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.
Miss Riki’s Review:
I picked up this book because I was looking for a novel that played around with time within the narrative and it came recommended for that reason. The novel did deliver on that. The chapters jump around from current time to past summers and the author does a good job of unraveling the story in this way. Unfortunately there were so many other things about the book that just bothered me.
Instead of nitpicking on every little annoying thing, I’ll focus on the main issue I had with the story- the protagonist. Belly is whiny and much too immature for her age in this book. She’s supposed to be on the verge of turning sixteen, but for the majority of the story she’s too busy acting out and sticking her tongue out at her friends and family members. I actually would have enjoyed the love triangle scenario going on between Conrad, Jeremiah, and Belly if she hadn’t had been portrayed as quite so childish. The boys are well-rounded characters with heart and emotion, but Belly comes across as vapid and self-centered. It was really hard to believe that they would fall for her the way she acted around them.
The book is a little slow at times, but does pick up towards the end of the summer. I enjoyed the relationship between he kids and the adults in the story and did find the storyline about Susannah’s illness heart wrenching. The book tugs at your heartstrings a bit at the end, but unfortunately I was too fed up with Belly’s immaturity to really feel the emotional pull the author intended.
There are three books in this series, but I don’t think I’ll be picking up the next two. In order to really like a book I have to enjoy the protagonist, and unfortunately I disliked Belly.