The Summer I Turned Pretty

Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty, tells the story of almost 16 year old Belly and her family and friends that spend each summer at the beach. Just moms, dads only come out occasionally and not at all this year, and the kids. Belly is the youngest and only girl so has often been excluded from the fun parties that have been happening every year. This year is different. She’s turned pretty. She’s more confident. She’s not just a girl, but almost a woman now. This is the summer she’s been waiting for. There’s crushes she’s had forever and new loves. Grudges and jealousy all set on a beautiful beach with bonfires.

Easy, fun read about a 16 year old becoming a woman. It was written from a place of truth that it reminded me of being young and suddenly being able to get the boys to pay attention.

Read July 2019

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The Secret Place

The Secret Place is a coming of age story at an Irish boarding school with all that teenage girls do: secrets, friends, enemies; and some that most don’t: murder, witchcraft. Tana French has a cold case Detective Moran finagle his was onto a murder investigation with a difficult to get along with Det. Conway. At St Kilda’s, one of 8 girls  left a secretive note about the murder of Chris Harper, who was killed almost a year ago.

The novel seemed to drag on a bit into all the ins and outs of the different girl cliques at St Kilda’s, past my interest level. But the feeling of youth and how it felt so special to have  close friendships and secrets was true in my life and it was good to see it.

Read September 2018.

The Age of Miracles

Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles tells the story of the earth’s rotation slowing and what happens to as the days grow longer. Julia is 11 year old girl who plays soccer and has sleep overs with her best friend when she learns that the world is slowing. Although no one could predict what this slowing would do, it almost immediately impacts everyone in Julia’s life.

As the world around her tries to adjust to the progressively longer days, Julia is doing her best to grow up. When the governments around the world decide to remain on a 24 hour day clock to keep businesses going, the population separates by those on clock time and those on real time. As the days and nights grow the environment around Julia starts to die off. Birds. Grass. Eucalyptus Trees.

In the middle of these changes, Julia deals with the lose of friendships and first loves while watching the world and the life she knows falling apart. She gets her first bra while having to deal with her parents relationship falling apart. Life still happens even as the world changes.

Walker gives us a narrator that is in “…the age of miracles, the time when kids shot up three inches over the summer, when breasts bloomed from nothing, when voices dipped and dove.” And to this narrator the world is undergoing a negative kind of change.

This was a great story and and quick read. Walker brought me into her dystopia and made me appreciate our current world. I appreciate the sunshine and strawberries a little more today.

Read June 2013