck their lives also means that those perfect summers at Cousins Beach may just be a thing of the past.
So, instead of finding Belly all loved up with Conrad as I had hoped, we instead find her spending a boring summer at home, and just to make things worse, it seems as though her and Conrad are not on speaking terms! Noooo!! How did it all go so wrong? I had high hopes for those kids. We find out the answers to all this and more as Belly reminisces about the year gone by, including the time where her and Conrad snuck away to spend a perfectly romantic winter's night at the beach house and a not so perfect night at the Prom where Conrad really left me questioning my Team Conrad status.
Yes, that's right - I'm Team Conrad, and have been since day one. Conrad may be moody and distant, difficult to figure out and a lot of hard work, but out of the two brothers, he's my clear winner. While Conrad keeps everything locked up inside, Jere wears his heart on his sleeve. There are no mixed signals from him, while Conrad keeps his feelings so cocooned it would drive a girl insane. It may seem that Jere is the obvious choice here. He's funny, friendly and open about his feelings for Belly, but, for me, there's just something about Conrad...
So, while the choice for me is easy, it's not so easy for Belly. By now, she and Conrad have a complicated history, while Jeremiah is as funny and friendly as ever, and he's making a play for her heart. With the inclusion of chapters from Jeremiah's point of view, we now realize that Jeremiah's feelings for Belly are just as strong as her feelings for Conrad. This information leaves us with one great love triangle to obsess over!
It's Not Summer Without You is an altogether more serious read than The Summer I Turned Pretty. Dealing with grief and loss, Han handles these tough subjects expertly and her writing style is such that even though the subject matter may be serious, her words are still a joy to read. The characters are more mature in this book and it becomes obvious that Conrad and Jeremiah are no longer just the boys of summer; they will forever be in Belly's life. But who will have her heart?
This book ends on quite a cliffhanger, and I have been totally left wanting more of this series. I can't wait to see who Belly finally chooses, and I'm also intrigued to see how Han will give readers the happy ending they so desire, while also leaving one boy on the losing side in the quest for Belly's heart. I anticipate lots of twists and turns in We'll Always Have Summer, the third and final book in this series.