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It's Not Summer Without You

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Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Isabel (Belly) struggles to regain her equilibrium after the death of her mother's best friend Susannah in this sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty (2009). It is becoming clear that nothing will ever be the same. The net of loss and grief thrown over Belly, her mother and Susannah's boys holds them all together even as its folds separate them. The romantic relationship between Conrad, Susannah's elder boy, and Belly, his longtime admirer, fails under the weight of sorrow, while at the same time Conrad's brother Jeremiah tries to conceal his feelings for Belly. When Belly returns with Jeremiah to the beach house where the families spent every summer, she is caught up in an awkward conflict over the fate of this special place. Though the story takes place in just under a week, Han artfully weaves together Belly's and Jeremiah's back stories, recent and long past, to create a solid fabric of relationship and longing. Flashes of humor, realistic (and often salty) dialogue and growing-up moments both painful and authentic create a convincing and poignant read. (Fiction. YA)
Publishers Weekly
In this second book of the planned trilogy that began with The Summer I Turned Pretty, 16-year-old Belly Conklin feels displaced. Unlike years past, she won't be at the beach with her mother's best friend, Susannah, and Susannah's sons, Jeremiah and Conrad. This summer, “I wasn't in Cousins. Conrad and I weren't together, and Susannah was dead.” When Belly learns from Jeremiah that Conrad has disappeared, she immediately agrees to help; their search leads them to the beach house, where Conrad is hiding out. Belly's plaintive voice sometimes makes her sound too young, but Han realistically touches upon the characters' various reactions to grief—Belly's mother becomes withdrawn, Conrad fiercely protects the house (his father wants to sell it), Belly has trouble processing the permanence of loss—as well as Belly's emotional entanglements with the brothers (occasional chapters are told from Jeremiah's perspective, and Belly reflects on her failed romance with Conrad). Though the fate of the summer house is resolved a bit quickly, Belly's difficult relationship with her best friend and her standing with the boys hang in the balance, which should leave readers anxious for the final installment. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—This summer, everything is different for 16-year-old Belly in Jenny Han's sequel (2010) to The Summer I Turned Pretty (2009, both S & S; Recorded Books, 2009). She always spent her summers at Cousins Beach, chasing after Susanna's two sons, Conrad and Jeremiah, and her own older brother. But Susanna has passed away, and Belly's romantic relationship with Conrad has soured since her death. Just as Belly is resigning herself to summer without her second family, Belly gets a call from Jeremiah letting her know that Conrad has disappeared from school and he needs her help to find him. The three end up back at the summer house, where they must confront their memories, their grief, and each other. Occasional chapters narrated by Jeremiah reveal his feelings for Belly, while most of the story is told from Belly's point of view. Han's touching novel paints a realistic portrait of teenage love and heartbreak. Jessica Almasy provides a perfect voice for Belly, using subtle vocal shifts to indicate clearly when other characters are speaking. Recommended for high school libraries where the previous title is popular with the caveat the this volume has some strong language and teenage drinking.—Beth Gallego, Panorama City Public Library, Los Angeles, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416995562
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Series: Summer I Turned Pretty Series , #2
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 53,833
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jenny Han

Jenny Han is the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series; Shug; the Burn for Burn trilogy, cowritten with Siobhan Vivian; and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You. She is also the author of the chapter book Clara Lee and The Apple Pie Dream. A former children’s bookseller, she earned her MFA in creative writing at the New School. Visit her at DearJennyHan.com.

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Read an Excerpt


chapter one
july 2

It was a hot summer day in Cousins. I was lying by the pool with a magazine on my face. My mother was playing solitaire on the front porch, Susannah was inside puttering around the kitchen. She’d probably come out soon with a glass of sun tea and a book I should read. Something romantic.

Conrad and Jeremiah and Steven had been surfing all morning. There’d been a storm the night before. Conrad and Jeremiah came back to the house first. I heard them before I saw them. They walked up the steps, cracking up over how Steven had lost his shorts after a particularly ferocious wave. Conrad strode over to me, lifted the sweaty magazine from my face, and grinned. He said, “You have words on your cheeks.”

I squinted up at him. “What do they say?”

He squatted next to me and said, “I can’t tell. Let me see.” And then he peered at my face in his serious Conrad way. He leaned in, and he kissed me, and his lips were cold and salty from the ocean.

