Series Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Series Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny HanTitle: The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Publication Date: 2015

three-half-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Belly has always lived for the summertime, because summer means all her favorite things: swimming, the beach, and the Fischer boys, Conrad and Jeremiah. For as long as she can remember, she's shared her summers with the brothers at Cousins Beach. And for as long as she can remember, she's been in love with Conrad. Then one summer it seems like he might have feelings for her too -- but so does Jeremiah. As the summer seasons pass, Belly has to choose between two brothers who love her ... and she'll have to break one of their hearts.

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Review

As a big fan of Jenny Han, I had been waiting to read The Summer I Turned Pretty for so long. The summer vibes originally drew me in, and I enjoyed reading about life at a beach house. The main character is enjoyable, but she does have her moments that put me off. As well, the third and final instalment ruined the trilogy for me, and I was very dissatisfied with the ending. If you are looking to read this series, I would still recommend the first and the second book.

This series follows a girl named Belly throughout three summers spent at a beach house with two brothers. Conrad has been on her mind for years, however, she finds herself starting to fall for Jeremiah too. I enjoyed the summer vibes in the series and how laid-back each book is. These are the perfect books to binge at the beach.

I found Belly to be likeable enough, but there were moments when I really disliked her. For starters, her behaviour as a ten year old in the flashbacks is super immature, and I was not a fan of how much of a tattletale she was. This is only a few chapters, though, so I didn’t mind it too much. It is as the series progresses that I lost my love of Belly. I just wished she would make up her mind and choose which of the brothers she liked best instead of hurting them both all the time, and hurting herself in turn.

My favourite of the books was definitely the first, which is the case with most series for me. The second book is enjoyable, although kind of redundant in places, but the third lost me. I don’t want to spoil what happens, but I found the ending to be super unnecessary. There are too many bad decisions (I’m talking major, life-changing decisions), and how Belly is still going back and forth between the boys. The series is really enjoyable, however,  I just feel like I could have stopped after the first book and been more satisfied.

The Summer I Turned Pretty is a summery series about summers spent at a beach house. The main character is really hit or miss throughout the books, and I found myself starting to dislike her as I got to the final instalment. The first two books in the series are cute and fun, but I’m not sure I can say the same about the third. I ended up disappointed with the rest of the series, however, I would still recommend the first book.

About Jenny Han

Image of Jenny Han

Jenny Han is the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series; Shug; the Burn for Burn trilogy, cowritten with Siobhan Vivian; and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You. She is also the author of the chapter book Clara Lee and The Apple Pie Dream. A former children’s bookseller, she earned her MFA in creative writing at the New School.

20 thoughts on “Series Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

  1. Mara says:

    I feel the same way! I really liked the first book but the other two were a letdown and definitely impacted how I viewed the series as a whole. I still love Jenny Han though and will give whatever she writes a try😊

  2. Marie says:

    Lovely review! I read this series a while ago and really enjoyed it, but I think going back to it now would make me feel the same way as you did, a bit annoying with Belly’s behaviour as a whole. Still, it’s a really fun summer read 🙂
    Marie recently posted…The Book Aesthetics TagMy Profile

  3. Sam@WLABB says:

    I had read the first book a while back, but recently finished the series. I was 4-stars across the board, but I struggled a lot with the first book, which was why I put of finishing the series for so long. It was quite a bumpy journey, and Han kept me guessing the whole time, but in the end, I think she took the story to the right place.
    Sam@WLABB recently posted…In a Nutshell Reviews – Nothing But 4-Stars EditionMy Profile

  4. Jaime Lester says:

    I like the author, and have heard good things about the series. I need to check this out.

  5. Tessa says:

    I am glad that someone else was disappointed with the ending of this series. Like you, I really enjoyed the first book; it’s the perfect light-hearted beach read. There is nostalgia, family, romance, and a beautiful setting on the beach. However, the last two books became all about the romance and the ENDLESS flip flop between the two brothers. I can tolerate one book of indecisiveness, but two full sequels just to end up on the wrong side of the ship did not sit well with me.

    When I recommend summer reads to people, I mostly just recommend reading the first one in the series. There are some loose ends that prevent it from being a complete stand-alone, but I don’t think that it is worth reading the last ones.

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