The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han Turns Out to Be Cringey at Best

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han Turns Out to Be Cringey at Best

Keelyn Chroniger, Contributor

As a romance novel enthusiast, it is not often I come across a romance book I dislike, but The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han is not on my list of recommendations.

The book is the first of a three-part series, most of which is told from the main character Belly’s point of view. Every year, Belly and her family travel to Cousin’s beach to live out the summer with her mother’s best friend’s family. Her mother’s best friend (Susanah) has two sons, Jeremiah (Belly’s summer BFF) and Conrad (Belly’s full-time crush). Belly always thought she was seen as a sister from the boys’ point of view, until this year something shifted. She figures it is now or never to confesses her feelings, but some things just never go how they are planned.

I really enjoy a childhood friends to lover’s trope, and the concept of this novel is darling, but the execution left me constantly cringing. Belly’s character is whiny, and I would love to say that there is some sort of character development for her throughout the book, but she never fails to disappoint.

Many of the scenes are written awkwardly and almost always end in Belly crying or saying something completely out of line. Conrad’s character is supposed to be the brooding older brother, but he just comes off as mean and insensitive. I see where Jenny Han was going, but I really do believe she missed the mark.

If you are looking for a series to waste your time while filling that craving for summer drama, this is perfect. Otherwise, this series was a struggle to get through and made me want to recoil into the ground.