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

Posted July 21, 2016 by Bekka in book review / 0 Comments

Book Review: It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny HanIt's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
Series: Summer #2
Published by S&S Books For Young Readers on April 27th, 2010
Genres: contemporary
Pages: 276
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Goodreads

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.

Ahhhh I am so annoyed. I had high hopes for this sequel, but I ended up so disappointed. I was let down by 75% of what happened here and where I actually wanted it to go. It’s Not Summer Without You delivered in the drama and the angst – and actually a couple other surprising ways – but all in all, it brought the same flaws the first book had and didn’t improve upon them at all.

Firs thing – I was actually surprised by how much I had become attached to Cousins beach and Beck’s boys. When the book opened up and it was summertime and Belly wasn’t at the beach house, my heart sunk. There’s something magical about summer vacation, and I loved this tradition Belly’s family of visiting this beach every year. The tradition reached back through decades, to when Belly’s and the boys’ moms were younger than them even. And I don’t know about you, but the beach is the most magical place on earth. To see these two things taken away from Belly actually had me kind of upset.

(This paragraph may be a minor spoiler, but this book is years old and honestly is there anyone left out there who hasn’t read the series yet?) I really enjoyed the story of saving the beach house. I didn’t buy that Conrad had just fallen off the deep end. Not that it was ever actually shown, mind you, but throughout the first book Belly went on and on about Conrad’s deep need to do the right thing. So running off for no reason and blowing everyone off didn’t seem in character. I’m a bit disappointed though because Saving the Beach House had so much potential for hilarious high-jinks but never delivered on them. However, I definitely felt the pull, the gasp, the panic at the thought of the beach house being taken away. Like honestly, how dare Mr. Fisher?

I came into this series looking for a good love triangle, and ended up with a lot more serious of a story. Susannah passed away between books and the shroud of grief has taken over everything. Except Belly. Typical Belly is still just wondering if a boy likes her. Never mind that his MOTHER just DIED. This is basically how Belly lives her life. Her head is so far up her own ass, she can’t see what’s happening around her. She runs into Conrad at his mother’s funeral and basically curses him out for being with his girlfriend. Belly’s selfishness knows no bounds. I thought a year of growth between books would mean that she matured a little but I kind of feel like she actually went backwards in this book. Now, about the love triangle: like I said, I came here for it. But I feel like it isn’t being properly handled at all. Belly’s completely out of touch with her own feelings and cOMPLETELY INCAPABLE of communicating even the littlest bit. AND COMPLETELY INCAPABLE of listening to other people when they’re talking to her. I don’t even know what “team” I’m on. I’m kind of hoping Conrad and Jeremiah come to their senses and get the hell outta there.

Obviously I’m going to finish this series. It’s junk food for the brain and despite my better judgment, I’ve been hooked in by these cliffhangers each time. I absolutely need to know which boy Belly picks. Partly to ease my own mind, but also because I want to see what has everyone so upset!

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