Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Summer I Turned Pretty

I don't remember how I first came across The Summer I Turned Pretty. There is a vague memory. Some night that I was on goodreads I came across a bunch of books which I marked 'to read'. This book was something I thought I found based on a friends review, but now that I've finished reading it goodreads is showing that none of my friends have read or reviewed it. So where did it come from? I don't know. But when I saw it was available to be taken out I figured, oh here is my chance! A summer read! I've had this on my to-read list for months so it's going to be great!

Unfortunately, I was wrong. The main character Belly is the most self absorbed, whiney, immature protagonist I've read about in a long while. Jenny Han takes forever and a day to reveal the age of the character although from the fact that she's rambling about driving from the very beginning only led me to assume she was around 15-16 years old. But then her characteristics began to develop. She kept harping on the fact that the boys (her brother and two friends-who-are-like-brothers) call(ed) her a tattle tale... because she was. The amount of time she whines or sticks out her tongue at people when she doesn't get her way or someone says something she doesn't want to here is too many times to count.

I understand teenagers are a little self absorbed, I was one, I remember. But this is the extreme and her mannerisms remind me of something a 8 year-old would be doing rather then a 16 year-old. She's obsessive over her one friend-brother Conrad whose apparently the best thing ever although I don't really  see it.

Now let's get this straight, I get that the brothers Conrad and Jeremiah are going through tough stuff (which I won't inclose incase you intend to read the book) but I know plenty of people who went through the same problems. They reacted in rebellious ways or they closed up from the world. However,  Han really could've written of their troubles in more of an eloquent way and connected the problems more to the cause then she did.

The endless chatter of Belly drove me to nearly putting the book down multiple times. The best part of the novel was the last 50 pages where there was much more action and much more conversation. Really, I was incredibly disappointed. Maybe if there wasn't so many short sentenced chatter of Belly's constant thoughts about herself I would have liked it more. But there was barely even any description of the location, barely any description of the characters (physically or mentally), and all in all was written horribly.

I'm sorry, but this was one of those few occasions where I read the author notes and was surprised to see that this author actually has a degree in writing this stuff.

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