We’ll Always Have Summer – Jenny Han
Publisher: Razorbill UK (Penguin)
Release Date: 3rd May 2012
Just when she thought she had all the answers...
Isabel has only ever loved two boys, Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher.
One broke her heart; the other made her happier than she ever thought she’d be. But each brother is keeping a secret, and this summer Isabel must choose between the Fisher boys, once and for all.
Which brother will it be?
I devoured We’ll Always Have Summer on the day it arrived after absolutely adoring the first two books in the trilogy in January.
We’ll Always Have Summer kicks off at the end of Belly’s freshman year of university, two years after the end of It’s Not Summer Without You and her and Jeremiah are still a happy couple. The time jump surprised me a lot, but I’m really glad Jenny Han made that decision. Belly’s choice between the boys, now at nearly nineteen, now had a stronger and more important baring as she was moving on into the real world. I loved seeing how she had changed and grown-up, but in a realistic way. She still had those quirks that made her character and retained some flecks of childhood and teenage angst that made me love her even more. She’s so, so realistic; she could be me, my best friend, the girl I wave to in class every day but have never had a conversation with or the girlfriend of one of my friends. She leaps off the page and straight into my heart.
One of the biggest things about this novel was that I finally chose my side; like Belly, it was time for me to pick between the Fisher brothers. I was actually very surprised at how quickly I made my decision after my complete indecisiveness in the previous two novels. I chose Conrad. And, oh my goodness, that boy broke my heart. I loved the chapters from his point of view. A boy like that is nearly impossible to read so hearing his thoughts directly was the only confirmation of what he thought and felt and it only made some of the decisions made, conversations had and situations played out so much more agonising. It was a genius play on Jenny Han’s part.
Other than those things, I’m finding it hard to sum up just why I’ve fallen so in love with this trilogy. Maybe it’s the setting of Cousins Beach and that sense of an endless summer and the constant possibilities of it; the tense, sultry moments between Belly and her boys; the unusual focus on the parents of the kids and the element of family that brings; the agony of unrequited and first love or maybe Jenny Han’s smooth, enveloping prose that carries me away to the beach. Who knows. But whatever it is, I’m glad it’s there.
I adored every word of this trilogy and I wish I could wipe it from my mind and re-read them and re-read them fresh each time.