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Mandafofanda Reads Lots

The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no?

And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn't that make life a story?

- Yann Martel, Life of Pi

It's Not Summer Without You - Jenny Han So onto the second book of this series, and still liking it. After being blown away that I wasn't completely repulsed by [b:The Summer I Turned Pretty|5821978|The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)|Jenny Han|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1361666855s/5821978.jpg|5994018] (that's my extremely less embarrassing way of saying that I enjoyed it), I was all set to be finally proven right that all teen love triangles are stupid in [b:It's Not Summer Without You|6584188|It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2)|Jenny Han|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1257803831s/6584188.jpg|6777681]. But to my utmost horror, Belly, Conrad and Jeremiah still endear themselves to me with all their immature drama-filled glory. I feel pretty bad for Steven - he is one of the core summer four, after all, yet he's getting left out of all this angst.

Snarky first paragraph aside, here are some signs that I've fallen for this series:

1. I see a bit of myself in each character. In Belly, her sense of humour, her selfishness, her pride. In Conrad, his introvertedness and his willingness to push people away. In Jeremiah, his playing peacemaker, his unrequited crushing.

2. I honestly find myself analyzing each relationship. Belly, Conrad and Jeremiah clearly love each other, in a lasting familial way. They've grown up together, been through a lot and have intimate knowledge of the positives and negatives of each others' personalities. They have, however, reached a stage in their lives where they're opening up to the possibility of romantic relationships, and this is where angst and drama ensue.

I think that Conrad needs Belly more than she needs him. He's so serious and broody and keeps everything to himself that it seems like everyone's constantly telling Belly to "look after him" or make sure he's okay. But he needs a bit of levity in his life and Belly brings that with her, well, immaturity. However, his great flaw is his inability to open up and say what he feels, and to clam up and push everyone away. Personally, I relate to Conrad and get his character because, well, I'm basically the female version of him, haha. However, Belly and him would have to work out a lot of things to work.

Jeremiah comes off as such a cutie in this book. As the opposite of Conrad, he's sweet, he brings laughter and Belly and him have an easy relationship based on their friendship of many years. He deals with some feelings of always coming in second to Conrad in everything, so there's some jealousy issues there, but overall he's the caring mischievous one.

3. I'm dying to read the last book.

I liked that this book had a bit more structure and plot than the first one, with Jeremiah and Belly going to find Conrad, and then with the whole stopping their father from selling the summer house. I would've been so sad! I think this book is better than the first.