Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's Not Summer Without You ~ Jenny Han review

It's Not Summer Without You (Summer #2)
Simon & Schuster (reprint)
April 5, 2011
305 pages
Goodreads/Amazon/Book Depository

This is the sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty--review and synopsis have spoilers upon spoilers for The Summer I Turned Pretty. Stop reading this and read the review for TSITP if you haven't read that book yet, please :)

Belly is finding out what death means. Death of both a relationship and a close family friend, Susannah. Conrad's not talking to her (or anyone really) and her mother's still grieving deeply for her best friend. Belly's life of perfect beach summers has come apart.

When she gets news that Conrad's left school and Jeremiah asks her to help him bring Conrad back, she has no choice but to accept.

As with my review of the first book, The Summer I Turned Pretty, this review is based on the audio book version. Jessica Almasay's narration is amazing and, once again, stronger in the same places where Jenny Han's writing also is--where the emotion is the highest.

Unlike the first book, this sequel did not have the same problem (as TSITP) with confusing the reader when flashbacks happened in the middle of scenes--whether it was because of a growth on the writer's part, production of the audio book, or a combination is unknown but it made the listening/reading experience more enjoyable.

After one book already with Belly, Jeremiah, Conrad and their mothers, readers already know--to an extent--who the characters are and are invested emotionally in them and what's happening so It's Not Summer gets going right from page one. It's almost a necessity that you read The Summer I Turned Pretty first, less for plot reasons and more for character reasons.

Jenny Han is able to create relationships for Belly especially that leave the reader wondering if maybe she hasn't been looking at the wrong person. You don't always know if Belly's wondering the same thing but it's something to definitely keep the reader, well, reading.

And the family relationships in the this book--and this series--are rivaled by few if any other books. It's a glorious summer read that still has so many serious issues it should feel weighed down and dragging, but it never does.

It's Not Summer Without You will leave you counting the says until you get to read the third book! (Which is somehow even better and I'll review very soon!!)


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