Then Jeremiah said, “You guys need to get a room,” but I knew he was joking. He winked at me as he came from behind, lifted Conrad up, and launched him into the pool.

Jeremiah jumped in too, and he yelled, “Come on, Belly!”

So of course I jumped too. The water felt fine. Better than fine. Just like always, Cousins was the only place I wanted to be.

“Hello? Did you hear anything I just said?”

I opened my eyes. Taylor was snapping her fingers in my face. “Sorry,” I said. “What were you saying?”

I wasn’t in Cousins. Conrad and I weren’t together, and Susannah was dead. Nothing would ever be the same again. It had been— How many days had it been? How many days exactly? —two months since Susannah had died and I still couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t let myself believe it. When a person you love dies, it doesn’t feel real. It’s like it’s happening to someone else. It’s someone else’s life. I’ve never been good with the abstract. What does it mean when someone is really and truly gone?

Sometimes I closed my eyes and in my head, I said over and over again, It isn’t true , it isn’t true , this isn’t real . This wasn’t my life. But it was my life; it was my life now. After.

I was in Marcy Yoo’s backyard. The boys were messing around in the pool and us girls were lying on beach towels, all lined up in a row. I was friends with Marcy, but the rest, Katie and Evelyn and those girls, they were more Taylor’s friends.

It was eighty-seven degrees already, and it was just after noon. It was going to be a hot one. I was on my stomach, and I could feel sweat pooling in the small of my back. I was starting to feel sun-sick. It was only the second day of July, and already, I was counting the days until summer was over.

“I said , what are you going to wear to Justin’s party?” Taylor repeated. She’d lined our towels up close, so it was like we were on one big towel.

“I don’t know,” I said, turning my head so we were face-to-face.

She had tiny sweat beads on her nose. Taylor always sweated first on her nose. She said, “I’m going to wear that new sundress I bought with my mom at the outlet mall.”

I closed my eyes again. I was wearing sunglasses, so she couldn’t tell if my eyes were open or not anyway. “Which one?”

“You know, the one with the little polka dots that ties around the neck. I showed it to you, like, two days ago.” Taylor let out an impatient little sigh.

“Oh, yeah,” I said, but I still didn’t remember and I knew Taylor could tell.

I started to say something else, something nice about the dress, but suddenly I felt ice-cold aluminum sticking to the back of my neck. I shrieked and there was Cory Wheeler, crouched down next to me with a dripping Coke can in his hand, laughing his head off.

I sat up and glared at him, wiping off my neck. I was so sick of today. I just wanted to go home. “What the crap , Cory!”

He was still laughing, which made me madder.

I said, “God, you’re so immature.”

“But you looked really hot,” he protested. “I was trying to cool you off.”

I didn’t answer him, I just kept my hand on the back of my neck. My jaw felt really tight, and I could feel all the other girls staring at me. And then Cory’s smile sort of slipped away and he said, “Sorry. You want this Coke?”

I shook my head, and he shrugged and retreated back over to the pool. I looked over and saw Katie and Evelyn making what’s-her-problem faces, and I felt embarrassed. Being mean to Cory was like being mean to a German shepherd puppy. There was just no sense in it. Too late, I tried to catch Cory’s eye, but he didn’t look back at me.

In a low voice Taylor said, “It was just a joke, Belly.”

I lay back down on my towel, this time faceup. I took a deep breath and let it out, slowly. The music from Marcy’s iPod deck was giving me a headache. It was too loud. And I actually was thirsty. I should have taken that Coke from Cory.

Taylor leaned over and pushed up my sunglasses so she could see my eyes. She peered at me. “Are you mad?”

“No. It’s just too hot out here.” I wiped sweat off my forehead with the back of my arm.

“Don’t be mad. Cory can’t help being an idiot around you. He likes you.”

“Cory doesn’t like me,” I said, looking away from her. But he sort of did like me, and I knew it. I just wished he didn’t.

“Whatever, he’s totally into you. I still think you should give him a chance. It’ll take your mind off of you-know-who.”

I turned my head away from her and she said, “How about I French braid your hair for the party tonight? I can do the front section and pin it to the side like I did last time.”

“Okay.”

