Mundie Moms

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han / Flashback Friday: Audiobook Review

By: Jenny Han
Narrator: Jessica Almsay
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Released on: April 6, 2010
Series: The Summer I Turned Pretty #1
Purchase from: audibleAmazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | iBooks | Book Depository
Add it to: Goodreads
Rating: 4 stars - I enjoyed it

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along. 

UK edition

SaveSaveAh summer, when my TBR is filled with contemporary books. How many of you are like me and own this series, but somehow other newer reads always bump up ahead of it? I decided that it's languished on my shelves for far too long, so this week, I buddy-read it with my teen daughter. I highly recommend reading this with someone just because (trust me on this), you will need to talk to someone about it.

Belly is exactly the type of character you imagined from reading the synopsis. She is the quiet, forgotten, tag-a-long to the boys' adventures. Jenny throws in a nice dose of flashbacks, so that the relationships evolve logically and insta-love is pretty much non-existent. The long, hot summer timeline gives relationships plenty of time to come together and fall apart and change in the most realistic of ways. For example, the friendship between the two mothers is so realistic and lovely in its layers that you actually begin to think wait, do I know them in real life?

I've read plenty of love triangles, but in Jenny's hands, this particular push-pull set of relationships is unbelievably real. I found myself rooting for both boys at different times in the story. I even understood bad boy Conner. I didn't want to like him, and yet, I couldn't help it. Belly, girl, I completely get you.

Summer days are long and this is a book you can finish in two trips to the pool. Belly's story has a depth you won't expect and that merited an extra star in its rating. The last quarter of the book is a page-turner which ends (no spoiler, but you've been warned) in a cliffhanger to end all (WHATOHNOWHAT) cliffhangers. So, get the sequel ready.

A quick aside on the audiobook, I would rate it at about 2.5-3 stars. The performance of the narrator makes the book feel like you're reading an elementary-age story. I found her overly dramatic, high-pitched and slow delivery distracting and frankly, a lot easier to take at 1.25 speed (at which her reading pace sounded normal to my ears). I won't be listening to books 2 and 3, but I have them in paperback and I've already started book 2 and boy, does it start off with a bang. My heart has yet to recover.


  1. I read this when it was on Pulseit/Rivited, and I thought it was a very sweet story. I don't know how I feel about that love triangle. Maybe that is what is keeping me from finishing the series.

    1. Really Sam? I love a well written love triangle, and this one works for me because I find it believable. I get her long-time crush on Conrad, and how she feels Jermeiah is more like a buddy. The second book starts off with a bang. I'm now half-way through it.

  2. I loved the characters in this book and the sweetness that is Belly Fisher. I loved the descriptions of the summer house and the days that never wanted to end. I just wish it wouldn't have ending so abruptly. It's like the editor sliced it in the wrong spot or something and just wants us to read the next books. Well, I would've read them anyway, but I like my endings a little sweeter.

    1. LOL! I felt the same way re: the ending!! Did you follow up with book 2 immediately? I had to know what happened!!!

  3. Lovely review Sophie :D So glad you liked this book. <3 Not for me, sigh. I hate love triangles, haha :D But so glad you enjoyed this one :) Thank you for sharing. <3

    1. Thank you for reading it, Carina! I feel the same way about insta-love triangles. But, this one made sense only because the three of them have known each other literally all their lives. And it begged that age old question regarding friendship and love -- could it ever mix?