Tag Archives: Jenny Han

It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

Overview
It's Not Summer Without You : Jenny Han : 9780141330556

Title: It’s Not Summer Without You
Author: Jenny Han
Series: Summer #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, Contemporary, Young adult
Dates read: 23rd – 24th December 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: “It’s my prom.”

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Synopsis

When something is perfect, you hope it never ends…

Isabel’s lazy, long hot summers at her family friends’ beach house are over.

Conrad – sexy and unavailable – is the only boy she’s ever loved. He’s left for college, taking her heart with him. Jeremiah, his gorgeous brother, is still Isabel’s best friend – but maybe friendship isn’t enough for him any more…

Isbael just wants everything to stay the same, because change means moving on. But if she stops looking back, will she find a future she never knew she wanted?

Thoughts

I’m very on the fence about this novel. Belly is a bit of a selfish pain. I thought that in The Summer I Turned Pretty but felt that she’d grown up a little by the end of it. And then I started this, and it felt like we were right back where we started. It wasn’t so painful that I had to put the book down, and I’ll still read the final book in the trilogy (because I really want to know which brother she ends up with), but it’s the kind of trilogy that I need a good gap between readings.

The most difficult thing I think I found about this story is the idea of a girl being between two brothers. Love triangles often aren’t my favourite trope, I just can’t understand them in my own little reality. But when the love triangle involves two brothers? That just feels wrong and cruel. I mean, I know that it even happens in real life… but still… how can you kiss one brother and then the other?

Aside from the weird love triangle stuff and immaturity, I did seriously feel for Belly throughout this. Losing someone is always tough, and this story really highlighted the ways in which grief shows in all of us differently. And that there is no right or wrong way to deal with losing somebody. Actually, I think that the way in which Han dealt with this issue and plucked at the heartstrings is why I bought up the rating which I gave this novel.

All in all, this isn’t a book or series that I would give away, because the potential for rereading it far into the future is there. But, it’s also not a series or novel that I’m going to dive into picking up again and again. Maybe when I was younger, and could relate to Belly a little more… but as an adult? She’s kind of frustrating…

<- The Summer I Turned PrettyWe’ll Always Have Summer ->

Image source: BookDepository

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Overview
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han – review | Children's books | The  Guardian

Title: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han
Series: Summer #1
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, Contemporary, Young adult
Dates read: 19th October 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: But there they were, dunking one another for all it was worth.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Every year Isbael spends a perfect summer at her family friends’ house.

There’s the swimming pool at night, the private stretch of beach – and the two boys.

Conrad – unavailable, aloof –
who she’s been in love with forever.
Jeremiah – friendly, relaxed –
the only one who’s ever really paid her any attention.

But this year something is different. They seem to have noticed her for the first time. It’s going to be an amazing summer… and one she’ll never forget.

Thoughts

This is a fairly typical teenager story. It’s a little angsty, it’s about coming of age and discovering oneself. And it’s fairly self-centred all in all. Which to me, is what a lot of teenagers / teenage stories are like. I mean, the name of the book in itself gives that fact away. It’s also an incredibly sweet story and a reminder of my own summers when I was growing up and figuring out just who I was. Making it a seriously enjoyable and easy read (which is exactly what I wanted at the time).

Don’t get me wrong, “Belly” tends to annoy me a little bit in patches throughout this story. She is kind of whiney. And although I sort of get it, I mean, she’s constantly left out by the other three… I also sometimes wanted to reach through the pages of the book, and just clip her over the head. Tell her to get over herself and find someone who did want to spend time with her. She does eventually do this, and the whiney annoyance did eventually disappear. But there were moments of “oh girl”.

I completely picked who the end love interest would be in this story. Although, some of the bumps along the way were a little unanticipated. And even though it was completely predictable, I did actually like who she ended up with. They somehow work together (I think) and I’ll be interested to see how things unfold in the next story. Particularly when you already know which character will be missing, and how it’s going to be a little bit sad…

I do love that throughout this story Belly goes through a pretty good transformation. Alright, she starts this with suddenly being “pretty” (barf). But it’s that internal one that I actually really enjoyed. She manages to figure out just who she is (which helps her win the boy). And she also learns to be less selfish, more able to think about others. Which, ultimately is what I really look forward to in a teenage characters’ growth.

<- More Jenny HanIt’s Not Summer Without You ->

Image source: The Guardian

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Overview
Image result for always and forever, lara jean book cover

Title: Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #3
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, Contemporary, Easy reading, Romance, Young adult
Dates read: 28th June – 24th July 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Scholastic
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: We three probably won’t ever live in the same house together again.

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Synopsis

Life is good for Lara Jean.

She is head over heels in love, her dad’s finally getting remarried and her sister Margot is coming home for the summer.

