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IT’S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU by Jenny Han

IT’S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU

By Jenny Han

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 27th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-9555-5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Isabel (Belly) struggles to regain her equilibrium after the death of her mother’s best friend Susannah in this sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty (2009). It is becoming clear that nothing will ever be the same. The net of loss and grief thrown over Belly, her mother and Susannah’s boys holds them all together even as its folds separate them. The romantic relationship between Conrad, Susannah’s elder boy, and Belly, his longtime admirer, fails under the weight of sorrow, while at the same time Conrad’s brother Jeremiah tries to conceal his feelings for Belly. When Belly returns with Jeremiah to the beach house where the families spent every summer, she is caught up in an awkward conflict over the fate of this special place. Though the story takes place in just under a week, Han artfully weaves together Belly’s and Jeremiah’s back stories, recent and long past, to create a solid fabric of relationship and longing. Flashes of humor, realistic (and often salty) dialogue and growing-up moments both painful and authentic create a convincing and poignant read. (Fiction. YA)