“What are you going to wear?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Well, you have to look cute because everybody’s gonna be there,” Taylor said. “I’ll come over early and we can get ready together.”

Justin Ettelbrick had thrown a big blowout birthday party every July first since the eighth grade. By July, I was already at Cousins Beach, and home and school and school friends were a million miles away. I’d never once minded missing out, not even when Taylor told me about the cotton candy machine his parents had rented one year, or the fancy fireworks they shot off over the lake at midnight.

It was the first summer I would be at home for Justin’s party and it was the first summer I wasn’t going back to Cousins. And that, I minded. That, I mourned. I’d thought I’d be in Cousins every summer of my life. The summer house was the only place I wanted to be. It was the only place I ever wanted to be.

“You’re still coming, right?” Taylor asked me.

“Yeah. I told you I was.”

Her nose wrinkled. “I know, but—” Taylor’s voice broke off. “Never mind.”

I knew Taylor was waiting for things to go back to normal again, to be like before. But they could never be like before. I was never going to be like before.

I used to believe. I used to think that if I wanted it bad enough, wished hard enough, everything would work out the way it was supposed to. Destiny, like Susannah said. I wished for Conrad on every birthday, every shooting star, every lost eyelash, every penny in a fountain was dedicated to the one I loved. I thought it would always be that way.

Taylor wanted me to forget about Conrad, to just erase him from my mind and memory. She kept saying things like, “Everybody has to get over a first love, it’s a rite of passage.” But Conrad wasn’t just my first love. He wasn’t some rite of passage. He was so much more than that. He and Jeremiah and Susannah were my family. In my memory, the three of them would always be entwined, forever linked. There couldn’t be one without the others.

If I forgot Conrad, if I evicted him from my heart, pretended like he was never there, it would be like doing those things to Susannah. And that, I couldn’t do.

© 2010 Jenny Han

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 812 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(611)

4 Star

(123)

3 Star

(41)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(20)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 826 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Just as amazing as the first!

    This book was so amazing. I enjoyed The Summer I Turned Pretty so much I just couldn't wait until this one came out. I really liked how some of this book was in Jeremiah's point of view and I liked reading about what he thought of her. In the first book I really was glad that Belly was with Conrad. But after reading this, I'm not sure who I think she should be with. This book is so worth buying! I loved every page of it! I cannot wait until We'll Always Have Summer comes out. I am excited to read what happens!!

    25 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Re:need help

    i think the order goes
    1) The Summer I Turned pretty
    2) Its not Summer Without You
    3) We'll Always Have Summer

    19 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent

    I loved reading this wonderful book! It has a story that keeps you entertained for hours.

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    What a wonderful second installment in the series.

    I purchased an e-copy of this book this morning as soon as I woke up--I've been eagerly waiting to read IT'S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU since I finished THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY several months ago.

    As I've been reading the manuscript on my e-reader, I've been astounded by how beautifully Jenny has woven Belly's voice yet again--she is real and vivid, exactly how I imagined her to be. Jeremiah's chapters explaining how he fell in love with Belly last summer provide a fascinating new look at THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY. Although I loved the image of Conrad and Belly together in the first installment of the series, as I read this novel and see how Jeremiah sees Bellys, I cannot help but wonder if she picked the wrong brother. The romance is subtle and gut-wrenching in a way--the reality of the difficultly of loving someone who doesn't love you back is something to which I think everyone can relate.

    Han also beautifully captures the grief of losing Susannah--like Belly, I couldn't imagine summer--and the second book--without her. It's not easy to write a character that a reader can actively mourn alongside--but somehow, Han manages to do it.

    Jenny Han is a strong, vivid new voice in children's literature.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2012

    I am still amazed

    This book and series was fabolous! It took me a week to ready all 3 books and i laughed and cried the whole time! Acoyple times i laughed or ghasped out loud in class all i can say is READ THIS SERIES!!!!!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    It's Not Summer Without You

    For years, Belly and her brother Steven have gone to Cousins Beach to spend the summer with Conrad, Jeremiah, and their mom, Susannah. Belly wasalways used to be the one tagging along behind the boys, but last year, everything changed. Susannah got cancer and Conrad and Belly grew closer.

