Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Review: It's Not Summer WIthout You by Jenny Han

Published: Simon & Schuster (April 27, 2010)
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
Series: Book 2 of 3
Source: I purchased this book

Rating: 4.5/5

GoodReads Summary: 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.
My Thoughts: Well, other than the enormous, gigantic, all-encompassing sadface that I wore throughout every single page (YOU KNOW WHY!), I enjoyed this book more than the first one.

Belly and the boys are growing up and dealing with something that was forshadowed and inevitable. It's hard. I hated reading about it and my soul felt a little bit empty after that first paragraph of the entire book. Way to drop a freaking bomb, Jenny Han. But, as morbid as it sounds, some of my favorite books contain characters adjusting to and healing from grief. And holy heck, I can't think of a more massive kind of grief than this.

Belly stays true to her annoying, yet lovable, self as she tries to adjust without 2 of the major focal points of her affection. But she's womaned up a little bit in this book and I am a lover of quality character development. Similar to The Summer I Turned Pretty, Belly tells her story in real time and flashbacks. Her heartbreak feels so real, you cannot help but want to reach into the pages and hug her as everything is seemingly being ripped away from her.

One of my favorite parts of this novel is that we finally get to see more of Laurel and the relationship that she has with Belly, Conrad, and Jeremiah. (By the way, I totally missed Steven in this book!) They were a legit family, even though tragedy and growing up and apart has put a damper on the idea of summer at Cousins.

The end, though not ENTIRELY shocking, was a pleasant surprise. I couldn't believe how accepting I was of this new development and how eager I was to find out what happens next. The more time that passes, the more I love this series.


  1. I really enjoyed this one! Haha yes, Belly did seem to "woman up" :) Okay good because I felt the same way about the lack of Steven! He is the perfect annoying yet funny older brother. I loved this read, but it definitely twisted at my emotions.


  2. Glad to hear you enjoy these books! Your (and Ginger's and Farrah's) passion + excitement for these books made me buy the first one to check out. Hopefully I like it as much as y'all!

    See that? I said "y'all."

  3. CHRISTMAS BEACH COUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously though, fab review. You did an excellent job of conveying this story & not giving away spoilers. One of the MANY reasons why I love these books so much is because it goes beyond teenage hook ups & really dives in to some serious, heart ache issues. Gahhh I need to re-read.

  4. I'm so glad you like this series. I am pretty much obsessed and I can't wait to hear what you think of We'll Always Have Summer. Great review, Jen!

  5. This is a good series, I can't wait until the next book comes available at the library. It just so happens that I read this on Tuesday. It was so good that I wasn't paying much attention to one of my favorite Tuesday night shows. I too missed Stephen, but I think Belly needed to confront Conrad on her own (even if Jeremiah was with her).

    I think I may end up buying these books so that I can re-read them whenever I'm in the mood.

  6. I just finished this one and I CAN'T WAIT to get my hands on book #3!! For the record, Jeremiah just doesn't do it for me. Conrad will always be in the back of Belly's mind (and in front of her face, seeing as how they're brothers and all...). He just needs to get himself together and go after her!