Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Puffin (3 Jun 2010)
Everything that happened this past summer, and every summer before it, has all led up to this. To now. Every year Isabel spends a perfect summer at her family friends' house. There's the swimming pool at night, the private stretch of sandy beach . . . and the two boys. Unavailable, aloof Conrad - who she's been in love with forever - and friendly, relaxed Jeremiah, the only one who's ever really paid her any attention.
But this year something is different. They seem to have noticed her for the first time. It's going to be an amazing summer - and one she'll never forget . . .
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My friend recommended this book to me after she picked it up at the school library and at first I dismissed it as a teen chick flick for a summer read - that was until she lumped it in my bag and made sure it went home with me over the 2 weeks break. After exhausting all the books I borrowed and brought and with no money that week to buy more, I settled down to read this book and I was surprised when I realised I actually liked it (:
Analysis of plot:
The book comes off as being a typical teen chick flick, something you’d grab and pour over during the hot summer days and while it’s true to some extent at doing that, there is an undercurrent of emotions and an ending you don’t expect which makes you realise that no matter how typical a girls or boys life may seem, you don’t always know the full story.
Still, the book was a light read which later reveals an issue within the boys family yet we still see how the life of Belly and how as a tradition she ventures back to a summer house where she spends the summer with Conrad and Jeremiah, two brothers who suddenly realise how pretty Belly has become. The author takes us through the tangle of emotions that Belly experiences, from love, jealousy, anger, to spurts of childishness as Belly is still a young teen. However, there are ties of loyalty and family importance embedded in the book, seen through Belly and Conrad’s friendship, as well as her mother’s and his mother who are best friends. Add in the brotherly love/hate relationship that Conrad and Jeremiah share and a girl stuck in the middle and you feel comfortable settling into the easy way the story is being told.
Analysis of characters:
Belly is the sort of character you expect her to be; girly, vain at times, childish, and wanting to impress the boys. Yet you can’t help but love the girl as she valiantly tries to win Jeremiah’s attention and as she turns a blind eye to Conrad’s devotion to her. It’s a situation that nearly every girl can relate to, yet the author has simply wrapped the issue up in a series of cute inner thoughts and events in her book.
I did enjoy the book, it was simple yet thoughtful, yet I wouldn’t rate it more than 2 stars as it’s generally not the type of book I’d pick. I was hoping for a more complex read with more depth into the characters and events but overall it was a good read and a sure one for the summer. The review for the next two books in the series, It's Not Summer Without You - can be found here and the review link for We'll Always Have Summer, here.