The book ‘ The Summer I Turned Pretty’ is written by Jenny Han, who was born in Richmond, Virginia. This book is her first book. Jenny attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a degree in advertising (Staples-Morton 3). “The book actually started off as three different book ideas. While I was writing book one, book two sort of wrote itself in my mind and book three just sat on the shelf for a few years before it took form” (Staples-Morton 3). This book is about Belly.
Belly has just turned seventeen and she’s spending her last summer at home with Conrad, Jeremiah, and her family before she goes off to college. It’s not always easy being friends with boys because they always seem to want more than you do. Will this be an unforgettable summer or will it be full of heartbreak? Read this book to find out what happens next! We know that Jenny Han wrote ‘ The Summer I Turned Pretty’ as part of three book ideas. This book shows that Jenny knew what she was doing when writing the book. Many books have different genre’s in them, but this book had so many of them!
Romance, friendship, drama, and even a little mystery is in this book. Jenny Han did an excellent job with showing us how Belly changes throughout this book. When we first meet Belly she is still very young and naive, “I sighed loudly for dramatic effect”. We see her mature throughout the book because of the decisions that are made are due to her changing maturity level (Han 91). We also see Belly change on the outside as well. At the beginning of the book she has long blonde hair down to her waist. She does not like to wear make up or dresses, she is described as wearing faded jeans with t-shirts.
On the last page of the book she has shorter hair that is darker and she wears eyeliner with bright red lipstick (Han 281). Belly’s family was different because they were very wealthy compared to their neighbors that are poor. They also owned a beach house which we find out in book two was passed down from generation to generation (Staples-Morton 4). One way we see how different her family is is when we find out her great grandmother built a museum: “A doll museum,” I corrected him. “Which you may remember my mother and Aunt Susannah were obsessed with while growing up” (Han 115). Belly lives with her mom, dad, and three brothers.
Her parents always seem to be fighting or having “the talk”. There is never a peaceful moment in the book where you don’t see either of them constantly getting on each other’s nerves (Staples-Morton 2). They are constantly drinking throughout this book which I feel like may have an effect on why they constantly fight (Staples-Morton 9). Jeremiah seems like one of those bad boy types that will do anything you ask him to do. He is very understanding with things he has done wrong and tries his best to make up for it. Never does push Belly into doing something she does not want to do which is a very good trait about him.
He also seems very responsible with his job as a life guard at the beach. There are many times where he saves people and you can tell they admire him for it (Han 125). Conrad is one of those book boyfriends that always seem so dreamy and sweet. He is an artist and we see his different creations through out the book. We really don’t know what kinds of things he creates, but we know he has done murals such as “a mural depicting Charleston harbor” (Han 41). We find that Conrad runs into some complications along the way throughout this book because he does not have feeling in one of his hands which causes him pain any time he uses it (Han 253).
This book is about how Belly grows up over her last summer at home before she goes off to college. Based on this book Jenny Han knew what she was doing when writing it because of the many different genres in this book. We see Belly’s family have fights while her friendships grow stronger with Jeremiah and Conrad throughout this book. This book does a great job of showing us who Belly is becoming as she spends time with two very different boys, but also best friends.
Belly is also dealing with her family and step brother. Her relationship with Steven during book one is more of a friendship, book two seems like it could evolve into something more and book three gives readers hints that she and Jeremiah (Cyrus’ brother and ex-boyfriend) will end up together. Belly has dreams of running away from her life as she knows it, but those disappear as she grows closer to the men in her life.
Belly is supposed to spend the summer at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah, as well as Steven and his girlfriend Susannah whom Belly doesn’t think much about until book two where we see Belly spending time with Susannah. We see Steven’s anger towards his older brother, who is over protective of Belly, especially regarding boys. Conrad develops feelings for Belly again in book two, but they are being suppressed because he does not think she would go for someone like him or that he deserves her.
Belly has always had a small crush on Conrad but book one set the scene for book three which makes clear that Belly will end up with Jeremiah who she gets closer to book two. She also becomes good friends with Susannah book two which shows some hint that perhaps Susannah will have some role in book three. We are never told what happens between Steven and Susannah in book 2, although it seems they still may be together. Jeremiah (Cyrus’ brother) tries unsuccessfully to win Belly back book one and book two shows him trying to make up with her and getting closer.
They also talk about what happened between them book three and she asks if he still has feelings for her, but it is unclear from the book whether those feelings have been resolved or not. At the end of book three they kiss which hints that book four could be a love triangle as these books are told from Belly’s point of view so we don’t know much about Jeremiah’s side because she doesn’t really feel confident going to him with questions. There is a short attack on Steven at the beginning book one where all boys seem to have a momentary fear that they may lose their girl friends by something bad happening to them.
Belly also has the fear book two that she will lose another important man from her life which is played out in book three when Belly’s father tells her he may have to move away. We learn throughout book one and book two about Susannah’s past with Steven over a few summers, but book three explains how it became serious. In book one we see that she was upset when she found out that Conrad and Belly kissed at the end of the summer, but by book three they are very close friends.