Belly (Isabel) Conklin is fifteen – nearly sixteen – and she goes to Cousins beach with her brother and mum every single summer. Days upon end were spent on the beach and by the pool at Susannah Fisher’s beach house. Susannah is the best friend of Belly’s mum Laurel, they’ve known each other since they were teenagers and bring their children to Cousins every summer: Belly and Steven, Conrad and Jeremiah. Susannah’s eldest son Conrad, withdrawn but whom Belly has been in love with for years, and Jeremiah, friendly and chilled who’s always been the amusing, good-natured Fisher brother.
Belly has always been left out and easily teased by the three older boys but this year’s different. Over the course of the last 12 months, since she saw Susannah’s sons, she’s grown up – completely changed – and finally, both Conrad and Jeremiah see her in a different light. It’s what she’s always wanted, she finally feels like this summer could be the year that something happens (specifically for her and Conrad), but everything isn’t as simple and relaxing as it would all seem.
I loved this book series, I sat and read it when I was thirteen, sitting in the garden. It was a beautiful summer read that was a perfect coming-of-age story. The TV series didn’t fail to bring back the nostalgia and that feeling of contentment I felt while reading it a few years ago. I loved this adaptation and the changes made when creating the TV series, a key feature being the Debutante Ball that Belly signs up for. The majority of the show is centred around this, alongside her love triangle between the Fisher brothers, or even a love square! “Cam Cameron” is a notable character throughout who Belly also happens to get involved with.
What I love so much about this series is that it isn’t hard to understand and doesn’t have the ability to frazzle your brain with confusing twists like a murder mystery! It’s cosy and snug, a light-hearted watch in your pyjamas before you sleep. You honestly feel like you’ve been at Cousins beach with them for years and the creators, writers, producers, directors, and author Jenny Han (everyone involved really) have done an amazing job at setting the scene and showing us the intimate relationships between Susannah and Laurel, and the four teens, that have built up over the years.
I loved watching Belly, Conrad, Jeremiah and all their friends navigate the summer, in what seems like their best, most interesting summer yet. It’s a show for anyone to watch and enjoy, I talk from the point of view of a 17-year-old teen girl, but it is definitely not limited to that age range!
The Summer I Turned Pretty will be available to stream on Prime Video from June 17