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The Summer I Turned Pretty

The Summer I Turned Pretty - Jenny Han I see the reviews are mixed on this one, and my own opinion is a little mixed as well - there were somethings I really enjoyed about the book, and then other things that made me super angry.Let's get the angry over with first So a supporting character in this book is sick. It's obvious to everybody except Belly, the main character, as far as I can tell, that she is sick, but she is pretending everything is fine, in the hopes of having a 'fun, normal' summer. I call BS. She and Belly's mother sneak off to doctor's appointments and treatments for the cancer that has quite obviously returned, and her children act out and mope and pretend-along, for the most part. And Belly (who's self-absorbed in a way I have personally known some teenage girls to be) doesn't even notice. So - major negative points for 1) Hiding Cancer from loved ones and family "to protect them"; 2)Doing a shitty job of hiding cancer, and then being surprised when loved ones act out, and 3) Belly being so goddamned blind about the whole thing, because she's caught up in her own love rectangle and unperfect summer of her dreams. End rant. For now. (But seriously, this is the 2nd book I've read in less than a month where a main character attempts to hide their cancer: WTF??) Other than that, though, what did I think? I think I knew girls like Belly, and I understood her. I think wanting a perfect summer, like all the summers of your nostalgic memory (which were never perfect when they happened, but now have that gloss of forgotten fights and mis-remembered moods) is something I still deal with, every year, every Christmas, every holiday, every... Saturday. When I remember something with that had that haze of happiness, and want it to keep on happening, try to force it to happen, and only manage to screw things up even more? That's basically the story of my life. (Well, partially, anyways.) I think that's universal, and Han has done a great job of portraying that need, that yearning for easier times, for togetherness and bonding and ... just better than now times. That's why the three stars, even with the spoiler. Because I understand that yearning a whole lot, and Han managed to keep me rooting for Belly, even though she didn't seem to be rooting for anybody but herself. Complicated, like I said.