Take The Moments (The Summer I Turned Pretty – A Book Review)

The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy
Author: Jenny Han
Published: 2009-2011

The Summer I Turned Pretty

Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Every summer Belly goes to Cousins where her mom and Susannah, her mom’s best friend, have a beach house. She looks forward to it every summer because it’s like coming home. It’s this year, when Belly is seventeen that everything changes. This is the summer Belly turned pretty, as she puts it, and everybody notices it, especially Susannah’s sons, Jeremiah and Conrad.

The Summer I Turned Pretty - pintrest

Belly’s been in love with Conrad for as long as she can remember. It’s never been anyone else. Right as soon as she starts to believe that he feels the same, heartbreaking news shatters everybody in the house. Nobody will ever be the same and Belly learns that it’s time to grow up no matter how hard it is, but that doesn’t mean you grow out of your first love, does it?

Belly - giphy

This trilogy is one that I read every summer (I have the three-in-one version). It’s young, and innocent and I can almost feel the sand between my toes as my heart swells for the main character. Belly is always growing and you see that in each book. She takes the time to really allow her thoughts and heart to guide her even though she faces tough decisions and a whole lot of heartbreak.

Belly encompasses the growing teenager. She’s caring, loving and passionate about everything as well as whiny, annoying, snooty and wild. But each time I read this book, it’s like all of the small things matter suddenly. The sound of the ocean. The way that Belly looks at the stars. How she seems to stay in a moment for almost an eternity and she relives her memories with such delicacy. And that’s all okay. It should be encouraged actually because life moves really fast.

These coming of age books remind me to hold on to the moments that made my life. All of them. That was a big part throughout the trilogy because life is a series of moments. Sweet and tender and with so much love, I can’t stop coming back to Cousins. I’m hoping one day Jenny Han returns to the beach house.

 

Quotables:

“The moment between us, fragile and tenuous, snapped in hald. It was over. It would do no good to wonder what he was going to say. Moments, when lost, can’t be found again. They’re just gone.” (The Summer I Turned Pretty, Belly, p. 153)

“I wondered if this was the way old crushes died, with a whimper, slowly, and then, just like that—gone.” (The Summer I Turned Pretty, Belly, p. 200)

“There are moments in your life you wish with all your heart you could take back. Like, just erase from existence. Like, if you could, you’d erase yourself right out of existence too, just to make that moment not exist.” (It’s Not Summer Without You, Belly, p. 319)

“I used to look forward to seeing Conrad all year. I used to wish for summer the way kids wished for Christmas. It was all I thought about. Even now, even after everything, he was still all I thought about.” (It’s Not Summer Without You, Belly, p. 341)

“How do you regret one of the best nights of your life? You don’t. You remember every word, every look. Even when it hurts, you still remember.” (It’s Not Summer Without You, Belly, p. 392)

“When I used to picture forever, it was always with the same boy. In my dreams, my future was set. A sure thing. This wasn’t the way I pictured it…” (A Couple of Years Later, Belly, p.455)

“In my heart, I knew I loved them both, as much as it is possible to love two people as the same time…” (We’ll Always Have Summer, Belly, p. 799)

“When Conrad Fisher told a girl her loved her, he meant it. A girl could believe in that. A girl could maybe even bet her whole life on it.” (We’ll Always Have Summer, Belly, p. 805)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song of the day? Unpredictable by 5 Seconds of Summer. Feels very fitting.

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Young Love Makes a Comeback (The Lara Jean Trilogy – A Book Review)

Lara Jean Trilogy
Author: Jenny Han
Published: 2014-2017

Lara Jean - The Fandom

Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Lara Jean Covey writes special letters. Ones that have her heart poured out all over them to boys she’s loved, but she’s never sent them. They reside in a special box where she can look at them whenever she wants. That is, until one day they’re mailed out and she’s confronted by Peter Kavinsky, lacrosse player and popular, who has one of her letters. And if he has one, then so do all of the other boys, including Josh Saunders, her next door neighbor and also her older sister’s ex-boyfriend.

In order to avoid utter embarrassment, Lara Jean kisses Peter and thus starts their fake relationship. She wants to avoid a confrontation with Josh and he wants to break free of his ex-girlfriend.

Throughout this trilogy, Lara Jean and Peter discover that they may actually like each other, but what does that mean? While Peter’s only been in love once, Lara Jean has never even kissed a boy. This is new territory for both of them and the trials and tribulations of high school will test them to their limits, but they love what they find in each other. Is it enough?

true love - Gfycat

This trilogy did something amazing for me. It brought back true love. The emotions of butterfly love and newness is relatable and so is Lara Jean’s insecurities that she has throughout the series, like comparing her worth to that of other girls. The journey through high school is a trial of firsts and mistakes to learn from and this did a beautiful job in showcasing some of them, proving that sometimes accidents lead to great things that never would’ve come to be otherwise.

Also, the amount of dedication to family that Lara Jean has was so inspiring. With an older sister and a younger sister, she makes being the middle child a beautiful thing when in fact being stuck in the middle is very hard because you can often feel like you’re being forgotten. Lara Jean doesn’t allow herself to get worried about being lost as the middle child with her incredible baking skills and keeping everybody balanced.

I loved this story for all of its lightheartedness. Young, true love definitely bloomed anew here and I will be returning to reread this story again, which is something I don’t do very often with books, but Jenny Han made it possible.

 

Quotables:

“To belong to someone—I didn’t know it, but now that I think about it, it seems like that’s all I’ve ever wanted.” (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Lara Jean, p. 190)

“According to Stormy, there are two kinds of girls in this world. The kind who breaks your heart and the kind who gets her heart broken.” (P.S. I Still Love You, Lara Jean, p. 92)

“Heed my advice, Lara Jean. Never say no when you really want to say yes.” (Stormy to Lara Jean, p. 20)

 

And, if you’re a fan of this series you can find an Instagram account that follows Lara Jean and Peter!

Lara Jean: itslarajeancovey

Peter: itspeterkavinsky

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song of the day? Shakespeare by Miranda Cosgrove.