Wednesday, June 26, 2013

We'll Always Have Summer - Jenny Han

[This is the third book of the Summer series, so there may be spoilers for books one and two. If you haven't yet started the series, you can hop over and read my review of The Summer I Turned Pretty (Book 1) or It's Not Summer Without You (Book 2) instead.]

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
Series: Summer #3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Publication Date: April 26, 2011
Source/Format: Borrowed from the library || Paperback

It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever. (from Goodreads)

We’ll Always Have Summer. The title alone evokes nostalgia and sentimentality. While this book is peppered with both things, it is also the one of the books I’ve read that inspired a tidal wave of emotion (and frantic texting to Ginger, who talked me through it). I was never certain how this series would end, or if I’d even like the ending (because I was so invested and could foresee only one end) – but I’m happy to report that I did like the way things were brought to a close.

When the book begins, I was surprised to discover that Belly, Jeremiah and Conrad are now all in college. Of the characters, Conrad is my favorite person in this book. (Though let’s be honest, I’ve always loved Conrad, much like Belly.) Readers get so much more insight into his thoughts and the rationale behind his actions. While it was a pleasure, it was also bittersweet and quite heartbreaking to know what he’d been thinking and experiencing and feeling all along. Obviously, this book reminded me why I loved him, as well as giving me even more reason to.

Having finished the last book with the knowledge that Conrad was letting Belly go and allowing Jeremiah to be with her, I wasn’t too surprised to see them happy together. I thought it was really sweet, if I’m being honest, and it felt very right. I was never really rooting for Jeremiah in the books, but I could understand what Belly had with him and why she loved him as she did.

But then, something major happens. When it’s first mentioned, I had to stop and read the passage again just to confirm it. Jeremiah does something surprising, and I honestly found it out of character. However, after much thought, it does seem like a (remote) possibility considering his free-spirited, sociable nature. (I’m not excusing what he did, by any means. I’m just trying to find a logical explanation for it.)

This isn’t, however, the only major event in the book. There’s a bunch of them, actually, and I think that’s part of what had me so emotionally riotous as I read. I’m not going to spoil anything for you guys, but I will tell you this: I often felt like I was in a spin cycle while I was reading. I’d be extremely happy, then very depressed, and utterly confused and a whole bunch of other things. Reading this book was such an emotional experience, and I’m sincerely glad I didn’t go through it alone.

In the end, the book boils down to Belly finally making her choice – will it be Jeremiah or will it be Conrad? It’s been a question that’s haunted each book before, and I was on tenterhooks waiting to see what would happen. Honestly, there were times when I read through chapters fast because of my eagerness to reach the end; and then there were times when I read through them slowly to savor them and to avoid finding out what she chose. Either way, someone would be heartbroken and I just could not stand it.

(She does choose at the end. And I’m personally pleased with who she chose and how that choice is played out.)

Han masterfully crafted her Summer series in a way that stole my heart, and the hearts of many other readers. The books are carried on the shoulders of real characters that you wish you could know in real life, a beach house that marks the summers (and that you wish you could visit) and a story that threatens to have you smiling like crazy and crying like a baby. Jenny Han’s Summer series is one of my favorite contemporary YA series, and I’m so glad that I was finally able to read We’ll Always Have Summer and find out what happens to Belly, Conrad and Jeremiah.

6 comments:

  1. <3!!! Always here for emotional book support. Especially when it involves THIS book series.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The ending was pretty good and a nice conclusion to this series. Yes, I'm happy with her choice too, lol. Great review!

    Vi
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMG THIS SERIES. Alexa, I love it. Conrad Fisher makes me DIE. Being in his head in this book was heartbreaking while also being the ultimate in SWOONY. Because Conrad feels things so strongly!
    I was surprised at Jeremiah's actions, too, and have always been rooting for Conrad, but I can certainly understand the draw of Jeremiah's brightness. I really did love both of them, but I'm happy with the choice Belly (UGH hate that nickname) makes in the end.
    I'm so glad that you read this series, Alexa, and that you had Ginger to support you!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had issues with this book... And while I do agree with who Belly ended up with in the end, I sorta felt cheated by how everything played out and was suprised by Jeremiah's actions and Belly's acceptance of them as well.
    I did really like the series as a whole, but I don't know, part of me just wished this book would have been different, I loved the first two books a lot more.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I sounds so negative... I did love the Conrad chapters!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yay! I'm so glad you loved it! And I was soooo happy with the choice. For me, it could ONLY go that way. :) Great review, Alexa!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...