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The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty (edition 2010)

by Jenny Han

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955739,086 (3.91)14
Title:The Summer I Turned Pretty
Authors:Jenny Han
Info:Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2010), Edition: 1, Paperback, 304 pages
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The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han


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Originally published: New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2009.
  Bookman1954 | Feb 17, 2015 |
Originally published: New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2009.
  Bookman1954 | Feb 17, 2015 |
Originally published: New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2009.
  Bookman1954 | Feb 17, 2015 |
Originally published: New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2009.
  Bookman1954 | Feb 17, 2015 |
Originally Published On My Review Blog http://www.thebookavid.blogspot.com

"The Summer I Turned Pretty" by Jenny Han is about 15-year-old Isabel, or Belly (I'm not kidding), whose entire life changes when she discovers one summer that she actually turned pretty. Yup, this is exactly as stupid and shallow as it sounds. The whole novel revolves around her being told several times how oh-so-beautiful she is and her suddenly making friends and getting hit on 24/7. Great job, Jenny Han, this is exactly the kind of stuff you should write for an audience of 12+. I didn't know that this was such an MG read, I expected something more mature with a character that doesn't have the mind of a 10-year-old.

The novel is set in your typical summer beach town and if I read another sentence like "this summer everything would change" or "this summer is the summer of a lifetime", I might roll my eyes so hard that they simply get stuck in the back of my head. Nothing really happens here and I feel like Han doesn't even know herself where the plot is supposed to go. You can tell that she had her two, three characters thought out but the rest just flip-flopped like a fish on land from flashbacks to present tense and I am 50 shades of done with reading novels like this. This is a waste of time that also made me angry. I can't stand novels that give toxic vibes to teenagers, as if there isn't enough wrong with today's youth already. Having your main characters life suddenly become perfect and beautiful the second she grows boobs and looses her braces? Come on. We have enough of that in all those terrible high school romcom movies. (Plot 0/5)

While I do think that Belly is a catastrophically stupid and annoying character, I don't think it's actually dude to Han's incompetence. By the way she writes the adult characters you can tell that she isn't half bad. I'd preferred reading about Laurel and Savannah's friendship than about Belly's brother drama. (Writing 3/5) And how overdone is the "I can't choose the one over the other brother because the one is mysterious and dark and the other is nice and good!"-thing? Literally. Stop. I'm going to shoot my brains out.

There's every single cliche of a summer read in this novel, we have bonfires, parties, weird dudes to hook up with, jealousy and I wouldn't even be surprised if she gets blackout drunk in the last chapters and hooks up with one of the dudes. I didn't finish this one, because I honestly had to force myself. Again this shows that I am just not made for MG novels and probably never will be. Conrad is the only one that's halfway not boring me to death but he's just a walking cliche so I'm also conflicted about him. The dark, overprotective, superdeep, guitar-playing older brother that Belly obviously crushes on. And he also thinks she's immature, that gets the party going.Like, so totally, because, like, so hot. Can you feel me rolling my eyes? I never understood why girls that age are so obssessed with dudes that think they're 12. I mean, she does act like she's twelve, so he has a point. (Characters 1/5)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Overall: Do I Recommend?

The problematic thing about this novel isn't only the title - which I thought was a metaphor, else I would have never bought this - but also the toxic, toxic vibe.

You can't have fun if you're not pretty.
You can't have friends if you're not pretty.
Also pretty much everything sucks unless you wake up one day to a pimple-free face, C-cups and straight teeth.
Oh, and if you don't drink, you're a kid and you should go play with your barbies.

This whole thing reminds me a lot of "Love Letters To The Dead" by Ava Dellaira and yeah, if you've read that review, you know how angry I am about these kind of novels.

Let me tell you something: The second you're old enough to legally be able to do all the exciting stuff that Belly is dreading to do, you're going to want to do it. It's only exciting because it's forbidden. There's a reason it's forbidden, too. But this is a book review not a lecture so I'm just going to stop.
I know 15-year-olds are all about that but this is exactly the reason why there should be ABSOLUTELY no novels tackling this. NO. JUST NO. I don't even want to imagine how many teenagers read this, sighing to themselves why they aren't as pretty as Belly and couldn't land all the hotties that are all about her. ( )
  bookavid | Nov 26, 2014 |
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To the most important sister women in my life and especially Claire
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I say, "I can't believe you're really here."
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Belly spends the summer she turns sixteen at the beach just like every other summer of her life, but this time things are very different.

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