May 19, 2012

Review: It's Not Summer Without You

By: Jenny Han
Published: April 2010 by Simon & Schuster
Format: Hardback, 227 pages
First Reviewed: October 2011
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
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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.

Rating: 5/5

Sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty. Where do I even start with this book? When I started it, I was so happy! I was smiling and smiling and then page two came along and I started bailing. What kind of author does that?! Can do that? Jenny Han.

Seriously, though, you guys. The emotion in this one was so strong I cried twice before page 100. Not many books can make me cry.

Not just the emotion was better in this, though. The characters felt stronger--I loved Belly this time around, save for one issue with her and her friend--and I related to her a whole lot more. Even the writing felt stronger. Nothing felt choppy or annoyed me, and Han really knows how to pack in the emotion into such a short read.

I don't have much criticism about this book. I do wish I would have gotten a tad bit more of the relationship between Belly and her mother, as an overall (this book and the first). It was enough, but I just wanted a little more. Also, I think some of the scenes could have been fleshed out a bit more. Mainly some of the intense ones. They were intense--especially the argument ones--but some I would have liked to have seen not over so quickly.

Other than that, though, this was stunning for me. Miles better than the first, which I had enjoyed, and so full of emotion that if it doesn't have you in tears, or at least tearing up...then I may have to hunt you down and beat you with Rafiki's stick. Anyway, the book left me torn in a good way. I have so many emotions running through me. Happy and sad. I highly recommend this.

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