Spoiler warning: Because this book is a sequel, this review may contain spoilers of the first book. If you haven’t read “The Summer I Turned Pretty”, you may want to skip this review
release date: April 21, 2010
appeals to: Young Adult
length: 275 pages
overall rating: 3 Stars
*the inside flap*
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.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series (“The Summer I Turned Pretty”), and since my summer vacation has officially started, it seemed like a great time for a good summer book. This story starts by skipping an entire year --- it is now summer again, and a LOT has changed. Within the first chapter of the book, you realize that Belly is still the self-conscious, insecure girl she was the summer before, and that she is still obsessed with Conrad.
This story is told in alternating chapters (similar to the first book). Some are set in the present, some tell of what has happened over the last year, and a few are told from Jeremiah’s perspective (both present settings and memories). I like the alternating chapters because it really paints a more complete picture of the background while you’re still experiencing the “main” story. There were a lot of touch choices in this book, and a lot of times, they weren’t up to Belly. Even as I read, I wasn’t always sure which way the decisions would go!
I didn’t really like the ending of this book. You go through the whole story with a lot of questions, and then toward the end, they all get solved quickly and without much detail. An “epilogue” set “A Few Years Later” leaves me curious about the third book. This was a cute story, but wasn’t as happy and carefree a summer read as the first. I’ll be interested to see where the third book takes the story.
*short and snappy*
writing: light – the story was easy to read even when the topics weren’t cheerful and the decisions were tricky
plot: a story of crossroads - A lot happens in the book, but overall, the story is centered around decisions and choices.
characters: you learn more about Jeremiah in this story, and about Belly’s mom, but otherwise, the characters are about the same is in the first book. There isn’t much growth.
judging by the cover: the cover ties directly in to the cover of the first book and gets you in the mood for a summer story
miscellaneous: There is a playlist for the book available here. And, according to her site, a third book in this series (“We’ll Always Have Summer”) will be out in the Summer of 2011.