Review Time! It’s Not Summer Without You is the 2nd book in the Summer series written by Jenny Han. I absolutely adore this series and I was delighted to find that Penguin Australia was publishing the 2nd book! Again, thanks to Penguin for this review copy, I love you guys!
(Goodreads) 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.
The Short Story? – Cute and bittersweet, It’s Not Summer Without You is sad, moving and funny. Bringing out all the emotions out of a reader, Han has written a beautiful novel about first love, first heartbreak and everything in between. Beautiful, breathtaking and brilliant, It’s Not Summer Without You is as good as it gets.
The Long Story? – I love this series. I really do. It’s also a tough cookie to review because I have so much to say about this book. I have all these thoughts buzzing around in my head that it’s hard to pick what’s important and what not :P I’ll like to start by saying, It’s Not Summer Without You is even better than The Summer I Turned Pretty.
The plot was amazing. I haven’t read any reviews on this novel because I didn’t want any spoilers but the main difference I picked out between the 1st novel and the 2nd novel is that, the plot’s a little more serious. The events that happen are a little more heartbreaking and it bought out so much emotion in me, I literally bawled my eyes out throughout the novel. I can’t think of a better word to describe the plot other than bittersweet. It was still refreshingly to read, very cute and enjoyable but it explored darker issues, for everything sweet there was a little bitter aftertaste and I think that was my favourite part of the novel. It wasn’t just another summer love story, there was purpose and meaning behind it, there’s more to it now than just a romance. Very original, very cute and yet deeply touching. The plot is one of a kind.
There was a great deal of character development in this novel. We got to understand the characters better and also watch them grow. Belly, is definitely a lot more mature in this novel, she’s grown up and her actions in this novel rally impressed me. She’s making better choices, she’s thinking about herself and she realizes it’s okay to have what you want. Jeremiah is still number 1 on my list, I was Team Jeremiah from the start and It’s Not Summer Without You only led me to love him more. Honestly, he’s like the best boyfriend material, he’s funny, sweet and he really cares about Belly. The world would be complete if they got together :) Conrad…is a jerk. He clearly has feelings for Belly but he’s too stubborn to admit it and I’m pretty bias about this but he doesn’t deserve Belly (who should totally be with Jeremiah). Overall, great cast of characters, I have someone to admire, someone to *swoon* over and someone to hate or well, dislike anyway :P
Another one of my favourite things about this novel is Han’s writing and structure. Han has a very unique writing style, every time I read her work, it completely brightens up my day, it’s so comfortable and relaxing and no pun intended but summer-y. It’s just writing at its best. Han’s book structure is also something very different. The book is written so it flips from the present to the past but it also interchanges between character perspectives. Like I said, very different and surprisingly not all that to follow. Han’s novels are very easy to read and can be enjoyed by readers of all abilities and age :)
If you haven’t read the series yet, you should head to your nearest bookstore and buy them because they’re brilliant. I was hanging onto every word, totally engrossed by the story that I missed dinner (true fact). It’s Not Summer Without You is contemporary at its best. Refreshing to read, cute, funny and yet deeply moving. Bittersweet, It’s Not Summer Without You is one for everyone to enjoy. I won’t be your friend if you don’t read it :P
Rating - 5/5
Badass Bookie xx