The Enduring Charm of The Summer I Turned Pretty

A review of the book, “The Summer I Turned Pretty” by Jenny Han
The first in the book series, The Summer I Turned Pretty
The first in the book series, “The Summer I Turned Pretty”
Image/Graphics by Charly Diekmann

If the genres of coming-of-age, drama, and romance interest you, The Summer I Turned Pretty would be a good book to read. This book is written by Jenny Han. Throughout the summer, the main character, Isabel (or Belly), struggles to figure out her romantic and platonic relationships with everyone while also finding herself and what she wants in life.

The main character, Isabel (Belly) Conklin, is 16 year old and lives with her brother Steven and her mother Laurel. Laurel’s best friend’s name is Susannah, and she owns a beach house where Isabel and her family go every summer with Susannah and her two sons, Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly has been in love with Conrad for most of her life, and her family is aware of this. As per tradition, Belly and her family visit the summer house. After that, things become complicated.

In my opinion, The Summer I Turned Pretty is a great book. There is also a show based on the books. I started reading the first book after the second season of The Summer I Turned Pretty aired, and I was delighted to discover that there were two more books in the series, which are also very good. Many students can relate to how Belly feels, making this book more relatable and enjoyable to read. Ninth grade student Raegan Correll, who is also reading the book, commented, “I’m currently reading the book, and I enjoy how similar it is to the show.” If you have watched the show, I highly recommend reading the books as well. While reading, you will realize that the books and the show are not the same, but it is fun to identify the similarities and differences between the two and decide which one you prefer. I have read the entire trilogy and can’t wait for the third season of the show to come out so that I can compare them.

While reading, you will realize the value of relationships and the importance of keeping people close. The book will show you the struggles one can go through and the decisions one must make to keep oneself and others happy, all while dealing with other aspects and challenges of life.

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