Title: It's Not Summer Without You
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
Last year, all of Belly's dreams came true and the thought of missing a summer in Cousins Beach was inconceivable. But like the rise and fall of the ocean tide, things can change-just like that. Suddenly the time she's always looked forward to most is something she dreads. And when Jeremiah calls to say Conrad has disappeared, Belly must decide how she will spend this summer: chasing after the boy she loves, or finally letting him go.
It's Not Summer Without You is the second book in the Summer trilogy and so far I've really enjoyed this series. On the outside, it looks like you're picking up a fun, light summer read but what you get is a deep, heart-wrenching story about first love and loss and everything in between.
What I love most about this book is the raw, honest emotions that come from teenagers who are going through the hardest time of their short lives so far. We are able to read all of Belly's thoughts, her stupid mistakes and the over analyzing of every word that Conrad says to her. It really takes me back to when I was a teenager and I used over think everything that my friends would say to me. Like all the world is out to get you.
I also felt torn throughout the whole book when it came to Conrad and Belly's relationship. Part of me wanted her to accept the breakup and move on because he was a jerk to her for practically the entire book. But then I would remember why he was being so withdrawn and self-centered and he just needed her to give him time to open up when he was ready. But, of course, nothing works out or ends how you want it to and neither of those two scenarios happened.
Another theme that is so relevant to Young Adult books and teens in general is change. Change is hard to accept, but since it's always going to be a part of life, it's something that needs to be learned. Everything changes for the characters of the Summer trilogy and we see how each deal with the challenge of grieving and accepting loss differently.
New information is also revealed and Belly's feelings are possibly swayed towards another important figure in her life. It's Not Summer Without You continues the story of Belly, Conrad and Jeremiah. Though it ended differently than I would have hoped, it was still a very good, yet sad, read. I've enjoyed reading the Summer trilogy so far!