The Summer I Turned Pretty

The Summer I Turned Pretty

4.6 1149
by Jenny Han
     
 

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Belly’s never been the kind of girl that things happen to. Year after year, she’s spent her summers at the beach house with Conrad and Jeremiah. The boys never noticed Belly noticing them. And every summer she hoped it would be different. This time, it was. But the summer Belly turned pretty was the summer that changed everything. For better, and for worse… See more details below

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Overview

Belly’s never been the kind of girl that things happen to. Year after year, she’s spent her summers at the beach house with Conrad and Jeremiah. The boys never noticed Belly noticing them. And every summer she hoped it would be different. This time, it was. But the summer Belly turned pretty was the summer that changed everything. For better, and for worse.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This well-written coming-of-age story introduces 15-year-old Isabel, aka Belly, for whom summer has always been the most important time of year: it's when her family shares a beach house with her mother's best friend, Susannah, and her two sons. Like Belly's older brother, Steven, Susannah's boys have always thought of Belly as their younger sister. But this summer-"It was the summer everything began"-is different. One brother, Jeremiah, is suddenly interested in Belly, but she has always had a crush on dark and unattainable Conrad. And then there is Cam, also spending the summer at the beach, who becomes Belly's first boyfriend. Han (Shug) realistically balances Belly's naïveté with her awareness of the changes the years have brought ("In some ways it was even harder being the only girl back then. In some ways not"). Anecdotal chapters of past summers are interspersed, rounding out Belly's character, her attachment to Susannah and her desire for the boys to include her. First in a planned trilogy, Han's novel offers plenty of summertime drama to keep readers looking forward to the next installment. Ages 12-up. (May)

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VOYA - Anna Toegel
The Summer I Turned Pretty is a charming book about a girl who marks her life by summers. Everything good, everything bad, everything surprising, everything disappointing, and especially everything romantic happens during the summer. Like any other sixteen-year-old girl, she is dealing with her conflicting feelings for different boys, dealing with her feelings of being misunderstood, and dealing with difficult parents, friends who overpower, and being caught in a trap of low self-esteem. There is something in this book to which any girl can relate. Reviewer: Anna Toegel, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Kim Carter
All her life, Belly (short for Isabel), her older brother Steven, and their mother Laurel have spent the summer months with her mother's lifetime best friend, Susannah Fisher, and her two boys, Conrad and Jeremiah, at the Fisher's beach house in Cousins Beach. Belly has always adored Susannah, idolized Conrad, and been friends with Jeremiah. As she approaches her sixteenth birthday, not only are Conrad and Jeremiah treating her differently, she is also being noticed by other boys. Although Belly could vainly say "so many boys, so little time," the truth is that they have never before seen her that way. Now that everything is changing, Belly's head is spinning. How can she know who she really loves, and in what way? How can she sort through the intersections between love and friendship, want and need, and the past, present and future? With flashbacks of past summers interwoven with this particularly memorable and momentous summer, this novel chronicles the complexities of intimate relationships through Belly's first-person narrative. Despite the ambiguous and potentially unsatisfying ending, richly developed characters bridge an idyllic summer setting with the starker realities of life, much as gentle summer vacation fantasies must ultimately give way to the demands of daily life. Although most obviously a precursor to adult chick-lit books, this poignant summer tale is equally appropriate for male readers learning to navigate changing relationships with male and female friends and family. Reviewer: Kim Carter
Children's Literature - Renee Farrah
Sixteen-year-old Belly lives for her summers spent at the beach house. It is her time with her mother's friend Susannah and her two sons Conrad and Jeremiah. Family friends since she can remember, their summers spent together are comfortably familiar and all negativity from their everyday lives is left at home. But this summer is different. Belly's brother Steven will be leaving early to look at colleges, Conrad is being reclusive, Jeremiah is less perky than usual, and Susannah is spending a lot of time alone. Belly has spent her in-between-summer-time cultivating her crush on Conrad, and his rebellious absence is confusing and difficult to handle. As Belly sifts through emotions and memories, she recognizes that the summers of her childhood have passed but her freedom is just beginning. As information trickles out, Belly is ready to handle anything, even if it means the real world touching the beach house. A beautifully written coming-of-age story, it wistfully captures the beach vacation spirit and the dynamics of different relationships. Reviewer: Renee Farrah
School Library Journal

