Title: It's Not Summer Without You Author: Jenny Han
From Shelfari, "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."
Please note that this review may contain spoilers for Book 1.
Ever since I read Shug, I have been a fan of Jenny Han. This book is the sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty. I really enjoyed the first book and couldn't wait to read more about the lives of Belly, Jeremiah, and Conrad. I found this book to be different than the first book in that it dealt with heavier issues. The characters in the book are all dealing with the death of someone that was very important to them, each in their own unique way.
The first book left off with Conrad realizing that he had deeper feelings for Belly than he had imagined, much to Belly's surprise and Jeremiah's disdain. The love triangle continues throughout this book, but it is not the center of the story. The main focus is the death of Conrad and Jeremiah's mother and how everyone is taking Susannah's passing.
I bought this book on Thursday and finished it on Friday. The reason I couldn't put it down was because of the fluent and realistic writing of author, Jenny Han. Han has an amazing gift of pulling the reader into the story so much that you are emotionally invested in the lives of the characters. This book makes you travel the emotional roller coaster ride right along with the characters. The Summer books have a delicate balance... one minute you can be laughing and in the next crying. The characters are not one dimensional and they all have flaws or moments of weakness that make them very believable. I know that you could probably read this book without reading the first one and it would make sense, but you cannot fully understand the complexity of this book and its characters without reading the first book.
I had a couple of complaints about the book. The first is that, at times, it wasn't clear immediately whether the action was taking place in the past or the present. The second is the end and it is for purely selfish reasons. I was all excited about the progression of Belly's love life until the "couple of years" later chapter, which tells you only that Belly is with someone, not who. Now I am left with the feeling that I have to wait to see what happens and since this book just came out this week, that means that I am probably going to have to wait a while to find out what happens to Belly and ???? Curse you, Jenny Han! (Only in a good way, of course!)