Thursday, April 14, 2011

Book Review: We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

Pages: 288
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: April 26, 2011
E-galley from S&S GalleyGrab
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

*Read my review of The Summer I Turned Pretty
*Read my review of It's Not Summer Without You
Goodreads says, "It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever."

Belly is off at college with Jeremiah and everything is pretty status quo.  They go to parties, eat meals together, hangout with friends, and study.  It's a pretty average college experience, except Jeremiah isn't the "perfect" boyfriend that Belly thought he was going to be.  And in the back of her mind, she is always wondering about Conrad and the path she didn't take.  Jenny Han's conclusion to the Summer series, We'll Always Have Summer, is everything I'd hoped it would be and more.

If you follow my blog, you know how much I respect Han as a writer. She is, hands down, one of my favorite young adult authors. There is no one out there that gets to me like Han can. She paints a picture in my mind that comes alive. It's as if I am there experiencing it all with Belly. I want to marinate in her words and the story; it's all so breathtaking. As I was reading We'll Always Have Summer, I didn't want it to end. I savored every word. Here's one of my favorite parts that I must share:
"There are moments in every girl's life that are bigger than we know at the time.  When you look back, you say, that was one of those life-chanigng, fork-in-the-road moments and I didn't even see it coming.  I had no idea. And then there are the moments that you know are big.  That whatever you do next, there will be an impact.  Your life could go one of two directions. Do or die." (E-galley page 300)
The characters in the Summer series are incredible. I love Belly and I think she really grows in this book. She's faced with situations, once again, that make her stop and think.  Although I didn't always agree with Belly's actions in this novel, I could see where she was coming from. She's still growing up and figuring things out.  

Of course Cousins Beach is in this story and just like the other books in this series, the setting becomes so significant that it develops into a character itself.  I adore Han's descriptions of the beach and how she makes the beach house important to all the characters, but in different ways. Of course the memories and flashbacks to their childhood always break my heart, because it feels like I was part of them too.

For the record, Conrad has always been my favorite, but I could see why Belly was attracted to Jeremiah. I will admit that I was even partial to Conrad when he was a moody mess. What can I say? I'm a total sucker for the bad boy type.  Also, I loved how Conrad and Belly connected in this novel and truly developed an even stronger friendship.  And to continue my swoon-fest, I love how Han ended the novel. I was happy with the ending and sobbing as I flipped the final page.  On one hand I was elated as I approved of the ending, but on the other hand, I was so sad! It was like saying goodbye to a childhood friend. I didn't want the series to be over, but just like the season of summer itself, I knew I had to say goodbye and I did so with a smile on my face. 

It's kind of hard to review this book, because I don't want to give anything away, but you must drop what you are doing and go get We'll Always Have Summer or the entire series if you haven't read it. You will fall in love with every word.  As I finished the last page, my heart was pounding and I realized I was changed by this book and by this series.  Han's Summer series is a story that I will never forget.  It has made a lasting impression on me.

*Conrad or Jeremiah? Take the quiz!


  1. I'm a total sucker for the bad boy type as well, moody or no:) I haven't read any of this series yet and I need to fix that, these books sound amazing! So glad each book in the series seems to satisfy and nothing seems to get old or forced. Fabulous review Christina!

  2. I am sooooo excited to read this one! I also loved the first two Summer books, tho' I'm more Team Jeremiah than Team Conrad :o) Cannot wait to get my hands on this!!!

  3. I had never heard of this series. Great Fab Review!

  4. Can't wait! I gobbled up the first two books! I'm shipping Conrad and Belly but maybe this will change my mind :o

  5. For everyone who has not read this series! Drop everything your doing go to the shops buy this serious snuggle down with a hot chocolate or coffee and read them!!! Most amazzing books i've read Jenny Han is easily my favourite writer and i applaud her on her writing skills! I can NOT wait for this book to come out in Australia

  6. Theese books were amazing! I just finished 'We'll Always Have Summer' and i learned so much from it. All three books were just fantastic. Me and my close friend enjoyed reading and discussing the books. I highly reccomend it!

  7. I read the book, but for some reason the epilogue wasn't there, and like Taylor would say I NEED CLOSURE! So does anyone know if there's a way of reading like.. just the epilouge? It could be a download of the book and then I just skip it all until the epilogue.. idk, I just know I need to read it :(

  8. I read the book, but for some reason the epilogue wasn't there.. does anyone know if there's a way of reading it? I need closure!! I love Conrad, always have, Jeremiah was just a crappy brother. Anyhow, I need the epilogue!! HELP!

  9. I'm #TeamConrad all the way. He's a total mess, but I can relate to his character and understand why he act the way he do. His mom have cancer and she died. Everyone grieves differently and some, even longer. It was all too much for Conrad... then here comes along Belly, NEVER once considering that Conrad was hurting. I love Belly, but she was too immature for him, especially in the first and second book, She didn't even try to understand him. She was all me, me, ME! I, also, don't agree with a lot of her choices, but I get it, she was younger then-- She was a kid. She wore her heart on her sleeve and acted rationally... I, do, love that, by the third book, she grew up a bit. However, I love, love Jeremiah character and personality. I love everything about him, but right away, I knew he wasn't the one, the one for Belly. They have this amazing chemistry and friendship. He love Belly, but she have always love Conrad and dated him first and had Belly and he got together, that relationship would sour, and it did... not just because he cheated on her, but, because she STILL SECRETLY LOVES CONRAD, it had always been Conrad.

  10. Team Jeremiah here. I almost didn't read the third book because I had a feeling Han was going to leave me completely disappointed...and I was right. Jere was always there for her for her entire life and loved her. Then Han completely changed his character in the third book trying to force us to go back to hoping Conrad would win her back. It made me mad that an author takes a beautiful character and turns a 180.


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