Jenny Han tells life of teenage girl in “The Summer I Turned Pretty”


Allison Little

Overdone. Jenny Han writes “The Summer I turned Pretty.” I believe this story is overly common and overdone.

“The Summer I Turned Pretty” is a fictional romance book written by Jenny Han. This book was turned into a show that is available on Amazon Prime Video. 

This book follows the story of a girl named Belly who goes to her summer beach house after she finally turns pretty. The girl stays at the beach house with her mom, brother, her mom’s best friend and her mom’s best friend’s two sons. 

The main character tells her multiple love stories and what it is like to be a pretty girl in a small beach town. She meets a boy named Cam who she went on multiple dates with, but we soon find out he is not the boy she really likes. The plot is about Belly’s life and her romance story. I dislike this book. 

Jenny Han is also the author of “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”. I also really disliked this book. Jenny Han does her best to write books that appeal to teenage girls, but she really has no idea what being a teenager is like. The main character in this book was obnoxious and made terrible decisions. The plot of her books are good, but her writing style and character choices completely ruin any joy someone would get from reading her books. 

The chapters in “The Summer I Turned Pretty” were way too short. This is just my personal preference, but when authors write chapters that are around three pages, it completely interrupts the flow of the book. I feel like I am being interrupted by a new chapter every second while reading this book. 

A love triangle is one of the worst love tropes for a book. The whole idea of love triangles just makes me think I am going to be frustrated the whole time I’m reading the book. The constant fighting between the two boys was very annoying for the reader. Not to mention there were three main love interests in total in this book. Three love interests is way too many for that short of a book. 

Even though there were three love interests, every relationship seemed very forced. It was very unbelievable any of those relationships would ever work out in real life. 

Throughout the entire book, the main character was annoying. Her decision making skills were terrible, and Jenny Han wrote her so that she had absolutely no common sense. Belly, the main character, was a mean and spoiled sister, daughter, girlfriend and friend. Without a likable main character, the book is often hard to read. 

Not only was the main character annoying, but so was her best friend Taylor. Taylor was a terrible person who was rude to Belly on her birthday and was a very unlikable person. This also made the book hard to read because Taylor was such an important part of the book. 

Even after an entire book of cringy teenage romance, one of the only likable characters had a sad ending. This character having a sad ending was completely unnecessary and only saddened what was supposed to be a relatively happy book. 

However, the book did have a good general idea for the plot. The setting of the book was set in an interesting place that had lots of potential to be a great book. Although, a setting and plot can not make a good book by themselves. The book could have been great, but Jenny Han did not do a good idea writing it. 

When I first watched the show, I actually enjoyed it. So I was very sad when I read the book. I was very disappointed to find the plot differs so greatly from the show to the book. Many of the main events in the show were amazing, but they weren’t even in the book. 

“The Summer I Turned Pretty” had lots of potential, but it did not live up to my expectations. If I were to rate this book out of five stars, I would give it two stars.