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.
I really liked the way the story was told. We see everything from Belly's perspective and it's her narration that is telling the story. The story just flows so nicely which is a huge plus in any book. There are also flashbacks to different moments during previous summers that serve a purpose in better explaining the story and provide background into the relationships that are presented.
I found Belly to be very realistic. She didn't get annoying as she very easily could have gotten.She also did not come off as two-dimensional which is very easy to do when you're telling the story of a girl who has a crush on this guy who doesn't even notice her in that way. I loved that the story wasn't all about the romance and it wasn't about Belly pining over Conrad. This summer for Belly is the one where she kind of grows up. She's no longer that little girl and she experiences some of the real world for the first time. I loved hearing the story through her because of how relatable I found her character to be.
Conrad and Jeremiah are the two brothers. Conrad is the bad boy. He's a strong and silent type and it's hinted that he has a lot more going on that what is visible on the surface. Jeremiah is kind of the opposite. He's very bubbly and friendly and super likable.
I really appreciate the fact that this book wasn't a sappy romance novel. I don't like sappy romance, I like realistic romance and this is realistic romance. Having said that, it's not like the whole book is about romance. A lot of it focuses on Belly and her growing up a little bit and dealing with something very real and very tough, later on in the book.
I read this book because I'd heard some reviews on it and I love contemporary so I thought "Why not?" I am so glad that I read this book because it was a really good contemporary story. It's what great contemporary is made of, if you know what I mean. I'm excited to follow the story of these characters a little more in the sequels and see where they go. Jenny Han, I will most definitely be reading more of your writing.
If you're looking for a quick, nice contemporary read, definitely try this one.