we'll always have summer
Simon & Schuster, 2011
Oh. My. Goodness.
Last summer I read (and reviewed) the first two books in Jenny Han's Summer series. I loved them. I loved the whole story, and the way Han presented it - I never knew what was coming next, but it always turned out to be just what I wanted. It's like she could read my mind (or else she's a very, very good writer and can manipulate my mind to go in the exact direction it should be going)! When I found out there was a third, and final, installment to the story of Belly and the Fisher boys, I knew it was going to be a bittersweet read. I love these characters, and while I wanted to know how the story ended, saying goodbye was going to be hard. (And it was. I may or may not have actually teared up during the last chapter. For happy reasons, of course). Without going into too much plot detail - because this is a book, a whole series, you have got to read for yourself - let me just make some general comments.
I have always loved Jeremiah - he's fun and laughable, very much like a half-grown puppy. But in the beginning of we'll always have summer, he was kind of a jerk - I wanted to slap some sense into him. Sense does come, btw, you just have to wait it out. Conrad's in the story - of course! - and has actually grown up a lot. The arrogance that got on my nerves in it's not summer without you has been outgrown, and I found him an enjoyable character again. Still a little odd, but enjoyable. Belly...oh Belly, you've grown so much - and you're still finding yourself, but you're doing much better. I feel almost big sisterly towards Belly, wanting to help her see her own value and worth, and point out that she doesn't have to take the crap she does at times. But she's growing too - they all are. And it's an amazing story.
Just do yourself a favor, and if you haven't read any of these books yet: Check them all out, and read them in order. Also, do what I forced myself to do and do not flip ahead and read the ending. My efforts were rewarded with a much greater sense of gratification and delight from reading through (all three) from beginning to end without "peeking." That is all.
Book provided by my local library.