★★★★☆ (3.75/5) ★★★★☆ (4/5) ★★★★☆ (4/5)
To fifteen year old Belly, there's nothing she anticipates more than the beginning of summer. Ever since she was born she has spent her summer in a beach house in Cousins. The beach house doesn't belong to her, but to her mother's best friend, Susannah. Susannah has two children, Conrad and Jeremiah. And of course that's what she loves the most about her summers. Belly measures her life in summers. This is the summer she turned pretty, the summer the boys finally stopped looking at her like she was still a kid. But this summer things are different, Conrad doesn't act like himself, her brother Steven only spends a few weeks there, even her mother and Susannah are acting differently.
When we start this series Belly is only fifteen, and she was one of the most annoying girls there is! Always making childish decisions, trying to get attention from Conrad, trying to make him jealous. But when I look back at the time when I was fifteen, I guess I acted pretty much like Belly did in the first book. When I was almost finished with the first book, I didn't want to keep reading, but something really unexpected happened in the last chapter and I had to pick up the second book.
In the second book Belly is a completely different person. She stopped being that annoying litte kid she was in the first one. You can see how much she changes in that winter. Not only her but also all the characters. Something bad happens that creates a distance between them all. This book is a sad book actually, I had tears in my eyes throughout the entire book.
When we get to the last book, the first book Belly is fully grown up. Even thought she is no longer a kid, she is still so stubborn, I felt like yelling at her, she wouldn't listen to what everybody was saying, even thought they were right! Fortunately, she comes to her senses, and everything works out.
However, Belly was not the character that I liked the most. I felt intrigued by Conrad as soon as I first read about him. With his every action you can feel how lost he feels, he spends his days alone in his room, he stars drinking and smoking. He builds a wall so big around him it takes him more than two years to finally come to his senses, stop running away every time he can't cope with his feelings and actually tell people what he really thinks and what he is feeling. In the first two books Conrad is a giant ass! He keeps playing with Belly's feelings, he's always hurting her. But there are times when he opens himself a little bit and you can tell how much he cares for her. So when we get to the last book and there are some chapters written in his point of view, you understand that, with his actions he only meant to protect Belly from himself.
About Jeremiah, there's not a lot of things I can say about him. I didn't really like him in any of the books. I feel like he was the only one who changed for the worst. I think he was selfish, putting his happiness in front of everyone else's, including Belly and Conrad.
What I loved the most about this series was not the plot or the love story. It was the character development, and how Jenny Han was able to work out the love triangle in a way that I had never came across before, how every character was faulty and made mistakes. I hate it when the characters in some book seem to perfect, like they'd never screw things up.
All in all, this is a good and easy read, a bit sad sometimes, but definitely worth to give it a try, specially if you are a young adult or teenager.