September 5, 2010

Summer #2: It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

Release Date: April 27, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages: 288
Review Source: Library

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Last year, all of Belly's dreams came true and the thought of missing a summer in Cousins Beach was inconceivable. But like the rise and fall of the ocean tide, things can change--just like that. Suddenly the time she's always looked forward to most is something she dreads. And when Jeremiah calls to say Conrad has disappeared, Belly must decide how she will spend this summer: chasing after the boy she loves, or finally letting him go.

My Thoughts:
Reading this book makes me want to re-read the first book and then start this one all over again. Jenny Han really makes you feel for Belly and all the other characters; it's like you share their history and know all their secrets. It would be easy to say that this is a novel which explores loss and deals with the ramifications of a love triangle between three people who have known each other forever, but it's so much more than that. Belly is sweet, sincere, insecure, and mature yet naive. She's so lovely, and Han's writing really allows you to get to know her and feel like you're a part of her somehow.

Conrad and Jeremiah are equally amazing male leads. Jeremiah is earnest, loyal, and everything Belly could ever need in a guy, but Conrad is the one she's always wanted. She loves him, or at least she thinks she does, and it seems as though he does love her too, although he cannot seem to show it. This book deals with the loss of the boys' mother, Susannah, to cancer, and throughout the book you can really feel the grief which all the characters are experiencing. Despite this sadness, 'It's Not Summer Without You' has a hopeful and uplifting feel to it. I cannot wait for the third book to come out so we can find out what happens next, as the epilogue of this book alludes to some very interesting possibilities. An emotional and "unputdownable" 2nd addition to this series.


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