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.
Let me start off by saying this book was absolutely enchanting. That said, please excuse any rambling and/or excessive raving.
I’ve been meaning to read The Summer I Turned Pretty for quite some time, and I’m so glad I finally did. I laughed, I cried, I loved. I was with Belly for every step of her journey and enjoyed every second of it.
The Summer I Turned Pretty is a raw look at a young girl’s struggle to find herself. Belly is self-conscious and unsure of herself. She’s blossoming into a young woman when, inside, she still sees herself as a child. The flashbacks to the various summers of her childhood help to develop Belly’s character and give the reader insight into the reasons for her actions. With each flashback you’re given another piece of Belly’s character, another piece of what makes her who she is. Between her memories and the inner struggles she faces over the course of the novel, it is impossible not to fall in love with her character. You get to know her so well that you feel as if she is your best friend.
Even when Belly was acting petulant and irrational, jumping to conclusions and missing what was right in front of her, I still loved her. She’s a teenage girl. She makes mistakes. The struggle she goes through to correct and understand those mistakes is what truly reflects her character.
Another reason I loved this book was the writing. From the start it drew me in, capturing the salty smell of the air and the essence of the beach. I was transported to that small beach town and felt as if I was Belly, returning to the home I’d spent countless summers in and the people that had colored them for so long. From that first page on I could not put the book down. I wanted to know Belly and the story of this summer, as well as those that had preceded it.
I loved this book so much that I’m glad I put off reading it. Now I don’t have to wait nearly as long for the sequel! This book is a must read for fans of teen chick lit, especially those who love Sarah Dessen.