Review: It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.
But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started–at Cousins Beach.
It’s Not Summer Without You is an engaging and emotional sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty. All of our favorite characters our back, save Susannah, and I was on yet another roller coaster ride. Conrad, Laurel, Jeremiah, and Belly all have to deal with the death of Susannah, and Belly must come to terms with what her relationship with Conrad really is. Be prepared to cry, laugh, and cry again in It’s Not Summer Without You. The tears are well worth the journey that we take alongside Belly and her summer family.
Belly really frustrates me with her pining over Conrad, but I do understand why she does it. She has “loved” him since she was a little girl, and it isn’t easy to get over something that has been blooming for many years. I really hate how Conrad treats her, though. He is rude, mean, and seemingly doesn’t care for her at all. I can tell that he feels something for her, but I hate how he ignores it and treats her like crap. I was cheering for Belly when she does something at the very end. She earned my respect.
I love how we get to know Jeremiah better by having part of the story told from his perspective. I really didn’t care all that much for him in The Summer I Turned Pretty, but in this novel, I finally understood where he was coming from. I knew that he cared for Belly, I just didn’t know how much until now. I really love Jeremiah for being upset at how his brother Conrad treats Belly. It really is unforgivable, no matter what excuse Conrad has.
This novel lets us explore what happened when Susannah was sick, when she died, and the aftermath of her death. I felt so awful for everyone. Susannah really made an impact on all of their lives, and it is very difficult for them to get over the grief of her death. I even felt saddened by Susannah’s death, as I felt like I had gotten to know her almost as well as Belly. Even though the story is very sad, it is also heartfelt, and there are a few precious moments of happiness.
If you haven’t yet read this trilogy, you are sure missing out on some wonderful characters. I will definitely be getting the last book in the trilogy as soon as I can!