book reviews ⓞⓝⓔ: The Summer I turned Pretty, Golden
by The Dreamer
Hey guys I’m feeling really bloggish today so I’m going to blog some of my recent reads, for the past week or so! It’s going to be a collective review because I’m way too lazy to update my goodreads so I only rate it, and not review the books. But I’m going to start having the habits on writing my own opinions so here we gooooo~
First up, we have:
THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY
The Summer I Turned Pretty was one of those books you read with a chill tune in your ear and the summer breeze tousling your hair. And it was surprisingly good.
Basically the story is about Belly, who looks forward immensely to her summers. This year is her pivoting point as she finally gets contacts and looks slightly more attractive. Belly, her mom and her brother stay at Susannah’s beach house. What Belly really looks forward to is the warmth from the sun and from the love Susannah provides her with, and of course, there’s Conrad and Jeremiah, who she has conflicted feelings for (both of them, ahem.) It’s a book of summer romance, and perhaps so much more.
I had thought it would be another one of those chick-lit with the expected endings (guy-girl-guy triangle, explosion of kissing, wowee mmmm, ends up with hotter guy that ignores her at the start of the book and dumps the cute boy that actually cares about her). Yes, it was generally all of that (not trying to spoil anything for y’all, but it’s kind of obvious right?) but it was so much more.
Belly, admittedly, sounded kind of childish and too immature for my liking, but it could be overlooked with the little bumps in the plot that made you look forward to what was happening. Jenny Han wrote in a way that made you feel something. It was not impressive, but it stirred emotions within you. Butterflies, electricity and all that.
So moving back to the characters. Conrad was wayy too cliche. He harbours a dark secret and it brews to negative feelings. He pushes everyone away and Belly somehow wants to break that. Jeremiah, on the other hand, was absolutely adorable. I really liked the contrast between the two characters though. How Jeremiah was open and sewed his heart on his sleeve and how Conrad bottled everything up. The friendship between Belly and Jeremiah was also terribly cute.
However, if this book seems very materialistic to you, you have to read on. I actually teared up at the back part, where the secrets are revealed.
*SPOILER ALERT* Susannah has cancer. This kind of speeds up the entire summer. Messes up everyone’s feelings and relationships. Makes Belly more confused and upset than ever.
Trust me, it may not be a four or five star book , but it is one worth reading.
She stepped toward the boys, hesitant, and my mother backed away. Susannah held out her arms and Jeremiah fell right in, and even though he was so much bigger than she was, he looked small. Blood from his face smeared over the front of her dress, but they didn’t pull away. He cried like In hadn’t heard him cry since Conrad had accidentally closed the car door on his hand years and years ago. Conrad had cried just as hard as Jeremiah had that day, but this day he didn’t. He let Susannah touch his hair, but he didn’t cry.
I reached for him, to hug him, and he shuddered, and something seemed to break inside of him. He
began to cry, really cry, but quietly. We cried together, our shoulders shaking and shuddering with the
weight of all of it. We cried like that for a long time. When we stopped, he let go of me and wiped his nose.
“Scoot over,” I said.
He scooted closer to the wall, and I stretched my legs out next to him. “I’m sleeping in here, okay,”
I said, but it wasn’t a question.
Jeremiah nodded and we slept like that, in our clothes on top of the comforter. Even though we
were older, it felt just the same. We slept face-to-face, the way we used to.
“Sometimes it’s like people are a million times more beautiful to you in your mind. It’s like you see them through a special lens—but maybe if it’s how you see them,that’s how they really are.It’s like the whole tree falling in the forest thing.”
― Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty
Next up, we have:
Just wanted to mention, I’m having a cover-crush right now. Golden is a breathtaking book. It’s beautiful in a dreamy way, when you know the character’s lives is about to change and an adventure is about to begin, but also has a touch of reality, which makes the book relatable, but tragic.
Golden is about Parker, the girl-who-is-all-that: good grades (contestant to a prestigious scholarship, school valedictorian), a boy who may or may not like her, and a best friend who is constantly trying to get her to step out of her comfort zone but is fun anyways.
Then Parker stumbles upon a journal from ten years ago. The diary of Julianna Farnetti – the girl-who-was-all-that a decade ago. Julianna Farnetti, is unfortunately, dead in a tragic car accident, which of course, sparks Parker’s curiosity and makes her want to open up the book. And when she does, her life changes utterly.
It really was a great book. Parker was a tolerable character, nothing too interesting, but at least mature enough for me to understand. The diary entries slotted in between pages were my favourite parts. It was majestic and beautiful and sad. I loved Julianna and therefore, I loved the book. It basically just revolved around Julianna, someone who everyone thought was golden, but when in fact, she had flaws to hide and secrets to keep.
The romance was a little slow, but I can accept that, and in a way, I appreciated it, because it made sure the main focus was on Julianna’s deceptive past. From digging out secrets, Parker also finds out more about herself, so it was a self-enlightenment session for her as well. She’s more clear about what she wants, and she finds herself in Julianna.
Overall, just a really interesting book. I couldn’t put it down.
“How many people have gotten older and forgotten about the things they hoped for and dreamed about when they were young? Or given up without ever taking a chance, or settled in life because it’s easier, or they’re scared, or whatever other excuses? How many people need a reminder of who they once were?”
― Jessi Kirby, Golden
“What would you do with your one and precious life?”
– Mary Oliver (basically my life motto now.)
Soon I will post part two and three, but for now, I have homework to conquer so adios!
– Jean xxx