Last year, all of Belly's dreams came true and the thought of missing a summer in Cousins Beach was inconceivable. But like the rise and fall of the ocean tide, things can change--just like that. Suddenly the time she's always looked forward to most is something she dreads. Belly must decide how she will spend this summer: chasing after the boy she loves, or finally letting him go.
Words can't even begin to express how excited I was when I received this book in the mail. I absolutely loved The Summer I Turned Pretty, and I have been waiting to get my hands on this, novel, the sequel. A lot has changed over the summer, and Han did an excellent job of filling in the pieces that we missed over the year. This was pleasantly surprising since the book didn't pick up from where the first book had ended, which I was kind of hoping for. Now that I read the book through, I appreciate Han starting on the next summer, because this summer was such a stark contrast to the last one. The characters were just as amicable as before, despite the somewhat depressing circumstances. Susannah's death changed everyone's lives in an instant, despite the fact that everyone knew it was coming. A lot of relationships were tested because of her death, and the novel really centered around that.
One thing different from its predecessor is that in addition flashbacks, Jeremiah also telling his story as well. I really appreciated this because while Jeremiah played a really important part in the first novel, with Belly narrating, there seemed to be a bigger focus on Conrad. With Jeremiah narrating, I started to root for him a little more in his fight to win Belly's heart. It also helped us to see what was going on with Jeremiah, Conrad, and their father in the aftermath of Susannah's death.
Overall, I absolutely loved this book; partly because of my love for the first novel, and then because of how beautifully the characters developed in part two. In addition to those things, the epilogue really wowed me. Honestly... just wow. I know this just came out, but that cliffhanger has me (impatiently) waiting for the third part (out next summer- yay!).
The novel picked up right where it should and focused on life after the death of Susannah, a staple in Belly's summer.
Even though they were going through tough times, I was still able to connect with them. Their growth in the novel was great as well.
Cover Art: A
Really similar to The Summer I Turned Pretty, which I loved. I liked the similarity because it brought me back to the characters I grew to love in the first novel.
I loved the shortness of the chapters, as well as the fact that the story took place in a matter of days. It really helped to emphasize how fast everything moves during the summer.
Utterly fantastic and a beautiful book for summer, I wholeheartedly give It's Not Summer Without You: