It’s Not Summer Without You (Book 2)
Author: Jenny Han
Retail Price: £6.99
UK Publication Date: 5th May 2011
One girl. Two brothers. Which one will she choose? Isabel’s lazy, long hot summers at her family friends’ beach house are over. Conrad – sexy and unavailable – is the only boy she’s ever loved. He’s left for college, taking her heart with him. Jeremiah, his gorgeous brother, is still Isabel’s best friend – but maybe friendship isn’t enough for him anymore …Isabel just wants everything to stay the same, because change means moving on. But if she stops looking back, will she find a future she never knew she wanted?
I was eager to find out what happened to Belly Conklin and Master Fisher (I won’t say which one just in case you haven’t read the first book yet) after I finished The Summer I Turned Pretty. As a hopeless romantic I had my idea of who would be most suited to our young protagonist and I wanted to see how things would play out over the next two books.
This book is set a year after the last and much has changed since we last saw Belly. Her mother’s best friend, Susannah has lost her battle against cancer and her death has left a hole in each of their lives. Conrad is away at college and Belly hasn’t seen him since the funeral. Things ended badly between them and she longs for times gone by when everyone was happy at the summer house in Cousins. When Jeremiah enlists her help, Belly finds herself back at the house but now she is alone with the two Fisher boys and choosing between them is no easy decision.
I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the first. It was sad in places when Belly reflected on the loss of Susannah and how quickly things had gone downhill in her romantic relationship with one of the Fisher boys. I still found myself routing for Jeremiah throughout the book but even though Conrad’s aloofness and distance was enough for me to want to say “oh just get over him,” I could see how he had lost his way and why Belly still wanted to hold onto him.
The flashbacks throughout the story do help to build the reader’s understanding of the depth and complexities of Belly’s relationship with both boys but there were times when I wanted to just keep going in the story and not be taken back to when she was ten.
The thing I really liked about this book is that unlike the first in the series it is told in a dual narrative, with some chapters coming from Jeremiah’s perspective rather than Belly’s. I enjoyed seeing another side of the story but found myself wanting her to be with Jeremiah more and more.
Belly has grown up since the last book but she is still childish in some of her actions and I don’t think I would have acted the way she did in all circumstances or made the assumptions she did (for example when she takes a necklace she assumes was for her, although she was never given it).
All in all this was a good read and followed on well from the first. I liked the ending but with a third book still to come I knew things weren’t as neatly wrapped up as they appeared.
I give this book 3½ out of 5.
About the author
Jenny Han was born in Richmond, Virginia, and later studied at the University of North Carolina. She now lives in New York where she works part-time as a children’s librarian, in between writing her new series for teens.
Other books in this series:
- The Summer I Turned Pretty (Book 1) - Click to read a review
- We’ll Always Have Summer (Book 3) – Click to read a review
If you like this book, you may also like:
- The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
- The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
- The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer
- Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Review by Jen