Wednesday, 29 June 2016

SERIES REVIEW: "The Summer Series" by Jenny Han // Two Sad Brothers Fighting Over One Self-Involved Girl

The Summer I Turned Pretty, It's Not Summer Without You, We'll Always Have Summer

The Summer I Turned Pretty ★★★★☆/4/5

It's Not Summer Without You ★★★★☆/4.5/5

We'll Always Have Summer ★★★/3.5/5

Overall Series Rating: ★★★★☆/4/5

This series has been sitting on my self for as long as the shelf itself has existed. Upon starting the first book, "The Summer I Turned Pretty", I realized that it sounded somewhat familiar, and as Goodreads later let me know, I had attempted the first book in the series THREE times before! The last time was two years ago, and somehow, I don't have a single recollection of it!
Sisters movie film comedy confused

Safe to say, this series definitely waited it's turn out, and I figured with all the time I had on my hands, I might as well just power through it and find out once and for all what the hype had all been about. 

"Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along"

Synopsis from Goodreads / Purchase on Book Depository (Affiliate)

I managed to finish the three books in about a week, and although I understand the appeal and it was an easy and quick read, there were a lot of things about this series that made me very, very frustrated, like the fact that two close brothers were after the same girl *criiiinge*.

The Setting

The majority of the story is set in a beach house in a town called 'Cousins', and it is the place where the Fisher and Conklin families have spent every summer since they can remember. It was the perfect setting for a summer read like this, and I loved the history in it, and all the memories made in that house that Belly shares. I just really loved the love that everyone had for that house, and how they all grew and developed in that house.

Cute Romance (Just Not For Me)

I quite enjoyed the romance in the first book, it was cute and innocent and lighthearted, which was perfect for the summer read, and I enjoyed it wholeheartedly... until it came to the middle of the second book and then it went askew, and I believe it's personal preference, and perhaps I'm a cynical person and the romance was too young for me, but I found myself cringing at the romance through most of book two, and in book three it just went down-hill entirely for me.

Parents Actually Exist In This One!!

I LOVED Belly's mother, and overall I was just delighted how involved the parents were in the story, and I'm just really glad that it wasn't one of those contemporary where the parents are mentioned once and then they're just a black hole with their kids running wild, falling in love and doing whatever without consequences. The parents were probably the most realistic characters in all of the books, so big thumbs up for that!

Frustrating, Unrealistic Characters 

The parents were honestly just about the only characters I could read without wanting to throw something at a wall. SO.FRUSTRATING.!. Belly's self-involvement was so prominent that it actually shaped the story, particularly in the first book. Everything was about her, and everything everyone else did was because of her. You can probably guess that I came to dislike Belly at certain times, and so when you hate the voice telling the story, you might find it hard to concentrate on the actual story.

As for the boys, Conrad was the typical misunderstood bad boy, with a lot of self-worth issues, and Jeremiah was the "good guy in the friend-zone" until he wasn't, and then his character did a 180° angle turn, and Jeremiah in the third book wasn't the same character as in the first two...

reactions wtf pretty little liars lucy hale aria

Problematic Romance

As I've already mentioned, the romance was fine... until it just wasn't. In summary, it's two high school boys falling for a girl who they always saw as their little sister until she magically appears one summer with boobs and no glasses. Yeah, umh...that's not exactly down my alley. That's not even the worst of it, it gets a lot worse in book three *wretches*.
Overall, I just found the romance from book two on-wards quite frustrating, unrealistic and just a bit on the verge of disgusting.

The Ending: 

"Let's just throw logic and three books worth of the story out the window, they're in love!!!"
That's my interpretation of the last 20 pages. I was at the airport when I was finishing it up and I didn't realize the faces I was making until I looked up and the lady opposite me watched me as if I was crazy. It FRUSTRATED me so much, the ending, the epilogue....just burn it. I hated it so much, I literally just went "NOPE" and I would have thrown the book across the room but I think I had scared the lady sufficiently for one day.

In conclusion, I still gave the series a very decent rating because no matter how much the books frustrated me at points, overall it was still a pretty decent read. I think perhaps the fact that they were so quick, and easy helped a lot because the pacing didn't leave time for the frustration to linger.

I would definitely suggest that everyone gives this series a shot if they're looking for a summer read, and would recommend it to younger teens, and those who aren't cynical about high-school romance and won't mind the cringe romance.

Now tell me, how tired are you of love triangles, especially when it involves brothers oh god. What's worse, a self-involved character or one that constantly puts themselves down? Let me know, and pleasssssssse chat with me, down in the comments below!

All the love as always,
Samanta x.


  1. I really liked this series as a light, fluffy and summery romance. Belly annoyed me a lot because she was quite cliche and unrealistic, but the romance was cute enough for me and I thought the series was very easy to get through. Great review Sam!

    1. Yep, Belly frustrated so much at times I couldn't stand it. The romance part was okay most part, but the last book was just terrible romance-wise, more frustration than anything haha. Agree that it's a cute enough, fluffy summer read! Thank you for commenting!

  2. I AGREE SO MUCH! I read this a year or so ago, but never reviewed it because I didn't know what to say. It frustrated me, and then it didn't, and book two was tedious and the ending of three wanted to make me throw it out, but I liked it anyway?

    You have literally voiced my emotions about this series.

    Thanks for the lovely review!

    Aditi @

    1. Thank you for your comment! Completely get you, this series was a frustration roller coaster of frustration haha. :)