The Summer I Turned Pretty is now on Prime Video, but before I watch it I had to read the trilogy this tv show is based on. I loved Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy with all my heart so I was excited for the Summer series. It gets a ton of love, but did I love it? Let’s take a look!
This is not going to be a very long review, as the books aren’t that big either haha. For the people not knowing what this is about; we follow Belly (Isabel) who spends her summers in Cousins Beach with the Fishers. They all stay at the Fisher house, her mom, Susannah Fisher, Belly’s brother Stephen and the Fisher boys Conrad and Jeremiah.
I have very mixed feelings on this series and find it incredibly difficult to give these books a rating. As soon as I started reading I figured out a main plot ‘twist’ and I thought the writing was a bit dated. You can tell this is an older series and I’m sure Jenny Han would’ve written differently if she had to redo it.
My main point of critique is the fact that I really disliked the main character Belly. For once we have a character with my name (Isabel) only for her to have a very stupid nickname and to be annoying as hell haha. Sure she’s a 16 year old girl, so she is entitled to be a bit stupid, but she was very selfish, super obsessed with Conrad, communicated incredibly poorly and overall just not that likeable.
I did fly through all three books, although for book 3 that might’ve been because I was desperate to finish the series haha. They’re not that big, all three are under 300 pages and I did enjoy some aspects. I was moved by Susannah’s story and definitely shed a tear or two. Jeremiah was a great character in the first book, maybe also in the second one, but pretty insufferable in the last book haha.
I already stated my dislike of Belly, but Conrad wasn’t that great either. He really annoyed me at times and I didn’t like we only got to see small glimpses of him being a good, caring guy. Don’t give me a guy that hides his good side like that!
Like I said, I find it so hard to rate this series. There was a lot of drama but where I didn’t mind that in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before because I adored the characters, it annoyed me so much here because I disliked basically all of the main characters haha. Overall I think I would rate the series somewhere between 2 and 3 stars, but I think that would’ve been different if I picked this series up when it was first published. I get why people go crazy with nostalgia over this story and I’m excited to see the tv show. Now I just have to try the Burn for Burn series ;).