Publisher: Simon & Schuster's Children Publishing.
Source: Won from publisher.
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 terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along. - The Summer I Turned Pretty
Warning: this review is going to contain an excessive amount of exclamation points, unintelligible rambling and lots and lots of fangirling.
I've read the reviews on Goodreads, the horribly sarcastic ones that seem to tear these books to shreds. And I know that everybody has their opinion and not everybody will love a book, but I can't even ... I don't ... WHAT?
These books did some funny things to my heart. They got me all riled up, screaming and squealing and sobbing like a baby at five in the morning. For the week that I read them, I was seriously sleep deprived, laying in bed and wondering who Belly was going to be with and what was going to happen next.
My family used to rent cottages at Oglebay Park in West Virginia every January when I was a kid. All of my aunts and uncles and cousins, probably about forty of us, together for one whole week. I looked forward to these trips more than I looked forward to Christmas. This is wildly different from the beach house and summer activities that Belly waited for each year, of course, and I certainly never had a Conrad or Jeremiah staying in the cottage with me. But I feel like Jenny Han bottled up that essence of those perfect times with family or friends or crushes, whether it be summer or winter or whatever season, and she poured it out into these books.
The romance. Oh my god, the romance! (TEAM CONRAD FTW) It was almost painful to read, in the best way possible. It was harsh and realistic but just as equally sweet and enticing. The difference between the brothers is best seen with in their relationships with Belly, how they treat her, how they touch her, how they speak to her. And while I loved that It's Not Summer Without You spotlighted Jeremiah and We'll Always Have Summer spotlighted Conrad with their own chapters, I loved figuring them out through Belly's eyes more.
I chose to review these books together because I pretty much had the same reaction with every book: a squeal, a scan through the back pages to make sure I didn't miss anything and then an hour spent analyzing every possible thing that would happen in the next book.
Overall, the Summer series absolutely stole my heart! I don't think I've really said much about the novels other than how much I love them, but I hope you take that as a sign to run to your library or bookstore and pick them as soon as possible! Without a doubt the best contemporary series I've ever read!! <3