It's Not Summer Without You, had me crying at page two. Early on, author Jenny Han writes, "You think you know love, you think you know real pain, but you don’t. You don’t know anything." She then proceeds to tell us a story of extreme love and pain.
Just like the first book, It's Not Summer sucked me in and kept me reading until I finished. It could be that I read both books in the span of two days, but I feel very emotionally invested in the characters of Belly, Conrad, and Jeremiah. As they struggle with a great loss, the other characters and even the setting of the beach become less important. Everything is centered on the love triangle.
Rather than using flashbacks to their childhood again, Han writes brief chapters from Jeremiah's point of view. This serves to (1) make me love him, and (2) make Conrad seem even more aloof and mysterious. As I mentioned in my review of the first book, I think being older has led me to just want Belly to end up with Jeremiah, the nice guy. Unfortunately, her feelings for Conrad are like the tides, constantly ebbing and flowing. Han beautifully describes the agony of (believing to be) moving past a first love: "I loved him longer and truer than I had anyone in my whole life and I would probably never love anyone that way again. Which, to be honest, was almost a relief."
Should I even pretend that I am going to read another book before diving into the final book about Belly, Conrad, and Jeremiah? You wouldn't believe me anyways. I will be so sad when this trilogy ends, but not enough to show any restraint.