Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han


Summer is a great getaway for many people. Its the escape from school, work and issues for its the feeling of freedom and warmth. Summer is more then just a time for Belly, its her life. Every summer Belly, with her mother and brother, escapes and goes to Cousins Beach, the place she has spent every summer for her life. This is not just a summer house to her though this is her home away from home, with her favorite people there: Susannah, her mothers best friend, and her two sons, Conrad and Jeremiah. Conrad, Belly believes, is her true love. She has been chasing him for her entire life. This summer, like every summer, she hopes will be different and he will finally let her catch him. This summer is different though, Belly has matured and the boys, Jeremiah and Conrad including a new friend she meets, Cam, takes notice in these changes. Suddently this summer has become differnt. She is feeling somethings special towards Jeremiah, who has aways been like a brother to her, and met a new guy who she also has feeling towards but Belly's heart still belongs to Conrad. Belly isnt the only person changing this summer though. When Susanah gets sick with cancer again she trys to hide it from her sons but they find out. They deal with the situation in differnt ways though. Jeremiah tries to get closer to Belly but Conrad just becomes rebelious and hurts everyone who loves him emotionally. Belly must decide to give up her love on Conrad and go for his brother, Jeremiah, who cares for her very much or keep true to her heart and stick it out with Conrad, continuously trying to get closer to him as he pushes her away.

1) Do you think if a parent gets seriously sick they should hide it from there kids in hope they can enjoy there possibly last summer together like Susanah did or be upfront and tell them? Why?


2) What advice would you give Belly in which guy to choose: Jermiah who is sweet and cares for Belly very much or Conard, his brother, who Belly's heart seems to belong too but always ends up hurting her?

12 comments:

Lottie W. 7-8 said...

1. I would feel very betrayed if my mother kept something as big as being seriously ill from me. Trust should be a very big factor in any family setting and keeping it from one's family may seem like a good idea, but it would only hurt the one's they love when the secret was out. So, I think that if a parent was ever seriously sick, they should be honest and let people know. Lies and with holding information only causes doubt, anger, and hurt.
2. People would usually say something along the lines of following one's heart. But if in following one's heart they get hurt then they shouldn't. Life is too short to be stuck on someone that doesn't seem to care enough to not hurt you. Yes, he must be in pain over what is happening, but that does not give him a justifiable reason to emotionally hurt others who might be in as much pain as he is.

Anna W. 1-2 said...

1.I think that when a parent falls critically ill with a disease such as cancer that they should be open and honest to their children. I believe this because open and honest communication is very important for strengthening family bonds. When there is open communication and trust in a family, the family tends to function better. This would have the family have a support system through hard times. I, personally, would be devastated if I found out my ill family member were to withhold information about a critical disease and ended up dying without me being able to say goodbye. If the mom were to do that, I think the children would have a hard time coping of why their mom did that, and maybe they would wonder if they did something wrong. They can still enjoy their possibly last summer if their mom is open with them. Even if she is dying, the children and the mom can rest peacefully knowing that their last associations held tight honest heartwarming communication and most importantly,thier mother's love for them.
2.I would advise Belly to choose the guy who is willing to care for her. If she were to choose a guy who seems to be pushing her away and if she were to cling onto that feeling of attraction between her and Conard, only negative effects could come from such a relationship. A relationship needs to be based on respect for each other. It is not worth to have a relationship were the other person is only bringing your self esteem down.

Mitch W 1-2 said...

I probably picked the worst one to comment...

1. That's a tough question, because I wouldn't want to ruin the summer, but at the same time, when I do kick the bucket, I don't want anyone hating me for keeping it a secret. I think I'd tell them a month or two in advance. Best of both worlds.

2. Belly is a jerk for using Jermiah. I feel bad for him. He cares about her so much, but she just goes after him to get closer to his brother. I hate the main character, but uh, Jermiah, because I emphasize with him.

Kaitlyn K 7-8 said...

1)If one of my parents were seriously sick I would want them to tell me so I can remember the last months and times I had with them and charish them. Even though it would somewhat ruin my summer it would be goood to know that they were not hiding anything from me and were open with why they were acting differently. At the same time, though, I would not want them to tell me because yes in a sense it would ruin the summer. No knowing whether or not you could enjoy a summer with them again might be hard.

2)I think Belly is wrong for using Jeremiah. From your description he seems like a very nice person and she could be risking her friendship with him by using him the way she did.

Renae G. 1-2 said...

1. If a parent gets seriously sick i think they should be out front and honest with their children. If one of my parents were sick I would definatley want to know because I would want to help them and care for them.

2. My advice to Belly is to stay true to your heart but if Conrad is not having feelings for Belly then she is better off with Jeremiah who will actually care for her and love her.

Raechel B. 7-8 said...

1. If one of my parents got seriously sick I would want them to tell me. I would do all I could to help them get better and also make it a summer they would never forget just in case it would be their last. I would want to know what is going on in my parent's lives so I could do all I could to help and if I was sick I would tell my parents so they could help me.

Ashley B. 1-2 said...

1. I can understand why the mom would keep her illness a secret because she wouldn't have wanted the summer to be tainted by it. But, in that position
I would want my mom to to be upfront and tell me about it. Open and honest relationships are built off of communication. So when something as serious as Cancer is kept from the other person,or even something as simple as a secret, they are going to feel betrayed and hurt.

Monica J. 1-2 said...

1. Most mothers would put there childrens happiness before there own so you cna see whyt she didnt tell her children.She was just trying to be a good mother even though i disagree with it.

2. I dont think Bellys feelings for Conrad are going to b e able to go away so even though she should go for the more caring Jeremiah i dont think she would be able to. She is a jerk though for leading them both on.

Millie W. 7/8 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Millie W. 7/8 said...

1) Umm I would hide it for at least that summer, because I would be sad if it spoiled the summer for me and my kids. It kinda bums out everyone.

2)I think she needs to help Conrad through his troubles, he is probably hurting and needs to a friend even if he acts like a jerk. It would be even worst to me I think if I was going to lose my dad and my friends just drifted away because I was going through hard times. I think she should stick it out.

Mia G. 1-2 said...

1. i fershure wouldn't hide it, but definitely downplay it as much as possible. like make it seem a lot less serious then it is.

2. NEITHER! forget about Conrad because hes a jerk! don't go after Jeremiah because you'll only think about and want to be with his brohah!

Heather B. 1-2 said...

1.) Like everyone else, kids need time to deal with change and heartbreak. Parents should tell their kids, if the parents are sick, but then try to enjoy every meoment possible. No one deserves to be suprised by something tragic, if the suprise can be avoided.

2.) Every cliche drama tells the story of the girl who wants the "bad boy." But, if Jeremiah truly cares about Belly, she should not waste her time with inevitable disappointed.