Sunday, May 15, 2011

Review: It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 288 pages

PublisherSimon & Schuster Children's Publishing; 1st edition (April 27th 2010)
Language: English
Source: Purchased from Book Depository
First Sentence: "It was a hot summer day in Cousins."
Favorite Line from the Book
"I will never look at you in the same way ever again. I'll never be that girl again. The girl who comes running back every time you push her away, the girl who loves you anyway.
Book Summary:  Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?

It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.

But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started--at Cousins Beach.
I was blown away by this book.  I read this in less than four hours and it left me breathless.  I was in an emotional roller-coaster ride all throughout reading this novel.  I even got teary-eyed from the first chapter of the novel until its end.

This novel is about the life after Susannah passed away.  It centered on how the lives of Belly, Steven, Conrad, and Jeremiah each changed.  It also let us see how Lauren, Belly's mom and Susannah's best friend, copes up with her friend's demise.  Grief was very evident in this book, thus inflicting raw emotions from its readers, me particularly.  Jenny Han once again, gave each character different ways on how to deal with this situation and I loved how she has written this.

The story is presented in such a way which still has Jenny Han's signature style - the flashbacks which makes you understand the characters and the situations more.  I appreciate this as I get to know more where each of them were coming from.  It gave me more avenues to get to know them.  I also like that I get to read Jeremiah's point of view.  It made me feel that he truly loves Belly and will do anything for her, who loves her no matter what.

Belly's confusion is still here.  She is presented with a choice - to continue loving Conrad even though she knows deep in her heart that it is unrequited or to start a relationship with Jeremiah, her best friend and Conrad's brother.  Jenny Han created a very wonderful conflict that you can really feel that you are fully immersed in the story.  You can feel how Belly's heart is being torn apart.

The ending is perfect.  It definitely opened different possibilities where its readers will think who Belly will end up with.

I loved "The Summer I Turned Pretty," but I definitely loved "It's Not Summer Without You" more!


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