‘It’s Not Summer Without You’ is the second book of the Summer series. This YA book follows Belly while she romances two brothers, who happen to be her best friends since birth. Teenage drama at it’s best… ish. Rating: 3/5
It’s Not Summer Without You is the second book in the Summer Series by Jenny Han. The first book is ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’, which I also rated a 3/5. I am so conflicted on my thoughts about this book/series. I don’t hate it, but I don’t even really like it either. While the book is what I would consider a “fluff” book, as in there’s no real substance to it, there are some serious moments as well. I don’t even really like most of the characters, but I cried constantly throughout the first third of the book because they kept talking about Susannah (who died at the end of the last book).
I really don’t like how it jumps around a lot. While the flashbacks have some semblance of importance (usually to let in some weird insight of the characters that we, the readers, could have realized on our own) it happened to frequently. And the flashbacks were so sporadic. It was hard to keep up with it all. The story is also a bit overdramatic. They’ll have this big blow out fights and then be like nothing happened. I mean, I know they’re all really close but come on. It’s like, what’s the point in keep having all these fights if it’s going to end so swell in the end anyway? It was predictable, and a bit repetitive. I’m over Conrad acting like an asshole with one or two great, shining moments. I’m sick of Belly pining over him. I’m just over it. I’m hoping the next book takes a different turn (which I think it does).
With all of that said, there were also some parts that were really relatable. I have to say, with every unrealistic part of the book there’s a shining sliver of hope on the next page. I’ve learned that it is much easier to be critical of a book, especially while writing notes while I’m still reading. It usually isn’t until I sit down to write a review that I realize there were parts of the book I wish I could write down and keep with me forever.
There were some writing things that bothered me. Some dialogue that seemed ridiculous. I also hate when authors have teenagers (17-21 year olds especially) say things like darn, heck, crap, freaking, etc. We all know what they’re trying to say (damn, hell, shit, fucking, etc) and it just draws attention to how unrealistic it all is. There are few 17 year olds that would scream, “WHAT THE CRAP?!” and be completely serious. Especially teenagers that have no qualms about underage drinking. Just a thought. Though there was a part where Belly’s mom told Mr. Fisher, “Excuse me, but fuck you”. So it’s not like the author is against swearing…
It’s a quick read. 278 pages and I got it done in two days. The way it’s written makes it so that you keep reading without realizing how much you’re actually reading, so that’s a good thing. Like I said…. I’m conflicted on my feelings. I both really like it and really dislike it at the same time. I’ll be reading the next book.