This novel is the 2nd in “The Summer I Turned Pretty” trilogy. If you haven’t read the first book yet, I would suggest you not read this review since I will be talking about content that is happening after the first book and might spoil you.
It’s Not Summer Without You picks up starting at the summer after the first book. There are two major plot twists… I actually spoiled myself by reading the summary on the back, but it’s no big deal because the two plot twists are actually revealed very early on in the book. Susannah passed away & Conrad and Belly are no longer dating. The majority of this novel focuses on Jeremiah and Belly’s attempt to bring Conrad back. But again, Belly is faced with the question, who is she in love with? Jeremiah, the sweet best friend who’s always been by her side, or Conrad, her first love?
Once again, I liked the back and forth flashbacks that was also implemented in this book. It made me curious, I wanted to know what happened between Conrad and Belly to the point where they are now. As for the pace, although the present timing of the novel is really only a few days, I felt like the pacing in this one was pretty good. Another part I liked is how Belly makes a choice in this book. I won’t spoil WHO she chooses, but she does. I don’t LOVE her decision, but I loved that she did.
I also really liked the dynamics of the different characters. New POVs are also seen in this book, not only Belly’s narrations.
I was in terrifying shock when Belly woke up from her dream in the beginning of the book and announced Susannah’s death. You can’t just kill of a character between books and casually mention it in the beginning of the sequel. It was just too much for me to handle at once… first Conrad and Belly aren’t together (we only even saw them together together for like a few pages), then we find out Susannah is dead. It was just shocking and a little intense for something considered a light read. Nevertheless, I got the closure and explanations I needed with Susannah’s death as the flashbacks revealed the moments leading up to it.
This series is remaining steady for me throughout the 2nd book. Although I would still categorize it as a light summer read, I would say the 2nd book is a little more “intense” compared to the first one. In this novel, I felt a higher connection for the characters. I wish that we would get more insight into the “in-betweens” of the summer though, but I get that the novels are supposed to only take place in the summer. Jenny Han’s writing remains very sweet throughout this book as well. Therefore, the second book of this novel also receives a 4/5 stars from me.
Nevertheless, I am excited to start the final book of this trilogy and will be back to let you know my real final thoughts of this series. Thanks for reading my review! Hope you enjoyed.