Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

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 anymore . . .

Isabel 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?
(from publisher's site)

What a blurb you guys :)

It's Not Summer Without You is the second book in Jenny Han's popular summer-y/romance YA contemp series *weirdly, I have no spoilers for either book in this review*

First off, I really liked the first book in the series: The Summer I Turned Pretty. It is a perfect YA beach read: It is bit fluffy and full of ANGST and DRAMA and produces the occasional 'eye-rolling moment' from me ~ but it is also incredibly charming and nostalgic and summer-y and somehow authentic to the teen voice. 

And I was oh-so-very-much looking forward to number #2 in the series. You guys, I loved it even more than the first one. It's Not Summer Without You is just as utterly compelling and deliciously addictive with it's curl-up-in-the-sun summer goodness. It ups the ante in some of the moodiness and teen drama ~ yet even when I felt characters were being slightly ridiculous (Belly is quite emotionally driven and easy to flare) I seriously could not put it down.

Despite the fun vibe of the covers (and how gorgeous are the Aussie covers?) the novel goes surprisingly deep. It is romantic and swoony, but it's also ache-y and sad and melancholic in parts.

Let's talk about the love triangle... it's between two brothers O.o and both are unique and fleshed out. Conrad and Jeremiah are so different and both are compelling as characters and love interests. I am definitely crushing on Conrad the most for Belly, but I also adore Jeremiah, which really put me in Belly's shoes, feeling a little torn. Nicely done, Jenny Han ;)

I read this book in tandem with Nic from Irresistible Reads (we started at exactly the same time and checked in live throughout the night. Guys, we were swooning and gasping and having a ridiculously good time fan-girling all over the place. We were flummoxed by certain events, hanging out for things we were so hoping would happen and also both swooning over a certain beach scene ;)

Nic also did a book boyfriend post on both Conrad and Jeremiah. ~ in which you can see she is rather taken with both boys ;)

This book also features a few random chapters from Jeremiah's POV ~ which I *crazily* loved.

Recommended: I haven't said much plot-wise, hey? The thing is, it's a gorgeous coming of age. Full of love, confusion, grief and some smiley bittersweet moments. It's a little dramatic in parts (much like watching a teen soapie) but it's an additive kind of drama, gorgeously written and heart-felt. This is for all the girly contemporary YA fans ~ good times <3

It's Not Summer Without You @ Penguin Australia
It's Not Summer Without You @ goodreads

Thank you to Penguin Australia for sending this gorgeous book my way :)


  1. Lovely review and great job giving a real feel for the book without spoilers :) I especially appreciate this as I picked up The Summer I Turned Pretty at the library this morning. The rain is pouring and the wind blowing here and I felt like a reminder of summer.

    The UK/Aussie covers are much nicer than the US ones, they really caught my eye.

  2. These are great coming of age reads. Love the beach community setting and can't wait to see who Belly finally chooses when the final book releases over here next year. I am Team Conrad! :)

  3. I have to check these out. I think I have the first one on my list actually. Had no idea there was a second one coming out. They sound just like my cuppa. :)

    Also I put your postcard of Sawtell on my bulletin board at work, for inspiration. There's a plant biology conference in Australia in 2 yrs, so if I work very hard maybe I'll get to go!!

  4. *kicks self*

    Why haven't I read these books yet? I loved Nic's MBB post on they, so HOT! And I bet it was fun to chat about them into the night. :)

    I don't think I would have expected so much achy moments, but when you are caught in the middle of two brothers, I can see it happening. *sighs* Some girls have all the luck!

  5. I adore this series. Your words ring so true. It is sweet, fluffy and the perfect beach read, but at times it's more than that. It become deep, achingly sad, and so heart felt. There's a lot of heart and this series has to hold one of the best triangles out there. For once I was unsure as to who I preferred from the two boys. That's when you know that you have an actual good triangle in play.

  6. Sounds adorable. I'm off to see the book boyfriends you mentioned.

  7. Mm, great review! I loooove the Aussie covers *wants*. I remember reading the first one a couple years back and labeling it the good-not-great, but it seems like I may have to retry this series... :o Especially cause of C&J. ♥

  8. *grins*
    Though I didn't love this series as much as everyone else, I think this one was my favorite book because it had a more solid plot.

    I liked the Jeremiah chapters, though I never particularly liked him.

    Lovely review!

    And yeah, I love the Aussie covers!

  9. I love how you sold the book without any spoilers! And oh, this series. I've heard so much. I have yet to read it yet.

    Also, did I tell you I love me some good love triangle? It's difficult to get it done correctly, but aah..

  10. Love the review Nomes. You summed it up perfectly.

    I had to laugh when I saw my face in your review. Reading this together was definitely one of my all time favourite reading experiences. I loved those moosy Conrad moments :)

  11. I've heard such good things about this series. Will definitely check it out. I just read Shug by Jenny Han, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  12. Brilliant spoiler-free reviews, girl! I love love love this series...even though I'm not a total contemporary nut :)


Thanks for the commenty love :)