If you are looking for a sparkling and spellbinding summer romance (only in the fictional sense of course) then allow me to introduce you to Jenny Han. She is a writer for the young adult contemporary romance genre and children’s books. I first discovered her writing when reading a book review for “The Summer I Turned Pretty”, her writing was described as a “Novelized Taylor Swift song” and with that simple sentence, I was completely sold.
Living in London and growing up watching non stop American TV dramas, I couldn’t help but want to escape into a world of American High School cliches. Of course I cannot just pack my bags and go, I am just way too sensible and boring. So I decided to do the next best thing and go and purchase, “The Summer I Turned Pretty”. I was immediately mesmerized by the floral and feminine book art. Anything sprinkled in flowers and brightly colored would attract me from miles away. The story is a magnificent escape and the idealic setting described makes you feel like you are running on the beach and falling in love with the boy that has never noticed you, all for the first time.
The Summer Series
The story was a magnificent escape and the descriptions about the settings made you feel like you were running on the beach and falling in love with the boy that has never noticed you, all for the first time.
The charming summer story is told in the protagonists perspective, Isabel. Being a young lady and quite a girly girl, I really enjoyed reading the story from Isabel’s perspective because the story became increasingly relevant and the characters relatable. It may well be because I am a hopeless romantic or just a girl who loves getting lost in an enchanting tale, but I enjoyed being able to relate to her emotions, understanding how she felt and what she was thinking. There are times in the story when Isabel’s character acts immature and selfish but this was insightful as it showed the character’s diversity, making her seem all the more real. The story centers around Isabel going to her Mother’s closest friend’s beach house for the Summer and being noticed for the first time by two brothers, Conrad and Jeremiah. When you start reading Isabel’s story it is hard not to like the brothers (I had a favourite but I will not be sharing who it was, all I will say is, I was swooning while reading, if that is even possible) Sadly the story isn’t all flowers and butterflies, it also tackles hard hitting subjects evolving around family relationships.
I just couldn’t get enough of the love triangle and the story, I was disappointed once I had finished. Lucky for me, Jenny Han expanded the story into a short series. “It’s Not Summer Without You” was the second book in the series. This book is set a year later and sees Isabel returning to the beach for the summer. Conrad has disappeared and it is time for Isabel to decide what she really wants and who she really wants. The third installment is called, “We’ll Always Have Summer”. I don’t want to say much about the story’s blurb incase you haven’t read the second book but a huge ordeal occurs and Isabel begins to question her past decisions. The detailed description of all books is displayed below for all you spoilers. “We’ll Always Have Summer” has been branded a best seller.
Jenny Han seems really quirky and fun, from reading her books and interviews you can imagine what it must be like to be her best friend! Her love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and her ability to recite the film Clueless make her all the more endearing. Jenny Han started writing as a child and fell in love with children’s writing after attending a Children’s writing course at the University of North Carolina. She went onto graduate at The New School in New York City with an MFA in Writing for Children. Jenny Han now lives in Brooklyn and works part time at a school library on the Upper Westside. Jenny is now working on a new novel hopefully out by the end of the year about a country singer. I am very excited! Jenny let spill in an interview recently that a screenplay is in the works by a “very talented screenwriter” for “The Summer I Turned Pretty”.
The Summer I Turned Pretty Blurb:
Everything that happened this past summer, and every summer before it, has all led up to this. To now.
Every year Isabel spends a perfect summer at her family friends’ house. There’s the swimming pool at night, the private stretch of sandy beach . . . and the two boys. Unavailable, aloof Conrad – who she’s been in love with forever – and friendly, relaxed Jeremiah, the only one who’s ever really paid her any attention.
But this year something is different. They seem to have noticed her for the first time. It’s going to be an amazing summer – and one she’ll never forget . . .
It’s Not Summer Without You Blurb:
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?
We’ll Always Have Summer Blurb:
One girl. Two brothers.
The biggest decision of her life . . . Just when she thought she had all the answers . . . Isabel has only ever loved two boys, Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher. One broke her heart; the other made her happier than she ever thought she’d be. But each brother is keeping a secret, and this summer Isabel must choose between the Fisher boys, once and for all. Which brother will it be?