As we all know, despite the stacks of books teetering on my night stand, despite the oodles waiting patiently in my Nook and on Net Galley, I have a tendency to reread books over and over again. It’s a thing for me, like an illness. This week it’s a book I love from a series I love:
It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
I’ve probably read this book at least five times. I recently read the entire series at the end of summer, getting annoyed with Belly, with Conrad, sighing and smiling and swooning in all the same parts. Last week though, I let my twelve-year-old daughter read the first book, which I was confident she could read without there being anything too risqué for her sweet little eyes. She, of course, loved it (even though she’s not super-duper into swoon yet) and wanted to read book 2. I had to do a quick re-read (yes, that’s re-read number two since August or September) to make sure. I definitely think it’s a little mature for my daughter at this point, but holy moley, I love this series!
I love Belly. I love Conrad (even though I also hate him at times, especially in the first two books) and I love Jeremiah. You know who else I sometimes hate? Taylor. Taylor the BFF who just doesn’t get it. And I am absolutely in love with Laurel (Belly’s mom) and, obviously, with Susannah and this beautiful, life-long friendship those two have. There is something so magical about the summers Belly spends a the beach house with the Fisher family, so innocent and heartbreaking about her love for them, about the sense of belonging she gets from Susannah’s love. I could seriously dive into this book again and again. And I will continue to do so.
Kissing him, being with him like that…it was cool lemonade with a long straw, sweet and measured and pleasurable in a way that felt infinite. The thought crossed my mind that I never wanted him to stop kissing me. I could do this forever, I thought.
I will never forget the first time I read that line. I had to call Vee immediately and read it to her because I thought it was THAT GOOD. She, thankfully, gets my crazy.
We get to read chapters from Jeremiah’s perspective. You gotta love Jere.
Summery beachiness (I love books that take place during summer and/or at the beach. I can’t explain it. It must be the California Girl in me).
So have you read this series? If not, you should jump on it. Han is a beautiful writer with characters so flawed and human and richly vivid. Her prose is sweet, but no too flowery, and most importantly, the story is good. It feel authentic, like these could be people you actually know (or they could be you!). Check it out!