Inspired by Alice in Wonderland
In Jenny Han's follow-up to The Summer I Turned Pretty, Belly finds out what comes after falling in love.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...
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In Jenny Han's follow-up to The Summer I Turned Pretty, Belly finds out what comes after falling in love.
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.
Isabel (Belly) struggles to regain her equilibrium after the death of her mother's best friend Susannah in this sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty (2009). It is becoming clear that nothing will ever be the same. The net of loss and grief thrown over Belly, her mother and Susannah's boys holds them all together even as its folds separate them. The romantic relationship between Conrad, Susannah's elder boy, and Belly, his longtime admirer, fails under the weight of sorrow, while at the same time Conrad's brother Jeremiah tries to conceal his feelings for Belly. When Belly returns with Jeremiah to the beach house where the families spent every summer, she is caught up in an awkward conflict over the fate of this special place. Though the story takes place in just under a week, Han artfully weaves together Belly's and Jeremiah's back stories, recent and long past, to create a solid fabric of relationship and longing. Flashes of humor, realistic (and often salty) dialogue and growing-up moments both painful and authentic create a convincing and poignant read. (Fiction. YA)
In this second book of the planned trilogy that began with The Summer I Turned Pretty, 16-year-old Belly Conklin feels displaced. Unlike years past, she won't be at the beach with her mother's best friend, Susannah, and Susannah's sons, Jeremiah and Conrad. This summer, “I wasn't in Cousins. Conrad and I weren't together, and Susannah was dead.” When Belly learns from Jeremiah that Conrad has disappeared, she immediately agrees to help; their search leads them to the beach house, where Conrad is hiding out. Belly's plaintive voice sometimes makes her sound too young, but Han realistically touches upon the characters' various reactions to grief—Belly's mother becomes withdrawn, Conrad fiercely protects the house (his father wants to sell it), Belly has trouble processing the permanence of loss—as well as Belly's emotional entanglements with the brothers (occasional chapters are told from Jeremiah's perspective, and Belly reflects on her failed romance with Conrad). Though the fate of the summer house is resolved a bit quickly, Belly's difficult relationship with her best friend and her standing with the boys hang in the balance, which should leave readers anxious for the final installment. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—This summer, everything is different for 16-year-old Belly in Jenny Han's sequel (2010) to The Summer I Turned Pretty (2009, both S & S; Recorded Books, 2009). She always spent her summers at Cousins Beach, chasing after Susanna's two sons, Conrad and Jeremiah, and her own older brother. But Susanna has passed away, and Belly's romantic relationship with Conrad has soured since her death. Just as Belly is resigning herself to summer without her second family, Belly gets a call from Jeremiah letting her know that Conrad has disappeared from school and he needs her help to find him. The three end up back at the summer house, where they must confront their memories, their grief, and each other. Occasional chapters narrated by Jeremiah reveal his feelings for Belly, while most of the story is told from Belly's point of view. Han's touching novel paints a realistic portrait of teenage love and heartbreak. Jessica Almasy provides a perfect voice for Belly, using subtle vocal shifts to indicate clearly when other characters are speaking. Recommended for high school libraries where the previous title is popular with the caveat this volume has some strong language and teenage drinking.—Beth Gallego, Panorama City Public Library, Los Angeles, CA