Gr 7-10

Romantic and heartbreakingly real, this novel follows 15-year-old Belly through the most important summer of her life. Every year, her family shares a beach house with Belly's mother's best friend, Susannah, and her two sons. Belly has always had a crush on Conrad, the older boy, but he has always treated her like an annoying younger sister. This summer, everything changes. The beautifully written novel captures Belly's realization that she is changing into an attractive young woman with a growing power over the boys in her life. They include Cam, the "nice" boy she should fall for but doesn't, and Jeremiah, Susannah's younger son. Only Conrad is seemingly immune to Belly's charms. Meanwhile, Susannah and her family are dealing with problems that Belly does not fully comprehend. Flashbacks to previous summers show her struggles to make Conrad and Jeremiah notice and include her, and how hurt she was when they didn't. The novel perfectly blends romance, family drama, and a coming-of-age tale, one that is substantially deeper than most, but it will still satisfy those hoping for a soapy story of summer love. Belly's discovery that you can't always choose who you love will appeal to readers, as will the author's expert evocation of a magical time when absolutely anything could happen.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Unified School District

Kirkus Reviews
Han's leisurely paced, somewhat somber narrative revisits several beach-house summers in flashback through the eyes of now 15-year-old Isabel, known to all as Belly. Belly measures her growing self by these summers and by her lifelong relationship with the older boys, her brother and her mother's best friend's two sons. Belly's dawning awareness of her sexuality and that of the boys is a strong theme, as is the sense of summer as a separate and reflective time and place: Readers get glimpses of kisses on the beach, her best friend's flirtations during one summer's visit, a first date. In the background the two mothers renew their friendship each year, and Lauren, Belly's mother, provides support for her friend-if not, unfortunately, for the children-in Susannah's losing battle with breast cancer. Besides the mostly off-stage issue of a parent's severe illness there's not much here to challenge most readers-driving, beer-drinking, divorce, a moment of surprise at the mothers smoking medicinal pot together. The wish-fulfilling title and sun-washed, catalog-beautiful teens on the cover will be enticing for girls looking for a diversion. (Fiction. 12-14)
From the Publisher
"This book has what every girl wants in a summer." — Sarah Dessen, author of Just Listen and Lock and Key

"The Summer I Turned Pretty offers a hard-to-resist combination — a beach house, summer love, enduring friendship. A deliciously sweet read." — Deb Caletti, author of Honey, Baby, Sweetheart and Wild Roses

"If I could live inside this amazing book, I would. I would inhale the ocean air and soak up the sun, and I would hang out all day with kind-wonderful-funny-awkward Belly and her two known-'em-forever buds, Jeremiah and Conrad. I'd watch the three of them stop being kids and start being more...and I'd hope hope hope that when Belly falls in love — 'cause you know she will — she'd give her heart to the exact right boy." — Lauren Myracle, author of the ttyl series and Bliss

"This well-written coming-of-age story introduces 15-year-old Isabel, aka Belly, for whom summer has always been the most important time of year. Han (Shug) realistically balances Belly's naïveté with her awareness of the changes the years have brought. Han's novel offers plenty of summertime drama." — Starred review from Publishers Weekly

"Belly's dawning awareness of her sexuality and that of the boys is a strong theme, as is the sense of summer as a separate and reflective time and place. Readers get glimpses of kisses on the beach, her best friend's flirtations during one summer's visit, a first date." — Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416999171
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
12/21/2010
Series:
Summer I Turned Pretty , #1
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
10,811
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

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