For Belly, it wouldn’t be summer without the Fisher boys and the beach house in Cousins. And it wouldn’t be one of Jenny Han’s Summer books without lots of drama and angst. Readers will find everything they loved about The Summer I Turned Pretty and It Isn’t Summer Without You in the third and final book in Han’s trilogy, We’ll Always Have Summer.
The book follows Belly and the Fisher boys through another tumultuous summer — this one set two years after the previous book. Belly’s made her choice (at least, she thinks she has) — and despite some reservations from their families, she and Jeremiah are moving forward with their wedding plans. But all this forever-planning makes Conrad — Belly’s first love — realize he may have screwed things up big time when he let Belly go. Will he confess before it’s too late? And what will Belly decide? Only one thing is certain … whether she chooses Conrad or Jeremiah, she’s going to break one of the boys’ hearts.
Anyone who’s a fan of Han’s Summer trilogy will delight in this final chapter of Belly’s romantic ups and downs with the Fisher brothers. As with the first two books, it’s full of romantic tangles, family drama, inner angst and lots of sweet moments between Belly and the two boys.
The characters remain true to who they’ve always been, while also believably growing up — considering they are now a few years older than when they started out in the first book. It’s fun to watch them grow up and mature over the course of all three books. Even the ending offers you a flash forward into the future for even more insight into their lives. A few of their actions (namely, the one that sets events into action here) seem a bit questionable to me — and not always necessary for much more than added drama. I would have liked to have seen the twist in this book happen without that initial, seemingly-out-of-character act. (I’m being vague on purpose to avoid spoilers, but if you’d like spoilers, then highlight the following sentence: basically, Jeremiah’s infidelity felt out of character to me, and while it becomes the catalyst for unfolding events, I felt as if those events could have happened organically, without his mistake.)
But my favorite “character” from this, and all three of the Summer books, has to be the beach itself. Once again the house in Cousins takes center stage — and its the moments that happen in this place that are my favorites. I love the way Han describes these moments. It’s as if I am transported there myself: I can feel the sand sticking to my skin, taste the salty air, feel the breeze blowing off the ocean. It makes me long for warm, summer days on the beach.
If you’re looking for a fresh summer romance, curl up with We’ll Always Have Summer.