Well, Jenny Han did it again, that's all I can say. Every time I read one of the Summer books I tell myself I won't get so sucked into the story that I have to put it down and take a few deep breathes in order to continue without mentally or physically hurting myself. But I did. I mean this is all in a good way, nevertheless. Belly and Conrad and Jere make me want to tear my hair out sometimes; their love triangle is so absorbing and original. In most books these days, the girl supposedly 'loves' both boys but you can pretty much figure out which one she is going to end up with in the end. Not in this trilogy, though! I was guessing until the very end.
I'm also so glad the author decided to put Conrad's point of view in the last installment. He really kind of bugged me before, with his broody detachment and unexpectedness. I was like Belly, girl, move on already! He's not right for you! But you can really see why he is the way he is in some of the chapters. I actually grew kind of fond of him. He has flaws, and Jeremiah does too, which is what makes the characters so real and wonderful. The simple elegance of the writing is what brings everything to life in these books. And it just has this certain Bellyness about it that I adore. It makes me want to go to the beach and roast marshmallows, build sandcastles and swim till I'm exhausted.
Of all summer books, these are my most definite favorite. I loved watching Belly grow up into a thoughtful, charming young woman. It makes me kind of wistful, thinking about it. Jenny Han captures all the wonder and rawness of life and manages to fit it into a mere couple hundred pages. I'm so sad to see this series end-- and the ending surprised and pleased me, I have to say-- but I hope to see much more of this author's talent in the years to come.