It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han: Book Review

It's Not Summer Without You by Sara ZarrIT’S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU by Jenny Han Book Review
Series: Summer, #2
Publication Date: April 27th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book 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.

It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han Book Review Overview:

  • Love Jenny Han’s writing style; I know I can read her books in one sitting
  • Belly is such a frustrating character; she makes me want to rip out my hair
  • I enjoy reading this series, but I don’t know if I have what it takes to read the last book

I have a love/hate relationship with IT’S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU by Jenny Han. On one hand, I love the fluidity of Jenny Han’s writing. I know that by picking up IT’S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU by Jenny Han, it is a book I can read almost entirely in one sitting. On the other hand, Belly is a main character I love to hate.

IT’S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU by Jenny Han picks up almost a year after the first book, weaving back and forth between past and present. Han fills in the gaps of what had happened during the months that Belly was not at Cousins. Susannah lost her battle with cancer and everyone is devastated. It doesn’t look like Belly will ever spend another summer at Cousins.

I could easily see myself picking up another Jenny Han book – there’s no doubt about that. There’s just something about her writing style that has me turning the pages. Time flies and I don’t even know it. I love how stories unfold within the pages. Han’s ability to suck me into her books make it almost easy to overlook the flaws.

My biggest problem with the Summer series is probably Belly. It is really only hitting me now in IT’S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU by Jenny Han how incredibly selfish Belly is. Yes, Susannah died. Yes, she was important to you. But you aren’t the only one hurting. On the positive side, her selfishness and immaturity is addressed quite often in this book. Many characters point out that she needs to learn that not everything revolves around her. It’s hard to say whether or not Belly has learned anything by the end of IT’S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU by Jenny Han.

And of course I have to address the love triangle. Oh my goodness. Seriously. I think that it’s quite obvious to anyone reading these books that drama is going to go down between Conrad and Jeremiah. I know it is inevitable and I absolutely hate the idea of two brothers being torn apart because of a girl. But it’s like a car crash. I can’t tear my eyes away from the pages. I have no idea who Belly is going to end up with. My only concern is about the brother who’s going to be left broken. Does Belly really need to add on to the heartbreak? Why, Belly, why???

So here’s my dilemma: do I finish the series or not? With only one book left in the series, I’m tempted to pick it up. I know that Jenny Han’s writing style will lead me to finish the book in one sitting. But dare I risk frustration? Will Belly actually mature by the end of the series? Is it worth it? I don’t know if I can take another story with Belly. I admit I’m a tiny bit curious on what happens with everyone, but I don’t know if I’m curious enough to read one more.

IT’S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU by Jenny Han was a quick and entertaining – but sometimes frustrating – read. While I might have to go through a series break-up, I enjoy Jenny Han’s writing style and I look forward to trying her other books.


Other Book Reviews:
Reading with ABC
The Underestimated Mom

About the Author

Jenny HanJenny Han is the author of Shug, The Summer I Turned Pretty, It’s Not Summer Without You, and We’ll Always Have Summer. She is also the author of the chapter book Clara Lee and The Apple Pie Dream. A former children’s bookseller, she earned her MFA in creative writing at the New School. She works as a YA librarian at a private school on the Upper West Side.

Find the Author

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    1. Uh, can Belly end up with no one please? LOL, just kidding. :P Okay, I caved and I borrowed the last book from the library. As to whether or not I’ll read it… We’ll see.

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