“Would you rather live one perfect day over and over or live your life with no perfect days but just decent ones?”
This is the first installment of Jenny Han’s Summer Trilogy. You may read the synopsis here. Most parts of this book were about the typical summer Belly had, how it’s the envy of many girls including me. Like hibernating in a marvelous summer house and forgetting everything about the world. Man, who wouldn’t dream for that? There’s plenty of drama but not comparable to the later two installments. This book’s still a virgin, if you know what I mean. I liked how every setting’s so relaxing (and heart-rending at some points) which I missed badly when I read the next books.
I’d definitely say Belly is the antagonist here. She had such a beautiful life I wondered what happened to her manners. Belly cares no more than chasing after her precious Conrad, like it’s life-threatening if she doesn’t. Her juvenile guts broke to the point of being my pet peeve. Ugh. Getting mad when you didn’t get to skinny dip with your boy? Seriously, girl, can that be more of an immediate concern than feeding the malnourished of the third world? Since we’re on about boos, I got so infuriated I wanted to strangle her neck when Belly devastated Cam Cameron’s heart. She destroyed a potentially ideal man. If Jenny Han, described him the other way, I still would have felt sorry though not as much. But Cam isn’t difficult to like so why the hell use such a guy to make the man of your dreams jealous and to prove your no baby anymore. Well, guess what. You’re still the same bratty, obnoxious four year old wanting to always be the center of everything. To be fair, she’s likable at some points. At SOME points.
I won’t give all this space for her and give her the satisfaction of being everything to everybody. I want to talk about their awesome childhood. Growing up not only with your family but also friends that turned out to be like families is really really amazing. Sure, Steven, Conrad, and Jeremiah can be real he-bitches but they love generously. Not to mention the almost-aunt Susannah you wish she’s also your mom. It’s like Utopia only easier to imagine. When Jenny Han talks through Belly about their childhood in Cousins, it was so vivid I wanted to go back to mine. It reminded me of cotton candies, dragonfly chasing, and easy-going days.
This book slurped me into a state so inescapable I could hardly put the book down. I was just on the first page but a couple of laughing and sobbing later, I was down to the middle already! Belly may have put me off a lot but I understand teenage quirkiness so I forgave her for that. I like this because of the other things that made me sigh, grin, and sob all in a good way. For that, here’s what my conclusion:
To anyone planning on reading this, I recommend having all three books with you. The ending WILL REALLY LEAVE YOU HANGING that you’ll want nothing more than to speed-drive down the nearest bookstore and purchase the next installment. This is how I describe its goodness.