When I first picked up Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty, I did so because I really liked the cover and looked like a good summer read. When I finished it, I found myself smiling and thinking, “Huh, that was really good.” My next thought was, “When’s the sequel coming out?” After waiting rather patiently, It’s Not Summer Without You was released a week ago.
While The Summer I Turned Pretty is a lighter read, in my opinion, It’s Not Summer Without You seems heavier. What I like about Pretty is how the story is told primarily through flashbacks. In Without You, not only is the story told through flashbacks, it’s also told by Belly and Jeremiah. I didn’t realize this until I looked at one of the chapter headings and saw Jeremiah’s name under the number. I’m not sure how I felt about him as a narrator, though, and I never really got into his chapters. Other than that, Ms. Han’s writing is strong and there were several instances where I thought, “Why can’t I come up with a phrase like that??” 🙂
Belly and Conrad’s relationship is full of drama, but it’s believable and not over the top. Belly’s concerns, emotions, and actions are believable as well and in my opinion, accurately capture those of a real teenager. Belly’s mom has some awesome moments, especially when she yells at Jeremiah and Conrad’s father. Overall, I think Jenny Han has successfully created characters that I and other readers care about and I can’t wait to them continue to grow.
Overall, I didn’t enjoy It’s Not Summer Without You as much as The Summer I Turned Pretty, but by no means is it bad. With strong writing, great characterization, and a pretty solid plot, It’s Not Summer Without You is a pretty good sequel and I hope fans of the first book enjoy it!
For more information on Jenny Han and her writing, please visit her Official Website.
(cover image taken from Barnes and Noble’s website)