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Books I Love

Recently a good friend of mine suggested that I start writing blog entries about the books I’ve read and adored—I guess because I enjoy talking about them so much. When I’ve read a book that I loved, I sell it to everyone.Yep. Everyone. I can’t help it. I want others to experience the same joy I had when I read that book.

One set of books that I’ve read at least three times is Jenny Han’s summer series. The first is The Summer I Turned Pretty. The second in the series is It’s Not Summer Without You, and the third is We’ll Always Have Summer. I first saw it on Amazon. It popped up as one of my “recommended reads” based on the books I had purchased. I was curious because of the title. Who can’t help but love a summer themed book? (I just love a beach read. Hello. Isn’t that what The Summer I Learned to Dive is)? Plus, the storyline sounded interesting.

Belly Conklin is the main character. (What a great nickname for Isabella.) She’s in love with Conrad Fisher–the good looking, brooding type who captured Belly’s heart long ago. Then there’s Jeremiah Fisher, Conrad’s younger brother. Jeremiah is adorable and is always upbeat. Belly’s mother is best friends with Conrad and Jeremiah’s mom. Each summer, Belly and her family stay with the Fisher’s at their beach house.

Every summer is fun, yet they are the same. But this particular summer is different. Belly is older, more mature, and Pretty. She’s grown up and has finally caught the eye of both Conrad and Jeremiah. But Conrad won’t admit it, and Jeremiah can’t seem to capture Belly’s heart. Or can he?

But this story isn’t just a love triangle. It’s not just about Belly turning pretty and having a summer romance. There’s so much more to it. Belly has to face something tragic. ( I won’t tell. I don’t give away spoilers) She has to grow up and learn what she wants. She has to make tough decisions.

I really learned to love Conrad in this series. At first I thought he was your typical teen full of angst, but he’s so much deeper than that. Really both boys have big hearts. One of them is better suited for Belly, at least in my opinion. You’ll have to read to form your own conclusion. I’m sure from reading this you can tell I’m team Conrad.

This series is appropriate for ages 13 and up. It’s a sweet, clean read that makes you remember your first love. I highly recommend it for a feel good read. Even though there are a few sad things that happen, it’s still the type of series that makes you feel warm inside. The characters are likeable. The romance is sweet and not rushed. And the ending is perfect. Give this series a try. I promise you won’t be sorry.