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It’s not summer without a re-read of Jenny Han’s “The Summer I Turned Pretty” trilogy! Hahahaha but seriously, I am absolutely obsessed with the new season of the TV show.
I think I can speak for all of us when I say that the new season is doing a great job of fulfilling my fangirl expectations!
Obviously, there’s some differences between the book series and the new adaptation, so if you’re coming to this post to see how they differ, or just need a refresher if you’ve read it before, I’ve got you covered!
It’s Not Summer Without You Summary: Chapters 1-15
The story opens with Belly’s daydream, where she fantasizes about being back at Cousins with Conrad.
We’re given no initial indication that this isn’t real, but then suddenly she drops the bomb:
This summer is the first one that Belly is spending at home instead of with the boys at Cousins. She kills time by hanging out with Taylor and their school friends, but that just makes her miss her old life even more.
Cue flashback scene!! Belly starts reminiscing about when oh so dreamy Conrad first started showing interest in her.
He would call her almost every night, and would even make the three and a half hour drive to her house on occasion. Their romance wasn’t defined by any means, but to her it meant everything.
Now at Justin’s party, Belly is hyper-conscious of Cory Wheeler’s intention to ask her out.
While they’re sitting together on the trampoline, she compares the sweet simplicity of Cory to how Conrad could turn her “insides out with one look, one smile.”
(She is soooo real for that.)
In chapter 4, things switch up! We get Jeremiah’s perspective!!!
This is the first actual insight we have into how the boys are doing post-Susannah’s death.
He talks about the discomfort he felt when he and Conrad were alone in the house for the first time after she passed, and how they only really had each other now.
This chapter is a flashback to Susannah’s funeral. Belly went into the event with the best of intentions. She told herself she would be there for Conrad as a source of stability for him.
In natural Belly fashion (we love our chaos queen), she did not follow through with this. She found Conrad lying in his ex-girlfriends lap, and all that strength went right out the window.
Minutes later she was telling him “go to hell” and “I hate you”…at his mothers funeral!!
So much for that whole “tower of strength” thing.
Chapters 6 & 7
Okay, this is when things start to get good.
Jeremiah calls Belly and tells her that Conrad has gone missing. He then asks her if she would be willing to help look for him and she agrees without hesitation.
She decides to tell her mom that Taylor just went through a break up rather than explain the real story.
Taylor gives her endless crap for being so easily swayed into helping Conrad out even though he was “basically a crazy person”. Then Jeremiah shows up, and they drive off in some semi-awkward silence.
Back to Jere’s perspective!
The gist of this chapter is that he thinks Belly is suuuper hot, and he can’t stay mad at her when she’s right there in front of him!
Chapters 9 & 10
Another Susannah flashback!
When Belly visited Susannah for the last time, she was scared. Susannah had put in an obvious effort to not frighten her by dressing in proper clothes and doing her makeup as best she could.
This caused Belly to feel even more guilty about the fears she had. They discussed Conrad and their relationship that had recently ended. Susannah then asked Belly to be there for and look after him.
Now, I’m as big of a Susannah fan as the next guy, but to have your dying wish be for a young girl to “look after” the guy who broke her heart seems a little bit unfair to me.
Chapters 11 & 12
Flash forward, and Jeremiah breaks the silence of the car ride by casually mentioning that the song playing was the theme song for one of the five proms he went to.
This gets Belly thinking about her not-so-fairytale-like experience at prom with Conrad.
She basically had to pressure him into taking her by casually mentioning that she could easily get some other guy to go with her (side note: our boy Cory Wheeler deserves better).
When prom day finally came, he forgot her corsage at his dorm, and his classic Conrad-Fisher-sad-boy-angst was through the roof!
They sat there watching everyone else dance for the majority of the night. Conrad’s contemplative silence told Belly everything she needed to know.
When they were walking back to the car, she told him she knew it was over. He tried to keep her there and talk about it, but instead of getting answers, she ran back home.
When Jeremiah heard about Conrad taking Belly to prom, he was less than thrilled.
It hurt him that Susannah was so ecstatic about it, and it pissed him off that Conrad didn’t even act lucky to have gotten to take her. Jere was determined that, if it was him, he would have done it right.
Chapters 14 & 15
Belly and Jeremiah finally get to Conrad’s school.
They were able to find his dorm without any issues and, although his roommate was less than helpful, they heard from one of his “girlfriends” that he went to the beach to surf.
