Book Review: It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Not Summer Without You (Summer #2) by Jenny Han
Publication date: 27th April, 2010
Source: Trade

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.

My Review:

Favourite Quote: "I stared at him. Did he really say that? Did he remember? The way he looked back at me, one eyebrow raised, I knew he did. And this time, I was the one to look away.
Because I remembered. I remembered everything."

Don't you love it when the second book in a series is way better than the first?  That is the case with It's Not Summer Without You.  I enjoyed The Summer I Turned Pretty but sometimes founds the characters are little annoying.  But in this installment of the series the characters have grown and the story seems a little deeper and more meaningful.

I love Han's writing.  She really captures the emotions of being a teen and in love.  I am sure we all remember how painful and confusing it is.  And Han writes it perfectly so that it causes your heart to ache.

Belly's character is showing some maturity in this book. If you have read the first book you will know she was a little bit selfish.   Sure she still makes mistakes but in this installment she starts to get a little wiser.

"That's when I finally got it. I finally understood. It wasn't the thought that counted. It was the actual execution that mattered, the showing up for somebody. The intent behind it wasn't enough. Not for me. Not anymore. It wasn't enough to know that deep down, he loved me. You had to actually say it to somebody, show them you cared. And he just didn't. Not enough."

Love triangles for me are either sooooooo bad or sooooo good.  And surprisingly, considering it is two brothers (how more complicated could it get), it is good.  Probably because I really love them both even though they are complete opposites.  

Conrad is moody and sometimes selfish and is definitely unpredictable when it comes to his interactions with Belly.  I love how in this book his character is very slowly unravelling and we are getting a glimmer of who he really is behind all that angst.  And there is something about a flawed soul that I can't resist.

Jeremiah made me swoon.  I mean how could anybody not adore this guy especially since in this book we got snippets of his POV allowing us to get know him on a deeper level.  Seriously, he is the biggest sweetheart and the underdog when it comes to Belly's affection.

Overall, I loved It's Not Summer Without You.   I got completely emotionally invested in it and now am super excited to read the final installment (even though I know it will probably break my heart). 

Overall Rating: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Romance: 5/5
Cover: 4/5

Shout Out: I would like to say a big thank you to Nomes for reading this with me.  It was an awesome experience.  We read it over one night and check in every hour or so to discuss.  We had so much fun dissecting the book and ended up typing over 3700 words through conversation on google docs about it.  Okay so most of it was Jeremiah is making me swoon and Conrad is moosy....I mean moody (still laughing about your typos Nomes).


Ange said...

Love your review. I can't wait to read this one! I just finished the first book in the series and really enjoyed it.

Elodie said...

This book is awesome !! I agree with hat you said, it is definitely better than the first one ..and you'll see that the third is better than the second too !! =)
OMG, I want to re-read this series now !!
Great review Nic !

Savannah said...

Love this series! I mean really I could read it over and over again! Nice review!

Misha said...

I have to read the first in the series; everyone has been praising the books so much!
I am glad to hear that the author has accurately represented the emotions of a teenager.

Alix said...

How fun that you and Nomes read it together - I am kind of in awe that you read it in a night! I used to think I was a fast reader until I started book blogging!

I did read the first few chapters of The Summer I Turned Pretty, but wasn't loving it. Your review is making me think I might need to give it another chance :) Loved the quotes you picked.

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

Awe! That does sound like a fun mook... I mean Book discussion! :P

Still not sure about this one. First the name Belly seems so weird to me, probably b/c I'm Texan. LOL

Also, a love triangle between brothers. Gah! Kill me now. I hate love triangles because someone always ends up so hurt. I can't stand it. *breathes* Being a fan of the flawed soul and the sweetheart, I don't think I could chose. I'm in turmoil just thinking about it.

Great review, Nic.

Jenny N. said...

Nice review! I'm hoping to get to this second book sometime during the summer. I've read the first one and its great.

Leanna Elle said...

Haha! Sounds like you and Nomes had fun with this one! I enjoyed the first two books in this series. The third one isn't out until next year over here, so I'll have a wait to find out how it all ends!

Team Conrad! Ahem.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh I love it when you enjoy a book and then the next one is even better! Sweet! Great review!

Nomes said...

love your review nic

love moosy conrad and swoony J and i probably loved this book WAY more because we read it together.

you seriously make reading books awesome :D

Abbey said...

I loved this series and i agree that the second book was better than the first. I was crying the whole time reading this one, missing Sussanah from the first book and all the drama with jeremaih and Conrad. I have to say i really didn't like conrad in this one but my opinion of him completly changed in the last book. Jenny Han has such talent for making you feel what the main character feels. Great review by the way!

Jan von Harz said...

It really is fantastic when a sequel is as good or better than the first and often it is rare too. I think it very cool that you and Nomes did this together. That had to be a blast. Thanks for the great review. I need to read this one.

Kat said...

Oh, that would be so much fun to read a book together like that, especially over one night! I want to try that over the summer... and The Summer I Turned Pretty will definitely be a great beach read as well. Great review, Nic! :)

A Canadian Girl said...

I love it when sequels are much better than previous books because usually they're not. I've seen this series around and just kind of ignored it, but since you rated it so highly and summer is right around the corner, this one sounds like a good series for the beach.

Anonymous said...

This one was my favorite of the series, I agree that in the first one the characters came across as annoying at times.

I felt the plot was more tight in this one, and you're right, Belly does get a little wiser :D

Awesome review

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