Monday, September 14, 2015

Book Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1) by Jenny Han

Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 276
Format: Paperback
Published: April, 2010
Price: Rp150.000 (Periplus)
Rating: 2 / 5 stars

Date started: August 13, 2015 - Date finished: August 25, 2015

Some summers are just destined to be pretty.

When each summer begins, Belly leaves her school life behind and escapes to Cousins Beach, the place she has spent every summer of her life. Not only does the beach house mean home away from home, but her favorite people are there: Susannah, her mother's best friend, and her sons, Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly has been chasing Conrad for as long as she can remember, and more than anything, she hopes this summer will be different. Despite distractions from a new guy named Cam and lingering looks from Conrad's brother, Jeremiah, Belly's heart belongs to Conrad. Will he offer his to her? Will this be the summer that changes everything?
Since Belly was a kid, her summers are like clockwork because they were always spent at a summer house in Cousins Beach with her mom, brother, her mother's best friend—Susannah, and Susannah's sons—Jeremiah and Conrad. This time, Belly is turning sixteen and has grown to be a pretty teenager. She's determined that this summer is going to be different.

Belly lives two lives, her summer life and her life outside summertime (her normal life). She really likes her summer life because she has a crush on one of the Beck boys, Conrad. She is certain that this summer she and Conrad will finally be together. On the other hand there's Jeremiah who Belly thought of as only her best friend but is actually hiding feelings for her.

In this summer, unexpected things did occur. Belly met a guy at a party named Cam and after spending some time together at that party and then afterwards, they became close to each other. Belly slowly but surely develop feelings towards Cam because he's just so different than Conrad. They both began spending more and more time together, even though Conrad and Jeremiah disapproved Cam and Belly's relationship.

Even though Belly likes Cam, she just can't seem to forget Conrad. She's just not sure if she's able to like Cam more than Conrad. Wrapped in a mix of Belly's current summer experience and her past summer experiences, readers will be taken to a story of love triangles and family drama in the beautiful setting of Cousins Beach.
Sometimes it’s like people are a million times more beautiful to you in your mind. It’s like you see them through a special lens—but maybe if it’s how you see them,that’s how they really are. It’s like the whole tree falling in the forest thing.
You know, a lot of people seem to like this series, especially people in the book tube world but when I read this book and finished it I just cannot fathom why many people like or even love this book series. For me personally, it's just not my cup of tea.

Some problems that I had with this book revolves around the characters. Well, one of the characters actually. I seem to have not been able to like the main character, Belly because to me for a girl  who is turning sixteen she sure is childish and bratty. But props to the author for making me feel something towards the main character than none at all even though this kind of impression might not have been what the author has intended.

Another problem, the story just seems flat to me at times. I kind of put this book a few times and started reading another book before finishing it. But I do love how the author describes the setting of Cousins Beach, it made me want to go there and stay in a summer house (Cousins Beach is a real place, right?). If only the summers in my country were as cool as it is in this story.
It was a summer I would never, ever forget. It was the summer everything began. It was the summer I turned pretty. Because for the first time, I felt it. Pretty, I mean. Every summer up to this one, I believed it’d be different. Life would be different. And that summer, it finally was.
In the end this book is an ok book for me, I don't really like it but I don't particularly hate it.

P.S.: Thank you again, Jenny for letting me borrow this book!!

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