Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Review Discussion: It's Not Summer Without You and We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

Book(s): It's Not Summer Without You and We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
Genre: YA Romance (the last book might be more considered NA)
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (for both of them!)
For: Fun and the Readathon
From: the Library

Short Synopsis: These are the second two books of the trilogy. The first book is The Summer I Turned Pretty (my review of that one here). In that book, our heroine Belly, changes and the boys she's hung out with all her life are suddenly noticing her. She likes them both, but especially Conrad. When the second books starts, everyone is dealing with the death of the mom of these
two boys. We learn in flashbacks that Belly actually did get together with Conrad, but it didn't last long and the death of his mom really threw them all off course. Meanwhile, Conrad's brother, Jeremiah, moves in and Belly suddenly decides he's actually the one. (This story is mostly in Belly's point of view, but with several chapters from Jeremiah's.)

In the last book, she's been with Jeremiah for two years now and in flashbacks we get the whole story of what's gone on between them. But when this book opens, Belly learns that he has not been totally faithful. She freaks. He freaks and suddenly they find themselves engaged. The whole book is then the events leading up to their wedding, and then what happens at the actual wedding. Conrad features heavily in this book and we get some chapters from his POV.

My Response: I really enjoyed these books. Lots of angst and romance and back and forthing between these two boys, both of which have their strengths and weaknesses. Really fun characters and character development. I loved the chapters with the thoughts of both of the boys. Always fun to get inside a guy's head! Some hard, sad, growing up things here too, stuff that all of them have to deal with. But I enjoyed it and these books were perfect for readathon choices.

Bottom Line: If you're in the mood for contemporary romance this trilogy is a great choice. Reading these last two close together was lots of fun!

Let's Talk About: We've discussed triangles before and this story is big on that. But let's talk about the chapters from the guy's POV. Are you like me? Do you like knowing what the guy is thinking sometimes? Even if the book centers on the girl, do you find it fun to know what's going on with the guy? What they are thinking and perceiving during the same scenes we just read from the girl's side? I find it very fun and totally enjoyed the boys' chapters in these books.

Other Reviews:

It's Not Summer Without You

I found myself engaged in these characters and, more specifically, their own distinct personality traits - which for me, was really the attraction of this book. From Bookshipper

These books are about first love and family — the one we’re born into and the one we choose. Though romance is a key part of Belly’s life and the narrative arc, it’s not the sole focus of Han’s novels. From Write Meg

 We'll Always Have Summer

 It's the only love triangle in a book series that not only could I stand but had me emotionally invested. From Alternate Readality

Also, we get a few chapters from Conrad’s point of view. They ripped at me, you guys. We finally see him on an emotional level and it was so worth the wait. From The Allure of Books


  1. I absolutely hated the first one, so I have no intention of picking the sequels up. I'm quite surprised that you'd consider the second sequel NA because the main reason why I didn't like the first is that it's too MG-y for me.

    1. Jen: The last one (not the middle one) is sort of NA because she is now in college and the themes are all much more mature. The first one, she is only 15 I think, so I can see it seeming a little more MG- ish.

  2. I like it when books switch POVs. There are some cases where I like not knowing because of the mystery. But, I like getting different POVs as long as that POV is relevant.

  3. I hate love triangles, so I definitely won't be picking this up, but like Jenni, I typically enjoy books with multiple points of view. If done well, I think they can make a story much more complex and engaging.



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