Summer Review Train: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

To celebrate the start of summer, I’m participating in a review train!  I’m super excited because this is the first review train I’ve ever been in and it’s such a cool idea 🙂  I love the graphic that our host, Brittany from Space Between the Spines, made!  There are plenty of people after me (the fun is just beginning!) and you can check out the whole schedule HERE.  I’ll also put a link at the bottom of this post to the next person in the train to make it super easy for you guys to follow along!  I’m the third stop on the train so if you haven’t seen the first two that Genni at Read, Set, Read! (The Unexpected Everything)  and Lauren at Always Me (Future Shock)  posted, hop on over to their blogs!  Let’s get started!
Goodreads Blurb:
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 terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.”


1.  The characters.  I did like the characters.  They were all nice, distinct, and served their own purposes in the story.  However, they aren’t all that memorable.  There’s nothing about them that makes them special.  As I was reading this, I was actually thinking about how similar it is to We Were Liars by E. Lockhart which isn’t exactly a good thing.

2.  The plot.  Again, it was structured all right and there weren’t any major problems that I had with the plot.  It was just meh.  Do you ever read those books that you don’t hate but you forget pretty much everything about them once you finish reading them?  That was this book.  I really wanted to like it, I did!  But it just wasn’t working for me.  The whole book is centered around these summers that Belly has with her two crushes, Jeremiah and Conrad along with her brother.  The thing was, there wasn’t anything that was really driving the book except for my desire to find out what happened to Belly in summers past that she kept alluding too (there were all these stories that would pop up and then we would flash back to that summer).

3.  The ending.  I didn’t like the ending.  It wrapped up way too quickly and it almost seemed like the author was trying really hard to be philosophical except she did it in a way that I didn’t know what was happening.  It was just strange.

4.  The structure.  I have to say, I really do like the structure that the author used with the chapters that would flash back to other summers to tell different stories.  You just have to pay close attention to when those chapters come up because you can’t immediately tell that it’s another summer and not the present summer.

The Final Verdict:
Overall, this was a book that I really don’t have many opinions about.  It was fine, but not memorable.  It is a nice mindless book to read if you really don’t want anything too deep!
3 stars

“Victory is a thousand times sweeter when you’re the underdog.” 

“Best friends are important. They’re the closest thing to a sister you’ll ever have.” 

“In the dark you can feel really close to a person. You can say whatever you want.”

“It’s the imperfections that make things beautiful” 

“Moments, when lost, can’t be found again. They’re just gone.”

The next stop on the review train is Sam at Tsundoku Books who is reviewing Even if the Sky Falls by Mia Garcia!

0 thoughts on “Summer Review Train: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han”

  1. I liked this series. It isn't horribly memorable or amazing but it's a fun summer series to read. Something light and entertaining. I enjoy the love triangle in this one and I hate love triangles so…


  2. Good review! I haven't read this book but I felt somewhat similar to To All the Boys I Loved Before. Is it weird that I think of The Twilight Zone every time I hear the title of this one? 🙂


  3. Great review! Too bad it wasn't more thought provoking or engaging, though. I've heard a lot about Jenny Han – especially praise for her new series All The Boys I've Loved Before – so I wasn't sure which books to start out with if/when I finally delved into her books. I guess her writing has improved as she's published more. Thanks again for being a part of the Review Train! <333


  4. I've always been on the fence about this series. I really like her book To All the Boys I've Loved Before and her lesser-known MG book Shug, but there was something about this one that never really appealed to me. I think the fact that it screams love-triangle may have something to do with it. I appreciate all your thoughts on this one and will probably end up skipping it.


  5. Fantastic review! I read about half of this book and enjoyed the writing, but the story wasn't keeping me interested at all, so I set it down for an indeterminable amount of time.


  6. Aw I'm bummed you didn't love this! Jenny Han is one of my favorite authors and this series really got me back into reading! Belly, Jere, and Conrad are all very near and dear to my heart. I reread the parts of the third book from time to time whenever I am feeling slump-y. I would definitely recommend continuing on with the series. Then again, I am extremely biased. 😀


  7. Thanks, Brittany! Yeah it really was a fluff book which isn't a bad thing, it just isn't one of those books that I'd recommend putting at the top of your TBR. I actually read All the Boys I've Loved Before a while back (I still have to put together a review…) and I liked that one a little more than this one.No problem! Thanks so much for inviting me – it was so cool to participate!


  8. Yeah it does have a very prominent love triangle. Being someone who doesn't really appreciate them, that aspect didn't help the book. Aw well maybe you'll enjoy some of her other books that she's released!


  9. Thanks Sam! I can see why you would set it down for a while. There wasn't really a driving plot point that kept the whole book moving forward. More like several different small plot lines that picked up one after the other.


  10. I really wanted to like it – it sounded so good in the blurb! Perhaps I'll like the Burn for Burn series better. I'll definitely be finishing the series (I'm one of those people that can't ever leave loose ends hanging in a series and knowing that there are more books, well I have to read them!). Thanks for stopping by, Genni!


  11. It strikes me strange that the main character's name is Belly? XD I guessing it's probably a nickname though. But still, very unusual. I'm kinda curious about how the flashbacks were structured though. I'm not really into contemporaries, but I might pick it up just to take a look at the structure. Awesome review!


  12. Haha that's a nickname! I actually can't remember what her real name is (shows you how memorable this book is!) but the nickname comes from her doing a bellyflop at the beginning of every summer. The structure was really cool even though there was no overarching plotline that kept me engaged (besides the romance). I hope you enjoy it more than I did! Thanks for stopping by!


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