    Over the school year, more things changed. Conrad and Belly went out, Susannah passed away, and Conrad and Belly broke up. When Conrad disappears this summer, Jeremiah asks Belly to help him find Conrad. Belly agrees because she feels the need to apologize to Conrad for the way things ended.

    Over several days, Belly, Jeremiah, and Conrad come closer and further apart as events happen-events they never thought would come to pass. Belly also has to deal with other personal issues, such as her feelings about the boys and her best friend, Taylor.

    This book takes you through another summer in which Belly has to find herself and make decisions. It is a good book for young adults to read at any time, and it will keep you reading until you finish it.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Two Different Worlds, Finally Colliding

    The saddening heartbreaking second novel in Han's triogy. After the death of Suzannah, it seems that the beach house won't be the reoccurring summer destination any longer. When news of Conrad running away travels to Belly's ears, will she and Jeremiah be able to find him before he misses his college tests? Then comes a new revelation, revealing the true reason Conrad's gone off, but will their combined efforts be enough to save the Summer house? Will they call in reinforcements, or will Mr. Fisher win and sell what's so dear to them all? And just who will Belly end up with? This book takes you on through each of these challenges, answering those questions yet bringing on new ones to be answered in Han's closing book of the trilogy. A book that will make you laugh, weep, and make your heart break just a little bit inside.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Good

    The first one is my favorite, though.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    K.G Anynmous

    This series is one of the best yet! Ive read all three books, and ive spent a few nights till three in the morning either reading or just thinking about all of these books. This is the kind of story that keeps you awake at night going, " wow" or " who would id have chosen" If you havent started reading these books, buy it, then sit in your most comfortable and fav place because your going to be there a long time. The summer series rocks!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Best book ever

    I love this book more then life

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    Susannah

    I cant believe susannah is gone. Ouch

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    Awesome

    It tells a great story of love and its so sweet and greatly detailed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

    Real love story

    Omg this book is heart touching i feel like im in the book feeling all these things everyones feeling… i love this book and the one before it… it tells a story of how true love feels and how it can fall apart i couldnt put my nook down while reading this amazing story of a girl looking for true love with someone who is closed up but lets belly in and pushes her away in the end but still cares about her

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    Best Book for Teens to Read over the Summer

    This book was amazing. I started off with "The Summer I Turned Pretty" and I was hooked. After loving the first book, I went out the buy both this one and the third book-We'll Always Have Summer. I LOVE THIS SERIES. This one is very special because you not only see the summer through Belly's eyes, but you also see it in Jeremiah's point of view. This book has you picking sides- Jeremiah or Conrad. This is a must read series for all teens. I would recommend it for ages 13+ due to some use of language and themes, but it is a wonderful book. When you fall into Belly's summer, it just makes you want to make it your own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

    Wow!!!

    The whole series is amazing! Love it so great

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing second book!

    I totally fell in love with all the characters in The Summer I Turned Pretty, so i jumped at the chance to read the second book. Boy I was not disappointed!! There is a lot of emotion in this book, Susannah dying tragically, the normal routines not lulling everyone into a sense of bliss, fights with best friends, both guys and girls. But everything is handled so well by Ms. Han that it feels like you are seeing things from the inner circle. I don't know if I truly like how Belly acted in this second book. But I am glad for the ending. I think that she is spending time with someone who really does care about her. I wish that Cousins Beach was someplace that I could go to. it seems like the perfect place to get away from things and spend summers swimming and laying on the beach. I cant wait to get the third book now and see what happens when everyone is older and in college.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Grea great book(:

    Amazing

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2012

    Need help

    Which book is the first one,second, and third?

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2011

    great book!

    i absolutely loved this book! suitable for all of your teens! they will love it. my daughter adored it and is still raving about 'its not summer without you.'

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Disappointing

    I read The Summer I Turned Pretty and loved it. I have read it so many times I can practically quote passages. So I was really disappointed with the sequel. There was no deepening of relationships and the story line tended to drag on. It didn't really come to a conclusion and just left me hanging with more questions at the end then I had to begin with. It was still an okay read but I wish it had more of an ending. The only thing I really liked about this one is the several chapters told by Jeremiah. It was quite interesting to see things from his point of view. If you read the first one and want to know what happens you should read this, otherwise don't bother.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 826 Customer Reviews

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