Instantly, they know this means that he’s at the summer house. When Jeremiah leaves the room to call his dad, Belly decides she’s gonna look through Conrad’s stuff for “proof”, and that she definitely “isn’t spying” at all.
During her snooping, she finds an infinity necklace that Conrad had clearly gotten for her, and it reminds her that he really had cared.
When Jeremiah comes back into the room, he tells her that they are indeed going to Cousins.
It’s Not Summer Without You Summary: Chapters 16-30
Belly is daydreaming again! This time about the last time she was at the beach house…with Conrad!!
He had shown up at her house after 12:30, and they drove all the way to Cousin’s that night. They spent their time talking and kissing and drinking hot cocoa, and Belly thinks that it just might have been the best day of her life.
Chapters 17 & 18
Ah…back to reality. Belly’s about to see Conrad for the first time in months. So, obviously, she started brushing through her hair and trying to spruce up as much as possible.
Her and Jere get to the house (seemingly much too soon in Belly’s perspective), and her heart just about leaps out of her chest upon seeing Conrad’s car in the driveway.
When they walk through the door, Conrad had the most mild, annoyed reaction to their presence.
He’s all like “why are you here”/“why is she here”. After semi-coming to terms with Conrad’s indifference, Belly leaves to get dinner for the group.
While she’s in town, she has an uncomfortable conversation with some friends about Susannah’s death which reopens that wound.
When Belly gets back to the house, the trio sits outside with beer and some sandwiches (underage drinking alert!!!!!!!).
After their dinner, they sit inside and watch TV. Belly eventually takes a hint that Jeremiah wants to be alone to talk with his brother, so she goes to bed and leaves the boys to chat.
Jeremiah sees Belly in her frilly little pajamas that Taylor packed her.
UGH she used to just wear t-shirts, now she’s just like all the other girls 🙁
Chapters 20 & 21
Belly wakes up in the Cousins house for the first time this summer.
She lets herself pretend that it was just like all the other times she had been in the house, daydreaming about what it would be like if Susannah was still around.
She then gets up and calls Taylor with the updates. After that, she gives her mother a phone call and lies that she’s going to spend another night at Taylor’s.
To clear her head from all the thoughts of missing Susannah, Belly goes for a swim in the pool.
Conrad watches her swim again (he really liked doing that I guess), and after a brief, casual conversation he goes right back inside. Weird!
Cue “Hey Steven” by Taylor Swift! Belly’s brother Steven calls her and tells her that he knows that she’s not actually staying with Taylor.
He asks her where she is, and Belly proudly shares her situation with the boys. When she gets off the phone with Steven, Belly sees an unfamiliar car pull into the driveway.
The summer house is being sold! She realizes that Conrad didn’t go to Cousins to run away; he was just determined to save the house.
Chapters 23 & 24
While the boys are out surfing, Belly is hanging out by herself in the summer house.
She’s taken off guard by a “hello” from Mr. Fisher, Conrad and Jeremiah’s dad. They proceed to small talk a bit, but mostly they sit in silence waiting for the boys to come back.
When the boys finally do come back, they’re both taken aback by Mr. Fisher’s presence.
Jeremiah then gets let in on the Conrad-Belly-Mr-Fisher-“the house is on the market”-secret, and he’s pissed that he was left out of the loop.
Tensions are running very high between every person present. When Jeremiah eventually storms out of the house, Belly and Conrad are left alone.
Their conversation is very mild, but after a brief moment, Conrad tells her to “leave it be” and he goes outside.
Back to Jere’s perspective! In this chapter, we get a little bit of understanding as to how Jeremiah feels towards Conrad. He’s always admired him and viewed him as a superior.
After the fight, Jeremiah toyed with the idea of leaving Belly and Conrad to deal with the mess by themselves.
He quickly shut down this thought because he knew that that would be a Conrad move. He ends up back at the summer house, and surprise! They’re throwing a party!
Chapters 27, 28, & 29
When Belly comes downstairs, the boys have already worked everything out and are watching TV as normal.
She compared their easy reconciliation to her and Taylor’s arguments, which could last a week and included many a power struggle.
Then, they all take shots and watch old family videos together. When Conrad goes to the bathroom, Jeremiah asks Belly “truth or dare”, and he dares her to kiss him.
Through a laugh, she gives him a peck on the cheek. Conrad walks back in and then they continue the game for a bit.
Belly runs upstairs to get dressed for the party, and while she’s up there she receives a phone call from Taylor.
Belly tells her that they’re having a party at Cousins, and immediately Taylor says she wants to come.