But change is looming. And Lara Jean can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make – where she goes to college for one. Because that would mean leaving her family – and possibly the boy she loves – behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Thoughts

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the last book in this trilogy. P.S. I Still Love You annoyed me in a number of places, so I thought that I probably needed to take a break from Jenny Han’s writing. But, recently I felt that stirring on interest again and I picked up this book. I’m really glad that I did. There was a nice sense of completion in this story that you didn’t get from P.S. I Still Love You. And it was a nice way to send Lara Jean off to adulthood and college…

As someone who had a high school sweetheart at the end of school, I understand how confusing it can be to decide whether or not to stay together when you’re both going your separate ways. I did a bit of a Margot in that I decided that I wasn’t going to University with a boyfriend. But, I also wasn’t in love with him like Lara Jean is with Peter. She’s very realistic about their immaturity and the likelihood of surviving a long-distance relationship. But she’s also unwilling to give up someone she loves so dearly and truly. It was something that was relatable I think to anyone who experienced the first gleanings of love when they’re a teenager.

I’m not used to softer heroines in the stories that I read. Mostly they’re women who are incredibly tough, unwilling to let others in and really not willing to give up anything for the men that they love. So it was a very different change of pace to read about a young woman who was actually willing to alter her plans in life to suit a man. Although, as a wonderful redemption, she doesn’t actually do this in the end, but finds a nice compromise for both of them. It’s a nice way to finish up a series that is all about finding yourself and first love – it doesn’t have to end, and it doesn’t have to be all about the boy, you can find a compromise in everything.

If you’re looking for a feel good, easy read, then this is definitely the book and the series to pick up. There are moments when you really want to see what silly decisions the characters make next, but nothing immensely drastic and uncomfortable. Just enough spice to keep you turning the pages, but not enough that you can’t sleep at night if you have left the book unfinished. It certainly left me with plenty of comfortable, happy feelings when I turned the final page. And now I’m looking forward to picking up another of Jenny Han’s books to give my something the same comfortable feelings of contentment.

 <- P.S. I Still Love You ReviewTo All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Overview
P.S. I Still Love You

Title: P.S. I Still Love You
Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, Contemporary, Easy readingRomance
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: Peter’s right.

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Synopsis

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

They had just been pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

Then another boy from her past returns to her life, and Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too.

Can a girl be in love with two boys at the same time?

Thoughts

The first half of this book I absolutely loved. It continued to build on the themes and storyline from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. It starts with Lara Jean and Peter beginning their own relationship and actually making a go of it. You know straight away that Gen is going to be an issue (after all, she’s the perfect teenage girl antagonist), but at the beginning it works really well. And then I started to get frustrated…

I enjoy Lara Jean’s confusion at the two boys – John and Peter. When you’re going through puberty and just discovering what it’s like to date boys, it can be incredibly confusing. And when more than one guy shows an interest in you, it’s hard not to return the favours. Regardless of the circumstances. The love triangle also helps to add a little spice to the story as things go from sweet to rocky in her relationship.

The reason that this story frustrated me so much was the second half. Lara Jean takes control of her relationship and life, and puts her foot down on the ways that she should be treated. And then she goes back to the guy that isn’t treating her right. It almost made me scream. I understand it to a degree, and part of me still loves Peter (although that may mostly be because of the movie), but it is kind of sending a message that people can treat you however they want. I know it’s something that I would never stand for, and I would hope that my friends and loved ones would have a little more self-respect under similar circumstances. Hopefully this will all make sense in Always and Forever, Lara Jean.

 <- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before ReviewAlways and Forever, Lara Jean Review ->
Image source: Simon & Schuster

To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Overview
To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, ContemporaryEasy readingRomance
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: To me!

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Synopsis

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her.

They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved – five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secrets letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

Thoughts

I absolutely loved the Netflix movie of this. It left me with such a happy, little feel good moment after I finished it. So I figured that the book (and as I soon found out the trilogy) would be an interesting read. And, since I finished it in one sitting, and then bought every other Jenny Han book that I could find, it was certainly an enjoyable read.

This was an easy, simple, happy read that made me incredibly happy. It was just a nice journey through a sixteen year old’s mind as she tries to navigate the trials of falling in love, becoming an adult and just generally dealing with other people. Because, as it becomes incredibly obvious throughout To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, people can seriously suck! Although, there are also moments that really remind you how awesome they can be as well. Especially Lara Jean’s relationship with her family. She obviously dearly loves her father – she constantly calls him Daddy (I actually found the constant referral, even in front of others of ‘Daddy’ to be quite annoying). She has a great relationship with her sisters. She misses Margot dearly when she’s gone and spends a lot of time with Kitty.

For as much as the relationships in this cute little romance are realistic, it’s the sisterhood bond that I loved the most. There is so much love in every moment. But there is also a lot of vindictiveness and pettiness. I have a sister. We love each other till the ends of the earth. But we would also do and say horrible things to each other. After all, we are stuck with each for the rest of our lives… and when you are with someone day in and day out, you get to a point that you kind of want to kill each other… and in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before it’s that exact revenge-driven, love you emotion that only a sister can understand that starts the entire saga.

 <- Always and Forever, Lara Jean ReviewP.S. I Still Love You Review ->
Image source: Amazon