It's Not Summer Without You

By Jenny Han


Isabel Conklin

Known as Belly, is the main character, narrator, and protagonist in the series. Her mother is Laurel, who is best friends with Susannah. She has an older brother named Steven and is known for always having a crush on Conrad, Susannah's oldest son. She is also best friends with Jeremiah, who is also Susannah's son. In the beginning of the books she is sixteen years of age and grows up from there. Through out the books you can see the growth of Belly's character. She matures a lot and you can see it in how everyone reacts to her. Belly knows that she loves Conrad but believes nothing will ever happen between the two, so she ends up with Jeremiah, Conrad's brother. She ends up getting engaged to Jeremiah.

Mr. Fisher

Is Susannah's husband and the father of Conrad and Jeremiah. He always favors Conrad, even when Jeremiah tops Conrad, he is never the focus. He always expects to get his way no matter what. He is never around the summer house, he is always at work doing business. He cheats on Susannah and this drives Conrad away because of how bad he was treating her. In the last book he tries to repair his relationships with his sons.

Cam Cameron

He is Belly's boyfriend for a short period of time in the first book. They had known each other throughout grade school and he had always had a crush on her but never had the guts to tell her until he unexpectedly runs into her again. This was when they got together. Towards the end of the summer Belly broke it off with him and he ends up leaving her one last message asking if she wanted to stay in contact with him after summer. They never spoke again.


Belly has gone to the summer house every year for as long as she could remember. While she was there she hung out with her brother Steven, her mother Laurel, her mom's best friend Susannah, and Susannah's boys, Conrad and Jeremiah. All of the kids had grown up together every summer in the beach house, but Belly has always had a huge crush on Conrad, the oldest of them all. In the first book, things begin to happen which leaves Belly confused, wanting more, and believing that they are in a relationship.

Then this summer isn't the same. They no longer go to the summer together, instead Belly and her mother stays home and Belly is forced to hangout with her best friend Taylor. Belly has been best friends with Taylor for years. Taylor tries to help Belly get over everything and tries to help her have fun, but Belly refuses to do so. She only wants the summer house in Cousins.

Conrad ended up taking Belly to her prom in, The Summer I Turned Pretty, but ended up leaving her their early. This is when Belly realized that Conrad didn't feel the same for her as she did for him. This and many other things lead Belly to go off on Conrad at the wrong time.

So much time has passed and Jeremiah finally calls Belly and tells her that Conrad has disappeared from college and will fail if he doesn't return. Jeremiah asks Belly to help him find Conrad and she agrees to. When they finally find Conrad he is at the summer house in Cousins. They all stay in the house as they try to convince Conrad to go back to school before he fails out. Conrad refuses to and they all discover why, it's because his dad is trying to sell the summer house and won't allow them to keep it. They also realize that there is a lot of things that need to be worked out between all of them and their feelings about what happened to Susannah.

Important Quotes

These quotes explain big lessons learned and life changing moments of the characters:

“I looked at him, and I felt so sad, because this thought occurred to me: 'I will never look at you in the same way ever again. I'll never be that girl again. The girl who comes running back every time you push her away, the girl who loves you anyway.' I couldn’t even be mad at him, because this was who he was. This was who he’d
always been. He’d never lied about that. He gave and then he took away. I felt it in the pit of my stomach, the familiar ache, that lost, regretful feeling only he could give me. I never wanted to feel it again. Never, ever. "

“How do you regret one of the best nights of your entire life? You don't. You remember every word, every look. Even when it hurts, you still remember.”

“That's when I finally got it. I finally understood. It wasn't the thought that counted. It was the actual execution that mattered, the showing up for somebody. The intent behind it wasn't enough. Not for me. Not anymore. It wasn't enough to know that deep down, he loved me. You had to actually say it to somebody, show them you cared. And he just didn't. Not enough.”

“We stood there, looking at each other, saying nothing. But it was the kind of nothing that meant everything.”

“I release you. I evict you from my heart. Because if I don't do it now, I never will.”

“There are moments in life that you wish with all your heart you could take back. Like, just erase from existence. Like, if you could, you'd erase yourself right out of existence too, just to make that moment not exist.”

“I hated to leave her and I hated to be near her, because she made me remember what I wanted most to forget.”

“I didn't want to make the same mistake my parents made. I didn't want my love to fade away one day like an old scar. I wanted it to burn forever.”

“It’s all relative, I suppose. You think you know love, you think you know real pain, but you don’t. You don’t know anything.”

“When a person you love dies, it doesn’t feel real. It’s like it’s happening to someone else. It’s someone else’s life. I’ve never been good with the abstract. What does it mean when someone is really truly gone?”

“My dad always used to say that with everything in life, there’s a game-changing moment. The one moment everything else hinges upon, but you hardly ever know it at the time.”


I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.