Book Review: We'll Always Have Summer
By: Jenny Han
Narrated By: Jessica Almasy
Published By: Recorded Books
Publication Date: May 2011
Audio Length: 6 hours, 49 minutes
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary
On the Story & Writing:
This was the perfect ending to this trilogy. We finally find out how Belly becomes Mrs. Fisher. I am not going to say a ton about the plot of this one because I don't want to spoil anyone. I will say that this novel is my favorite in the series.
I have loved spending time with these characters as they aged and grew into adulthood. Belly's transition from book one to book three is amazing. I have loved watching her move from an adolescent into a young woman. She has had so many struggles along the way to overcome, but she has managed to come out of them relatively unscathed. She is certainly someone I could see as a friend. In the earlier books, I found Belly to be whiny and irritating at times, but that didn't happen in this book. She truly has grown up in so many ways.
This was also the first book in the series where I could actually see the Fisher boys in a true light. Jeremiah had always been my favorite and I couldn't understand Belly's attraction to Conrad. For me, Jeremiah was always the goodness and light while Conrad was the darkness and brooding. In this novel, Jeremiah's flaws rise to the surface while Conrad's merits begin to make an appearance. I finally felt drawn to them both and understood Belly's indecision. This shift in my own thinking was unexpected. I never imagined that I could find Conrad sympathetic and likable. It was nice to finally see what Belly had been able to see all along.
If you have not read this series, I highly recommend it. It's more than just a lighthearted summer romance. There are so many hidden depths and the characterization is some of the best I have seen in YA literature. I was sad to see this story come to an end, but I think Jenny Han did an amazing job of concluding things.
On the Audio:
I have been so impressed with Jessica Almasy's narration of this series. Each book has been more sophisticated. Through her voice, you can hear the growth of Belly as a character. I also loved the segments from Conrad's perspective. It was nice to finally get his point of view after hearing from Belly and Jeremiah in book two. Conrad came across as a Mr. Darcy type for me in this one and I contribute a large part of that to the narration. You truly get his pain and joy through Almasy's voice. I would listen to anything she read without hesitation.
One Last Gripe: I was really bothered by Laurel's actions in the beginning of this one. I understood her motivation, but I was hurt on Belly's behalf.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: Seeing the growth of the characters and the evolution of their relationships
First Sentence: On Wednesday nights when I was little, my mom and I would watch old musicals.
Favorite Character: Belly
Least Favorite Character: Lacie
It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.