Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com
IT'S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU is the second installment in the series by Jenny Han, following THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY. The story picks up after the summer.
Belly relates her history with Conrad and what has happened since they kissed at the end of summer. She knew he would call in the fall, and eventually he does. The two have a tenuous relationship, but that all falls apart when Conrad's mother, Suzanne, dies.
Suzanne was the bond that kept the two families close. Each summer, they would be together at the house at Cousins' Beach. Now, with Suzanne gone, the threads are unraveling.
Belly receives a call a few months after the funeral from Conrad's brother, Jeremiah. Conrad has gone missing from summer school at Brown. He asks Belly to help him try to find Conrad. Without telling her mother, Belly and Jeremiah set off to find Conrad.
They quickly figure out that he is at the beach house. At first, Belly and Jeremiah think Conrad is running away from everything. But soon they learn that Mr. Fisher, Conrad and Jeremiah's father, plans to sell the house. The kids can't let that happen. But with little hope, they throw one last party to remember their summers at the beach.
IT'S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU is a bittersweet novel of loss and love. Belly has loved Conrad since she was a small child and everyone knows it. But Conrad is so different from Jeremiah and wants to be left alone. They are all grieving for Suzanne in different ways, but join as one to save the only thing that has brought them together every year and has made them a family.
Don't expect this novel to have all the answers, though! The ending leaves the reader eagerly anticipating the follow-up; WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER is due out in May 2011.