Title: We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
Published: April 26th, 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Challenge(s): TBR Pile
Grade rate: B
It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.
Just like the first book in the series, I was a little hesitant to start We’ll Always Have Summer. Why? Because, while I’ve heard a lot of good things about the series, I didn’t fell instantly in love with it. I can’t help but being a little disappointed with the final installment (see my reviews of book #1 and book #2 here).
The story starts at the end of Belly’s freshman year in college. We learn a little about what happened after Belly, Jere and Conrad left the motel towards the end of It’s Not Summer Without You, and just like that two years have gone by in which Belly has been dating Jere. I have a strong disagreement with this: just because Jere loved Belly and it seemed like Conrad didn’t want to do anything with her, that turned Jere and Belly in a couple. It’s like there are no other alternatives, no other boys in the universe except for the Fisher boys.
Belly and Jere were best friends and I just can’t see them in a romantic relationship. Jeremiah is so sweet, and what he did was so out of character for him. I just don’t understand how you go from being cheated on to accepting a marriage proposal! It’s just plain crazy and I agree with the parents on this one.
Conrad has always been a mystery, and in past books he came across as a jerk. I mean, he liked Belly one minute and he didn’t the next – he kept pushing her away and I was never sure that he even liked/love her. However, in We’ll Always Have Summer, we get a glimpse into Conrad’s mind in the way of short chapters from his point of view. My interpretation is that Conrad always loved Belly, but he was in a bad place for a while after Susannah’s death and he had some things to work on to be in a position to be in a serious relationship. I also think that moving away was a good thing for him and for his family.
I don’t want to tell you what happens at the end, but only that I wasn’t disappointed in Belly’s choice, just only in the way she got there. What I mean by that is that I would have loved to read more about the couple and how they got to the ‘ending’. The last chapter seemed kind of rushed. I hope we get a short story of something else later one… (*hint*). My copy of the book also has Conrad’s letter, but still I needed more.
The plot was very simple and the story moved around the wedding and Jere, Belly, Laurel (Belly’s mom), and Conrad’s reactions. The wedding took center stage and it took a life of its own. The writing was easy to read, if somewhat repetitive. Overall, I’m glad I read the series.
About the cover: The cover for We’ll Always Have Summer, as well as the other books, is beautiful in its simplicity. They evoke a feeling of open spaces, summer and the beach.
Have you read this series? Did you like it? What did you think of the ending?