Book Review – We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

Summer has come to an end.

We'll Always Have Summer Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Comtemporary

No. of pages: 219

From Goodreads:

It’s been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college– only, their relationship hasn’t exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It’s time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever. 

Page border by Casey Carlisle

The final instalment to the Summer trilogy – something I enjoyed and appreciated the way it all culminated, but not a series I was particularly in love with.

We really see Belly grow up. Literally and figuratively in this trilogy, and I am happy to discover the woman she turned into after the stubborn and naive girl in ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty.’ Her trait of burying her head in the sand, going boy crazy and disposition to storming about and a stubborn streak had be wanting to put the book down several times. Though the vivid landscape of the Summer House, the well written cast and realistic portrayal of life is what kept my interest. So while I may have had issues with the protagonist (and her love interest(s)), the overall story is beautiful. It’s about growing up, loss, and love.

Life is messy – and so is Belly’s story.

We'll Always Have Summer Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Another quick summer read, and even though it is angsty and deals with death, it is still light enough to enjoy on a banana lounge in the afternoon sun. Jenny Han’s writing style in supreme in its ability to lavish the surroundings but deliver characters and their dialogue in a matter-of-fact way. The story line is predictable in that, it concluded with only ending it could have really – I liked it.

Overall feeling: happy/sad… just like the end of summer vacation.

We'll Always Have Summer Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

We'll Always Have Summer Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

I can almost smell the ocean and the suntan oil….

 The Summer I Turned Pretty Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Contemporary, Romance

No. of pages: 276

From Goodreads:

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. 

Page border by Casey Carlisle

I picked up this trilogy straight after reading the ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ duology, hoping for more Jenny Han goodness. I’m not sure if I liked it or if it was just okay… I think only because I wanted more to happen in this book.

On the one hand, Susannah’s journey is truly touching (and I can relate to it personally) and really drags out the feels.

Belly herself is such a little girl – in the sense that she is young, and totally naive. A little girl crush on the Conrad boys… is that enough of a hook for a novel? It didn’t quite grab me. However, it was a relief to see Belly struggle and forced to grow up a bit. The time to start putting away childish things… and by the end I liked Belly a little better.

Cam was annoying, Jeramiah, slightly less. There was that big brother thing going on that boys do – the teasing, the fighting, the ignoring. So true to character and left me feeling annoyed and insulted. I wanted awareness to come early in the novel – it felt like the story took too long to build to something between these characters.

Plenty of passive aggressive behaviour, teen angst, and presumptions to keep me satisfied. Spot on for the YA market.

You get a real sense of summer holidays, the beach, the relaxing warm breeze, sun baking, swimming in the pool, carefree days. I could practically feel the sun on my skin.

The narrative was a little scattered – mainly because Belly gets a little scattered; but that aside, Han’s writing style is effortless, just like the setting of the Summer House. A beautifully engaging story of love, life and growing up.

Overall feeling: kittens and lollypops!

The Summer I Turned Pretty Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

The Summer I Turned Pretty Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.