The Summer I Turned Pretty Book Summary

The Summer I Turned Pretty Summary. it is a trilogy of young adult romance novels written by American author Jenny Han, and published by Simon & Schuster. The series includes The Summer I Turned Pretty (2009), It's Not Summer Without You (2010), and We'll Always Have Summer (2011).

The novels follow Isabel "Belly" Conklin in the summers she spends at Cousins Beach with her mother and older brother, along with her mother's lifelong best friend and her sons. The book series has been a national best seller; its final installment spent more than a month on The New York Times Best Seller list.


The Summer I Turned Pretty Book Summary
The Summer I Turned Pretty Book Summary

The Summer I Turned Pretty Summary

As far as teenager Isabel Conklin is concerned, summer is the only season that matters. For Isabel, nicknamed “Belly,” winter and spring are merely waiting periods. Not only is her birthday in August, but each June, she, her mother, Laurel, and her brother, Steven, travel to Cousins Beach to spend three months with the Fisher family, at their beach house on the Atlantic Coast.  

Laurel Conklin and Susannah Fisher have been best friends since childhood, and now spend summers together with their children. Susannah has two teenage sons: Conrad, the eldest, is about to attend his freshman year of college, and Jeremiah is still in high school.

The Fisher boys have been a source of friendship and fascination for Belly for as long as she can remember, and she’s been harboring a crush on Conrad for years. Both families have faced challenges; Susannah had cancer, and the Conklins recently divorced.

The summer that Belly turns sixteen, major changes impact everyone staying at the Fisher’s beach house. After the Conklins arrive, the two families begin to settle in for what at first seems like a typical vacation—but it soon becomes clear that this summer won’t be the same as those before. Belly has blossomed into a beautiful young woman, and both boys notice the change in her appearance.

However, Conrad’s moodiness makes Belly feel more distant from him than ever before. She learns that Conrad has quit the football team, broken up with his girlfriend, and started smoking. Initially, the cause of Conrad’s sullen mood is unclear. As the story progresses, the reader learns more about the difficulties facing the Fisher family.

Fearing that Conrad will never reciprocate her feelings, Belly tries to ignore her crush on him. Soon after her brother Steven leaves to tour colleges with their father, Belly begins to pursue a relationship with a boy named Cam. They meet at a beach party and realize they had met once before when they were thirteen, at a convention for Latin students in Washington, D.C. Cam and Belly begin to date, and she likes that he is different from both Jeremiah and Conrad.

Cam is “straight edge,” which means that he does not drink alcohol, do drugs, or practice other risky behavior. Although she appreciates this, Belly also becomes frustrated with the lack of physical intimacy between the two of them. She wishes that he would kiss her without asking first and take part in more risqué activities like skinny-dipping.

Flashbacks throughout the novel show moments from different summers from the years that Belly was age ten through fourteen. Several chapters focus on the previous summer, when Belly’s best friend Taylor comes to Cousins Beach to visit for a week. In the past, Belly was something of a non-threatening sidekick for her pretty friend. However, during the visit, Taylor notices that Belly is becoming attractive in her own right and begins to see her as competition for male attention.

On the other hand, Belly unfavorably compares her own appearance to that of her friend, who wears makeup and flattering clothing. Belly has her first kiss with Jeremiah during a game of truth or dare, and is mortified that Conrad and Steven watch it happen. By the end of Taylor’s visit, the two girls are still friends, but are not as close as they used to be.

Although Belly and Cam date throughout the summer, romantic tension between Belly and Conrad grows. At a house party, Conrad becomes aggressive with a young man in his twenties. To prevent them from coming to blows, Belly steps between them to break up the argument. Later, as she sits alone with Conrad in a car, he gently strokes her hair. He is on the verge of saying something to her, but the moment passes.

Toward the end of the novel, Belly’s attraction to Cam wanes, and after Jeremiah reveals his interest in her, she can no longer deny her crush on Conrad. Unwilling to let her affection remain unspoken, Belly confronts Conrad and tells him that she loves him. He rejects her, which leads to a physical altercation between the Fisher brothers. After Laurel breaks up the fight, Belly discovers the secret behind underlying tension in the house.

Susannah’s cancer has returned, and she does not have long to live. Belly switches her attention from romance to supporting the Fisher family through their painful time. She comforts Jeremiah, promises Susannah that she’ll look after Conrad when she’s gone, and listens to Conrad express his devastation. Belly and Conrad share a kiss, but Conrad explains he is too distraught about his mother to start a relationship now.

At the end of the summer, the Fishers and Conklins clean up the house and spend one last day at Cousins Beach. Several months later, Conrad drives from Boston to see Belly in the middle of winter. After her mother goes to sleep, Belly sneaks out of her house to meet him, suggesting the start of a relationship between the two teenagers.

You may also like to read: The Summer I Turned Pretty Quotes

The Summer I Turned Pretty Book Themes

Coming of Age: Belly Conklin, the protagonist, undergoes a significant transformation throughout the summer. She grapples with the complexities of adolescence, navigating friendships, first loves, and family dynamics. She faces insecurities about her appearance and yearns for independence, ultimately learning valuable lessons about self-discovery and growth. 

First Love and Heartbreak: The novel delves into the intricacies of young love, showcasing the intensity of first crushes and the pain of heartbreak. Belly's evolving feelings for Conrad and Jeremiah, the brothers she spends summers with, create a captivating love triangle that keeps readers guessing. The book explores the emotional rollercoaster of first love, including its joys, anxieties, and inevitable disappointments. 

Family and Friendship: The strong bonds of family and friendship play a crucial role in Belly's journey. Her relationship with her mother, Laurel, and her best friend, Susannah, provides her with comfort and support. The novel emphasizes the importance of these relationships in navigating personal challenges and growing up. 

