***UPDATE: If you like The Summer I Turned Pretty and other titles by Jenny Han, and novels by Sarah Dessen, then you’ll love my new novel Over My Head, with its summertime vibe and realistic, heartfelt conflicts. You can find out more about Over My Head by clicking here!***
REVIEW: First of all, I’m a definite Jenny Han fan. I adored her novel Shug, and you can read my review of that here. And I also really loved her book The Summer I Turned Pretty, which I highly recommend. Best of all, Jenny is a nice person. I got to meet and hang out with her a bit last year when Aaron’s Books in Lititz, PA held its first children’s lit festival and Jenny and I were both featured authors.
It’s not Summer without You (Simon & Schuster, 2010) is the sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty. It definitely stands on its own. Han does a brilliant job of portraying the confusing sorrow of loss and what it does to relationships. Her clear prose captures the sweetness of childhood gone by and of regrets in the making. Warning: bring your tissue box. You will be crying a bit.
In the hands of another author, the events in this book – a loss of a mother to cancer, plus the lost dream of really loving the boy you have wanted most of your life – would be maudlin, depressing, bleak. But Han creates a book filled with sunshine summer moments, and hope and the promise of the future.
So pick it up, pick up your tissue, and experience this novel. The characters end up with no regrets, and neither will you!