Title: It’s Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2)
Author: Jenny Han
Publication Date: April 27, 2010
Number of Pages: 277
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
Belly finds out what comes after falling in love in this follow-up to The Summer I Turned Pretty from the New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (soon to be a major motion picture!), 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.
Here we follow yet again the story of Belly and the Fisher boys. When Conrad finally saw Belly in a different light, they had quite a this “thing” where they aren’t officially dating, but they aren’t “just friends” either. Belly didn’t press on anything, but she had been confused as to what they really were.
I first read this in 2011. If you’ve read my review of the first book in this trilogy, you might have noticed that I’ve read The Summer I Turned Pretty in 2012 — a year after I read the second book in the trilogy. That’s not a typo, because I really read the second book before the first one. I didn’t know that it was a series when I stumbled upon it on one of my local bookstores. Haha
Anyhow, I absolutely loved the second book more than the first one because of the significant improvement in Belly’s character. Yes, she still tend to be a bit selfish at times, especially when it comes to what she wants and feels, but you cannot miss the character development that has progress throughout this book. I think the death of Susannah is the greatest factor of the characters’ improvement.
One of the things that I noticed upon rereading this trilogy is that the synopsis only say about Belly and her love interests — basically, Belly’s love life. What it doesn’t say much about is that it is also about family dynamics and friendships. I really love the way the boys tried to cope with the loss of Susannah. I found myself tearing up whenever they speak about her because I really adore her character and it’s really saddening to see these kids try to understand the hurt that her passing has caused them.
Overall, I loved this more than the first book and I am still looking forward to the third and final installment in the series. I have a strong feeling that this trilogy still holds the same feels.