Release Date: Out now!
Some summers are just destined to be pretty.
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer - they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
Oh wow, why didn't I read this book sooner? I knew bloggers and other authors alike have been non-stop raving about this book since its release back in 2010 and talking about the author's talents in creating the perfect book, but for whatever reason I overlooked this title and hadn't thought much about it until now. And then after I read it, it quickly became one of those rare books that changes your life forever (well, so to speak) and it's by far one of my favourite YA romance books of all time! An unforgettable one to be honest with you.
Reading THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY is almost like watching your favourite tv program such as The OC where you're daydreaming about yourself attending those bonfire parties on the beach, hanging out with your friends like the world had stopped just for you - for only you - to enjoy those fun-filled moments that you may never experience again and falling for those beautiful boys with the timeless summer romances that comes along with them. Combining all of those elements together that's exactly what you get inside of this book and if not more than you first expect from it, and no matter the cutesy love . . . it was perfect in every single way.
Belly, the main character, tells her story through the present times and through several flashbacks of past summers - the different memories she had whilst growing up as a kid. Not even once did this distract me, switching back-and-forth, because all of her experiences and memories were needed to truly understand what Belly was going through in the actual book. The heartbreaks she's suffered, the intense feelings she had - and still has - for her long-time unrequited love, and also the strong bond ties that she's never dared to cut with her childhood friends. In this present times story of Belly's, she is now sixteen-years-old and has returned with her mother to the beach house where she used to live in from past summers, and she soon reunites with her friends, brothers named Conrad and Jeremiah. Upon seeing them again, everything from the tension, the jealousy and the heartbreak will soon come to a head, and Belly will need to find out what exactly 'growing up' means for her and for everyone else.
While I do enjoy the summer romances and the teenage themes displayed throughout this book, but what made this story even more remarkable than it was already was the characters and the realism the author brought into her characters - both in the boys and in the girls. For Belly as the main narrator, she was such a gem and was presented in a way where I, myself, could relate to her on many levels. I may not have had two gorgeous brothers as my best friends in my own childhood but her strength to keep going, believing in the best of everyone, and her capability of dealing with the most difficult of all things - love - is something to really admire about her. Some reviewers suggested Belly was 'too whiny' for her own good, but I say she was a girl who was still trying to find herself in the world like all of us must do eventually and no matter the angst she experiences . . . that's what teenagers are. Whiny. Complicated. Confused. Angry. Self-doubting. Naive. It's all written in this book in a way of today and come on . . . we've all experienced teenage angst at least once in our lives.
Lastly, I need to mention the two leading young men of this story. The dark, the alluring, the mysterious, the bad-boy Conrad (the unattainable one Belly has FOREVER loved) and his funny, doting, and charming brother Jeremiah (the one Belly had her first kiss with). In my own past time I've read about many boys with their own sets of appeals, but these two boys right here have really cut it for me - to be one of the best and the most honest of them all. With Conrad's character, he maybe frustrating for the most part, but there's so much more to Conrad's character and personality than meets the eye. After all, he's dealing with a lot of heavy stuff. Whereas Jeremiah, the good guy, is the exact opposite of Conrad. He's the boy that would make any girl happy to be around with. He's the boy that mother dearest would approve of. But like so many fangals out there of this series, it's Team Jerad because you change your minds with who you love more with both of the boys like . . . constantly. Especially when it comes to the boy's love of their mother. For those who've read this book already and have witnessed how the boys love their mother . . . it kind of hits home for me.
Overall, THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY is an absolutely solid and splendid summer story. It's about a young girl deciding to grow up and take control of her live, but also falling in love all over again and find out what it means to be loved by somebody. If you love those sweet romances with the sweetest boys ever presented in a contemporary YA novel, then this book is most definitely something for you! I'm still deciding who I like best - Conrad or Jeremiah? Hmmm it's very hard to choose between them let me tell you!
The Rating4 1/2 / 5 stars