This would be the first time that I would review a trilogy as a whole. This does not have anything to do with my mood or my time (somehow). I decided to write a single review for the three books because I cannot look at just one–the three books are connected. I believe, it would be unfair for one of the three to be reviewed without considering the others. So, here’s my summed up review of ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’, ‘It’s Not Summer Without You’, and ‘We’ll Always Have Summer’.
Average Rating: 2.3
For this review, I wouldn’t be using my usual way of reviewing books (the one that explains the reason for each star). I’ll just present the points I liked and the parts I didn’t like in the trilogy.
First, let’s look at the good points. I like the use of flashbacks. It made me understand the present situation more. It helped know the characters more. And it made the narration appear more like a narration (IYKWIM).
It gave me “the feels”. If you have read my previous reviews on romantic contemporary novels, you’ll know what “the feels”it. It’s the feeling a book give me–giving me the feeling I supposed to feel, like being hurt when I have to or being happy when the situation in the book should made me. Conrad’s and Jeremiah’s narrations gave me most of “the feels”especially in the third book.
Now, I’m going to present that points I didn’t like.
First, the book just focused on the love story. I think this point is very subjective since some readers may prefer it that way, but not for me. I believe that a good book encompasses (at least somehow) the life of the characters, that it gives you a slice of life. And it will never be a slice of life if it just focuses on one aspect (’cause that’s not how our life works; one slice has so many layers and elements). For instance, the first book seems to focus on their summer–how Belly loved Susannah, how summer became something she always looks forward to. But it didn’t seem that way to me. It seemed to focus still on Belly’s love for Conrad, her confusion between the brothers, and Belly’s desire to be loved. It revolved around Belly and the other characters just seemed to be extras. Another example was when Laurel was suffering in the last book. I just hope we were given a chance to understand what she was feeling or thinking during that time.
Also, there were times I felt disconnected to Belly. I don’t know if its just the age (since Belly was just 16 and I’m already 20; but I also went through that period so I expected I can ride with it) or what. But there were really lots of times I felt disconnected to her, making it difficult for me to relate with her feelings or understand why she was doing what she was doing or thinking what she was thinking.
Lastly, there are parts which I hoped were given more attention to. Some events seemed to be so sudden. For instance, what happened in the last part of the last book (Yes, I don’t want to spoil you). It seemed so abrupt, like a sentence without a conjunction. There were a few introduction about how it happened, but an event as important as that, I think, should not be narrated through just an “introduction”.
So this is basically my review for Jenny Han’s Summer Trilogy. Again, this is just my opinion. Many of my friends loved the book, and I actually saw why. Maybe it just didn’t hit me the way it hit them.