Earlier this month, I stumbled upon The Book Club run by MK, Kaylee, and Aubrey. Each month the members vote on a book to read, read the book, and then post up a review about it on the last Friday of the month. I thought this sounded like a fun idea, so I joined up. This month’s book was:
The Summer I Turned Pretty
by Jenny Han
I was on the wait-list at the library for this right up until yesterday. Luckily, it’s a fairly short and quick read. Unfortunately, it’s not one I would recommend. It follows the narrator, Belly (Isabel), through the summer she turns 16, with flashbacks to previous summers at various ages. Her family always spends the summer at a beach house with her mom’s best friend’s family, and in particular the two boys who are like brothers to her until, inevitably, they’re not. There are some interesting dynamics between all of the characters, but overall this book was pretty shallow. The serious moments where divorce or cancer are mentioned feel like afterthoughts, and really this book is just about a girl unable to make up her mind between boys and being rather annoying about it. Belly (which is a ridiculous nickname, and I can’t believe any self-respecting 16 year old would allow herself to be called that) overuses ‘like’, throws tantrums or cries when she doesn’t get her way, and is generally completely oblivious to anything except her own budding love life. Which, to be fair, is a pretty accurate depiction of most 15-16 year old girls. I just kept hoping there was something more to her, or we would see some sort of journey to maturity. But in the end this is neither a good coming of age story or a good love story. It’s just fluff.
I hope future Book Club choices have a bit more mettle to them.
I give it 2.5/5 stars.