Sunday, January 31, 2016


TITLEIt's Not Summer Without You (Summer#2)
AUTHOR/s: Jenny Han

PUBLICATION DATE: 1st of January, 2010

Started the month with a review of a Jenny Han book so it seems cool to end it with another one. A few weeks ago, I've reviewed The Summer I Turned Pretty - the first book of the Summer Trilogy. Though I didn't like it as much as I expected, I decided to proceed with the next books, hoping that it'll pick up eventually. Fortunately, its second part - It's Not Summer Without You - did...a bit. 

Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach? 

It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come. But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started--at Cousins Beach.

It's my first time to try a technique while reading: notes. Yeah, I know most bloggers do this kind of thing so as to help them when they're about to review. I never really though of doing it but I considered trying it for this book so that I could easily remember what my initial reactions were. As I was going through It's Not Summer Without You, I thought of putting my thoughts into paper (would've attached a snapshot of the list but my penmanship puts me to shame lol) and here are some things that went on my mind while reading:

1. "Better than book 1."
I can say that this phrase summarizes my feelings for It's Not Summer Without You. It was really much more tolerable than the first book and I'm glad. There were still some points that remained but there were also a bit of improvement (better little than none at all! :) )

2. "More emotional."
The second installment of the series was - as I've mentioned - more emotional than the first which I liked. It showcased a wide range of emotions from all the characters and it was fascinating to see how they would come up with their own different ways to cope up and deal with what they are feeling. It added a touch of humanity to the story since I managed to see myself feeling emotions that the characters have felt.

3. "Belly's still annoying but slightly more bearable (maybe I just got used to it?) She's still too immature.
Referring to #1, Belly is actually one of the characters that I thought to have improved a liiiiittle bit. Like 5% little. She still managed to make my eyes roll for more than one occasion but there were also moments when I *get* where she's coming from. Sure, she still doesn't act much like her age (not in a cute-sy way) but there were some points in the book that I thought she actually have the right to feel/act the way she did.

4. "Yay! Team Jeremiah FTW! Nice seeing Jere's POV even though it didn't really add much to the story."
I've been on Team Jeremiah from the very start and his point-of-view here was a nice addition. It made me see him on a much deeper level (and made me root for him more) It would've been nice to see a Conrad POV too but I guess with the plot, it wouldn't work too well.

5. "Nice that Conrad's shell is slightly breaking. I still don't like him, though. Feels like still a jerk."
I just really don't like Conrad. Sure, the second book kinda ground him to a level that is somewhat tolerable (like Book 2 Belly) but I wish that I could like him more. That prom scene was just simply a nightmare *sigh* Why are proms always depicted as something really romantic or just really bad?

6. "Laurel's AMAZING."
I love Laurel! She somewhat reminds me of my own mother (hi mommy! *waves*) Losing her best friend and being left to *slightly* oversee Conrad and Jeremiah must've been hard but she kept herself strong for the kids. What I loved the most about her, though, is that despite acting as the strong one, Jenny Han didn't fail to show that she's still human too. Lastly, she is just pure amazingness. Especially during her scene with Mr. Fisher. She was just like:

7. "Susannah's death was expected but it felt too abrupt. Like, BOOM, she's dead."
I dunno if it's just me or Beck's death didn't feel like it had the impact as big as it should've been; like it happened just for the sake of happening and going on with the plot. Yeah, her death probably triggered all the 'angst' and 'anger' and feelings that the characters felt but if you think of it, those feelings are already there waaaay before. The tension between Conrad-Belly-Jeremiah had always been present even when Susannah was alive. I just felt like her death was an excuse that everyone was using in order to rationalize their actions (or as I've said, maybe it's just me.)

8. "INDECISIVE Belly. Ugh. She's playing the brothers. You can't have both, girl!"
This is practically self explanatory. "Wait, I still love you, Conrad get back with me please." "No, Conrad you're a jerk. I would not love you anymore, nope." "Hey, there's Jeremiah." "Oh, I wanna kiss Jeremiah." "Oh, I AM KISSING Jeremiah." "But...Conrad." "But I like Jeremiah." "CONRAD." "JEREMIAH." 

I'll give it to her that she's still confused and the fact that Conrad's been sending mixed signals isn't helping either. But still. Her indecisiveness is kinda got old and annoying.

“My Dad used to say that with everything in life, there's the game-changing moment. The one moment everything else hinges upon, but you hardly ever know it at the time.”  -Jeremiah

"You'd rather live in a fantasy world than see people for who they really are." -Conrad

"I didn't want my love to fade away one day like an old scar. I wanted it to burn forever." -Belly

"I release you. I evict you from my heart. Because if I don't do it now, I never will." -Belly

"Because sometimes words were so pitifully inadequate, and I knew that, but I had to try anyway." -Belly

I'm actually relieved that I liked this book better than the first one (because it gives me motivation to actually proceed to the last part.) It still probably won't go down my favorites list but it's not in the bottom ladder, either. Maybe some kind of in between?

Three out of five rating for Jenny Han's It's Not Summer Without You!

3/5 Rating! :)

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