Loss and Grief: The novel confronts the realities of loss and grief through Susannah's battle with cancer. Belly witnesses firsthand the impact of illness on her loved ones and learns to cope with the pain of loss. The book explores themes of resilience and hope in the face of adversity. 

Identity and Self-discovery: As Belly matures, she grapples with questions about her identity and place in the world. She experiments with different personas and tries to break free from the expectations placed upon her. The novel encourages readers to embrace their individuality and find their own unique path in life.

The Power of Summer: The setting of the novel, a idyllic summer retreat on the beach, adds a layer of nostalgia and carefree spirit. The carefree days spent swimming, playing games, and exploring with friends symbolize a time of innocence and self-discovery.

Secrets and Lies: The novel is peppered with secrets, both big and small, that add intrigue and suspense to the story. Belly uncovers hidden truths about her family and friends, forcing her to confront uncomfortable realities and re-evaluate her relationships.


synopsis of the summer i turned pretty
synopsis of the summer i turned pretty

The Summer I Turned Pretty Summary
The Summer I Turned Pretty Summary

the summer i turned pretty book synopsis
the summer i turned pretty book synopsis

the summer i turned pretty plot summary
the summer i turned pretty plot summary

summary of the book the summer i turned pretty
summary of the book the summer i turned pretty

Questions about The Summer I Turned Pretty Book Plot

What is the short summary of The Summer I Turned Pretty? The Summer I Turned Pretty tells the story of fifteen-year-old Belly and her eventful summer vacation at Cousins Beach, where she hopes to fall in love. The series focuses on her romantic endeavors as she finds herself in a love triangle with two brothers, Jeremiah and Conrad.

Do Belly and Jeremiah sleep together? The two did not have sex during their two year relationship. While Belly came close to believing she was ready to give her virginity to Jeremiah, even seriously considering consummating their relationship during a trip to the beach house one time, she ultimately decided against it.

Does anything happen in The Summer I Turned Pretty? At the end of the novel, Belly reveals her true feelings to Conrad, and they share a kiss. However, Conrad tells her that he can't be with her, and Belly is heartbroken. She spends the rest of the summer trying to avoid Conrad and coming to terms with the fact that their relationship is over.

What is the main problem in The Summer I Turned Pretty? Belly's biggest conflict in the novel is her wish to be seen not as a child, but as grown-up and desirable. While Belly has had a crush on Conrad since she was ten years old, he has never shown romantic interest in her.

Who did belly end up with? Belly and Jeremiah call it quits and she studies abroad in Spain, during which time she starts getting letters from Conrad. They eventually become a couple again, and the book ends with a torrential downpour on their wedding day as they jump into the ocean in their tux and gown.

Who ends up with who in The Summer I Turned Pretty? it makes sense why Belly and Conrad end up together. They have a rich history, and it was always tough to imagine Belly with anyone else, given the depth of her feelings for the older Fisher brother. Belly and Conrad are meant to be together in The Summer I Turned Pretty books.

Does Belly lose her virginity to Conrad? She remains a virgin throughout the series, even during her two year relationship with Jeremiah. This is due to her wanting her first time to be special and something she took very seriously, choosing to wait until she knew she was absolutely sure.

Does Belly marry Conrad or Jeremiah? The series ends with Belly marrying Conrad, and the couple starting a new life together. Jeremiah "Jere" Fisher: At the outset of the series, he is the "golden" boy, the one who appears to be untainted in the eyes of everyone. He is a good friend to Belly and a loving brother to Conrad.

Why did Jeremiah kiss belly? During a game of truth or dare, Jeremiah kissed Belly in order to make Taylor jealous. It hurt Belly's feelings because it was her first kiss, and she wanted the moment to be shared with someone she really liked, not with her close friend.

Why did Belly and Conrad break up? The main reason for why they did not work together as a couple initially was due to Conrad having trouble controlling his negative feelings and emotions. He felt he could not be what Belly emotionally needed due to his many personal issues because of his mother's illness/death as well as his father's emotional abuse.

Do Conrad and Belly get together in season 1? Although Jeremiah escorted her to the debutante ball, in the aftermath of the kids finding out Susannah's cancer had returned, Belly ultimately realized her heart was still with her first love, Conrad. Conrad and Belly open up to each other and share their first kiss on the beach at the very end of the season.

What is the big secret in The Summer I Turned Pretty? Conrad became aware that his mother was battling cancer and she didn't want her children to know. He kept this secret deep inside, trying to ignore it, but allowing it to impact on his emotion

What is wrong with Conrad in The Summer I Turned Pretty? Conrad's moody behavior comes down to his mother's cancer diagnosis and her struggles with treatment. He keeps the news deep inside and finds it hard to communicate his emotions to others.

Why does Belly choose Conrad? Ultimately, it is Jeremiah ruining his chance with Belly at the debutante ball that leads to her ending up with Conrad, but it is implied that this was always going to be the outcome. Regardless of her feelings for Jeremiah, Conrad was always who she truly wanted to be with.

Who is Belly's first love? Throughout The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 1, viewers can witness Belly having a massive crush on Conrad, which develops into something more with time. It is safe to say that Conrad was Belly's, first love.

Who is the love triangle with in The Summer I Turned Pretty? There is an intense love triangle between the three "core" characters of the trilogy, that the series is best known for. This is between Isabel "Belly" Conklin and the two Fisher brothers, Conrad and Jeremiah.

Does Conrad find out Jeremiah cheated on belly? Belly goes to him, and Conrad tells her that Jeremiah cheated on her during spring break.

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