Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary Romance
Release date: May 5th, 2009
Pages: 276 (Paperback)
Rating: 5 out of 5
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Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
Belly is used to being left out, but this is the summer everything changes. Every year she goes to her mom's best friend's beach house. Every year it's the same and Belly doesn't understand why the boys don't notice her, especially Conrad, the one she'd been pining over for half her life. This year she notices Conrad and Jeremiah- even a few boys she's never met before- sneaking peeks at her. This is the year Belly turns pretty, but is it all really even worth it?
I was easily hooked from the first page, wanting to find out more about this teenage girl and why she's so in love with her summer traditions. Of course, as with many teenage girls, "boys" fit into the picture. In fact, they might as well make up most of the picture. Belly has never seen Jeremiah and Conrad any other time of the year, and is therefore left thinking about them during every other season. The book goes back and forth from the present to the past, which I always love. I enjoy seeing the differences in the characters between then and now.
An unexpected romance brews that summer and while Belly still has some feelings left for Conrad, things don't seem to be going anywhere with him anytime soon. In fact, each of the characters are dealing with more than it seems. I was truly surprised at how heavy this book got, as I was expecting a light summer read. Though the characters were going through the same thing, each of them reacted a different way which made it very believable.
Jenny Han creates a story that is able to both warm your heart and break it. Belly will take you on a journey filled with hope, love and summers leading up to the next. Overall, this book has become a new favorite and I recommend for anyone to read it, especially in the summertime.