The Summer I Turned Pretty Series
by Jenny Han
Special Feature by Lucy C.
Reading YA novels &
Reporting on BookTok trends
*Spoiler Warning of plot points from this trilogy.*
Summary of Book One
Now a streaming series in Summer 2022!
Belly has an unforgettable summer in this stunning start to the Summer I Turned Pretty series from the New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Jenny Han.
Some summers are just destined to be pretty.
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 wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
So, let’s talk about The Summer I Turned Pretty series by Jenny Han. I wanted to read this series because I had heard so much about it on TikTok and the show was coming out. I went in with some expectations, especially because of all the hype it was getting online.
So let’s get down to it. The first book was okay. I wasn’t mad, but I wasn’t impressed or blown away. The first was definitely the best of the series. It set up the characters and the story well. The plot was a little slow, but still enjoyable.
The second book was not great. It was kind of like Twilight: New Moon. The main character was moping around the whole book after a break up. We also never really get to enjoy the main couple together because we read the story with the present being that the couple is broken up, and we only see the couple together in flashbacks. This pretty much kept me from enjoying the parts of them together because I already knew it didn’t work out and that the guy broke it off in a bit of a jerky way.
And now for the third book. This was quite possibly one of the worst books I’ve read. I wasn’t excited after the second book, but I just wanted to finish the series. It started out with a time jump. Then the main character and another boy have been in a long term relationship for 2 years? I was already taken aback and not enjoying the story or how it was presented to us with little background information. Of course, I was expecting the new boyfriend to screw up somehow so we would go back to rooting for the previous couple to get back together. I was right. He did screw up. Big time. But instead of the main character breaking it off, she decides to get MARRIED to him. That’s right! Did I mention she’s only a freshman in college?
From this point on I wanted the book to be done. I just wanted to finish it to know how it ended. The whole book is the main character planning her wedding, while she realizes her fiancé doesn’t care about anything and isn’t taking it seriously (big surprise there!). Every other character is also telling her how stupid this is and how big of a mistake it will be, but of course she doesn’t listen. The main thing that bothered me about this whole plot line was that her fiancé and she couldn’t give one reason why they needed to get married so young. Not one reason! So why should the readers like this plot line at all if it doesn’t make any sense?
Later in the book, her old boyfriend comes back in the picture and suddenly she is having second thoughts. Then he (of course) professes his undying love to her that he has thought about all these years. This also annoyed me because where was this passion in their relationship? We barely get to see this couple together and then we are supposed to believe that he loves her so much? None of it made sense to me.
The main character also, I feel, had her personality tanked in the last book (not that it was anything special in the first two). She was completely dependent on these men and couldn’t make a decision without their approval. She never seemed to actually know what she wanted. The book ended by her fiancé breaking up with her on the morning of her wedding because he felt she would never love him like she loved her past boyfriend. And then she begged him to not break up with her. She lied and told him he was what she wanted. Give me a break.
The whole series has obviously led up to her and her first boyfriend ending up together, so why is he basically a second choice in this last book? Everything about this book made me angry and ruined the series for me.
I don’t love the writing style of the books. It switches between present day and flashbacks, which I felt was a little hard to keep up with. I thought the writing of the whole series was very average. Honestly, this whole series could have probably been one book - there was so little to the plot in each once. Spreading the plot to three books made the series incredibly boring. Overall, I would not suggest this series. I haven’t seen all of the show on Amazon Prime yet, but from what I have watched they have changed the plot and added many things (probably because barely anything happened in the book!).