Published: Simon & Schuster (May 5, 2009)
Series: Book 1 of 3
Source: The amazing Ginger from G Reads!
GoodReads Summary: 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.
Sweet days of summer, the jasmine's in bloom
July is dressed up and playing her tune
When I come home from a hard day's work
And you're waiting there, not a care in the world
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
(This song pretty much played in my head the whole time.)
I. Am. So. There.
This book makes me want a beach, a beach house, an ocean, some sandcastles, a pina colada, and a Susannah. I am all about some atmospheric writing and this book has so much of that and more. I went in with insanely high expectations for this book. When you've got blogger friends pushing you (GINGER!) to read a series (and even those who BUY them for you! GINGER!) it's hard to resist. Plus, the weather's getting warmer and I needed something to get me in the mood for summer.
Belly's stories of her current summer and those of her childhood completely enchanted me. I felt as if I was reading this story in a beach chair and floppy hat, with the waves rolling in around my feet and basking in a perpetual sunset. I loved hearing about the warm, fuzzy TOGETHERNESS that Belly, Steven, Conrad, and Jeremiah had. Each of them were so wonderfully unique, I felt like they were my BFFs and kept waiting for them to ask me to come hang out. I can see how Belly was attracted to both of the brothers, despite their being polar opposites. They each have their pros and their cons, but their flawed and attributes make them both appealing and honestly, I haven't chosen a team.
And Susannah. Oh my goodness. If there is ever a "type" of mom that I want to be, it's her. She, herself, was like a ball of sunlight. It made me smile just to read about her and her interactions with her sons and Belly. The connection between her and Belly's mother is one that I'd just die to have. That everlasting friendship that knows no bounds. Susannah shattered my soul into a million billion pieces as the novel went on.
Though Belly got on my nerves more often than not, I still liked her. She was relatable. It was easy to identify with her. Her tag-along ways, self-concerned actions and thoughts were believable. After all, she's a little sister and "the baby." Even though I'm not a little sister, I can imagine that all the things that went on in Belly's head also went through my sisters. I guess that's maybe why I loved her so much. She reminds me of my own!
My blogging friends didn't steer me wrong and for this, I thank them.