Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
My Rating: 3/5 ~It was okay. I liked it, but it seemed quite generic.
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
To be frank, I cannot say how many things about this book that irked me. The first, was that we did not find out what Belly's real name is, until the middle of the book! I'd love to know at least the first name of the protagonist if I'm going to read the book! Also, I feel like the switching back and forth between past and present was really confusing and choppy. Most times it just made me dislike Belly and the overall book more. Belly, or as I finally found out, Isabel COMPLAINS NON-STOP. Nothing is ever good enough. Ugh! Get over yourself. You have two, no wait... three, (don't forget her little summer fling, Cam!) guys hanging off your shoulder and all you do is complain about them. Gosh, I'm ranting a lot in my reviews lately... sorry guys! Anyways, Belly states that the best part of the year for her is summer, but I didn't really get that vibe. She never seemed truly happy. I felt as if her thing with Cam, the whale-watcher guy, was sort of random and didn't end smoothly -as in, I didn't know if it was over or not until almost the end, because it wasn't very clear. I really liked Susannah though. She was really the only character I cared about in the entire novel. But then, it felt like that was the same for Belly, now didn't it? There are then the boys. Jeremiah was sweet and funny, Conrad was moody and deep and Cam was just a fling. Her brother Steven made me stop and think about how my little brothers will be like when they're older, and he seems to be a pretty good fit. Then, there is Belly's mother. I felt so bad for her. She didn't deserve the way her daughter treated her! No mother who secretly buys her daughter a dress that is much to fancy, deserves being treated like dirt.
Honestly, I think the thing that made me dislike this novel the most was the characters. Should I start rating separate parts of a book on here? I could do characters, voice, setting, plot, etc. If I'm ever confused about how I should rate a book, that's what I do on a piece of paper and then average it out. Maybe I will begin to do that, in my next review. For now, I'll say this: I liked this book enough, but I probably won't ever read it again. I will try and read the next two books, but they are not my first priority. Jenny Han is a good author, but I felt as if this book was just a bit weak. There are tons of mixed reviews on this book. Some people giving it a 4 or 5, others a 1 or 2. So I thought I'd go in the middle!
I won't be doing a Teaser Tuesday tonight, as I'm rereading The Hunger Games and I haven't started anything new since I finished Born Wicked! Let me know about the rating system you'd prefer!