Title: It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Published: April 27th, 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Audiobooks, 390 minutes
How I Got This Book: Checked them out from the library
Why I Picked It Up?: The Summer series is the kind of series that, whether you LOVE it or just like it, you kind of have to read/listen straight through. I needed to know what was going to happen to these characters.
Book Jacket Blurb: “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 Review of this Work:
I was a little hesitant to continue this series on audio after my experience with The Summer I Turned Pretty (Review here). But I am happy to report that, for reasons unknown to me, the narration has improved in Book Two! Jessica Almasy once again becomes the perfect Belly, and she does so without the awkward dead space! Hoozah!
Onto the actually story…
I will start with what I didn’t like first, to get the negative comments out of the way. I had a problem with the random Jeremiah-narrated chapters. The first book in this series was all narrated by Belly. But to get to book two and have random chapters–not every other chapter, just a couple of random chapters–seemed kind of pointless to me. I mean, yes, we get Jeremiah’s perspective on things when he gets to narrate, but at the same time I feel like we didn’t really NEED what he had to say at the sacrifice of consistency. But maybe by the end of book three it will make more sense….?
Now for what I did like.
I really appreciated the realistic actions and reactions and thoughts and feelings that each of the characters had throughout this novel. I will start with Belly, who is of course our main gal, and who is struggling with trying to adjust to her life that has been severely rocked over the past couple of months. Susannah is gone and Conrad is not in her life anymore. That is a lot of emotional crap to have to sort through and adjust to, and I think that Jenny Han has captured her perfectly. But I also think that Conrad, Belly’s mother, and Taylor all are just as realistically depicted. Conrad has suffered an incredible loss, and he has thus retreated from the world. Belly’s mother walks around in a daze, which is a completely realistic response to the new stresses in her life. And Taylor…Taylor just wants her best friend back and tells Belly so. This novel is full of emotions, but they are completely real. I was completely sucked into the story because I could connect to exactly how everyone was feeling, and it made for a very emotional ride.
Obviously there is a lot of emotional/character development going on in this novel with Jeremiah, which is why Han decided to give him a couple of chapters to narrate. But honestly, I just don’t feel so much of anything toward him. It may just be me, but I feel like his character is just kind of there. (It has been a month or so since I have actually finished this audio, so that may have something to do with it). But I have always kind of felt like the story has been about Belly first, Conrad second, and then everyone else. So his character development is just ehhh for me.
Overall, I really did enjoy this story. I really like how Jenny Han writes in flashes of past mixed with present. I am interested to see what happens in book three with Belly, Jeremiah, and Conrad. It will be interesting. By the way, I am Team Conrad. 😉
My Bookshelf Rating:
A Middle Shelf Book.
3.5 Stars. I must admit, the narration of this books is much improved! Hurrah! Jenny Han has once again taken us on an emotional rollercoaster that is depicted quite perfectly for all of the situations at hand. Fantastic character insight and development in this novel. Overall a good read/listen. But now I am waiting for the resolution to this series in book three!
Love and The Day After Tomorrow,