Belly tries to subtly shut down this idea, but Taylor is easily able to pick up on her reluctance to have her there. Their fight blows up with both of them spewing thoughtless insults back and forth.
I just have to say, the TV show dynamic between Belly and Taylor is MUCH superior to the book one.
It’s Not Summer Without You Summary: Chapters 31-42
Following the blowup with Taylor, Belly’s determined to be the best party hostess that she could possibly be. She passes out drinks and greets her guests with smiles all around.
She spends the night drinking and dancing, until finally Jeremiah suggests that they should take one last dip in the ocean.
Conrad immediately shuts that down because, “Belly’s drunk. She shouldn’t swim.” She fights back by making a beeline for the ocean directly after that statement.
Conrad pulls her out of the ocean and throws her over his shoulder. When she makes him set her down, she feels a familiar spark between them!
Conrad doesn’t engage though, and Belly is left feeling stupid as she trails after him back to the house. In a tipsy daze, she lays down on a bed and calls her mother. She confesses that she’s at the beach house, and tells she needed help.
Okay, so Jeremiah still likes Belly! He knows that Conrad does too, though?
Apparently, Jere thinks that his refusal to admit to that makes him a sucky person. But rest assured guys, he would be, “there for her, someone she could count on.”
Chapters 33 & 34
Belly gets woken up by her mother. She (momentarily) completely forgot that she had drunk called her the night before, and is super surprised to see her there.
Laurel was super upset at being lied to, but she eventually decides that Susannah would have wanted them to save the house.
Chapters 35 & 36
So, Mr. Fisher is coming over. Laurel’s determined that she could persuade him into keeping the house for the boys. And she does!
With a fancy breakfast and Conrad’s promise to finish finals (scoring no lower than C’s), they convince Mr. Fisher to help out.
Laurel even agrees to let Belly stay a little bit longer in order to help Conrad study and prepare.
Chapters 37, 38, & 39
Belly’s determined to start the studying as soon as the adults leave. The boys, on the other hand, are more interested in some pre-study rest. Belly reluctantly agrees, but she starts preparing during their nap time.
She brews coffee, gets the notes prepared, and even picks them up some McDonald’s as a reward system. They study late into the night, then Belly crashes into a deep sleep.
When Belly wakes up, Conrad’s studying in the exact same spot he had been in the night before.
They prepare to head off on their journey…but not without one final Belly flop! After the shenanigans, they all packed into the car and drove off.
After about an hour of driving, they pull off to a gas station and Belly goes inside to get her and Jeremiah slushies. “Half cherry, half coke: her specialty”, as Jeremiah says.
Then Conrad hits us with the most out of pocket response ever: “I thought cocoa was your specialty.”
Me and Belly both had to take a deep breath after he pulled that card!
They make it to the school, and Conrad leaves to take his final, leaving Jeremiah and Belly alone.
They’re sitting in the car when Belly decides to ask Jere if Conrad ever talked about her. Seconds later, they’re kissing.
She said it felt desperate and like nothing she had ever experienced before!
Now, I’m not gonna sit here and knock the TV show adaptation of this kiss (even though I am unashamedly team Conrad), but the book version is so quick, unprompted, and she was literally. asking. about Conrad. right. before.
When they break away, Conrad’s right at the car door watching. Jere’s offended that she runs off after Conrad when he walks away, but news flash buddy, you knew she wasn’t over him and you kissed her anyways!
They all end up back at the car and share a horribly awkward drive in the pouring rain.
Because of the pouring rain, the group decides the safest option for the night would be to stay at a motel and wait the storm out.
As they all lay there and Jeremiah falls asleep, Conrad tells Belly that he didn’t mean it when he said he never wanted her.
This sends Belly into a whirlwind of thoughts. Did that mean Conrad wanted to be with her? Did that even matter after the kiss she just shared with Jeremiah?
It’s Not Summer Without You Ending
The next morning, Conrad tells Belly and Jeremiah that a friend of his from school was going to pick him up, and that Jeremiah should just take her home.
This prompts Belly to silently decide for herself that she would let Conrad go once and for all, and that she would “evict him” from her heart.
Her and Jeremiah ride back home, hand in hand, and she said it felt like “the most right thing she’d done in a long time.”
And that’s the end! Honestly, re-reading this book got me so hyped for the show (I absolutely loved this last season).
What are your guys’ thoughts on the show? Team Conrad or Jeremiah? Let me know in the comments below!
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