Thursday, August 18, 2011

We'll Always Have Summer

I don't know how to feel about We'll Always Have Summer. I suppose that it does give me closure as a reader, and perhaps I am too attached to the characters after reading the trilogy in three days, but I was a little disappointed by this final installment. Perhaps it is because there is no way that Belly's story could have ended without at least one broken heart. If author Jenny Han wanted to break the readers' hearts a little as well, she did an admirable job. Note: I just checked her blog and she said that she loves breaking hearts. So there you go.

Set two years after the last novel, Belly is now in college and still dating Jeremiah. I really don't want to give too much of the plot away, but I will say that Han offers a lot of redemption in We'll Always Have Summer. Belly isn't childish anymore, Taylor proves herself to be a true friend, Belly's mom shows more of who she really is.

My favorite part of the book is that we finally get chapters from the perspective of Conrad. After being fiercely pro-Jeremiah for so long (three days, ha!), this peek into Conrad's mind shifts my opinion. It turns out Conrad isn't just a James Dean/Edward Cullen hybrid; learning his motives makes Belly's feelings for him more understandable.

I think my disappointment comes from the portrayal of Jeremiah. It's hard to tell if it is because Jenny Han wanted the readers to have doubts about the golden boy, or if the messy frat boy side of him never really came out during the summers at Cousins Beach. It's hard to say, but it let me down a bit. I didn't need Jeremiah to be bad in order to like Conrad, in fact, part of the appeal of this series is that readers can relate to Belly's love for both.

While I didn't adore this book as much as the first two, this is a series that I will be recommending to readers for years to come, always asking, "Conrad or Jeremiah?"

1 comment:

  1. This is such a tough one, isn't it? I so loved this trilogy, and yet I didn't know how I wanted it all to end. I think the thing that ended up bothering me the most was that Belly wasn't the one who really made up her mind in the end (before the epilogue) - he did. And that makes me sad. I wanted her to stand up for herself better; to stop being so afraid to break a heart herself, and be more vocal. She knew what she wanted, but she couldn't grab it - she had to let someone else finally sever that connection. Hey, I think I managed to do that without spoilers! Wow!

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