Gabby’s Honest Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty — Novel vs. TV Show


2022’s summer was filled with countless memories, events and entertainment. From Marvel’s new hit series “She Hulk: Attorney at Law” staring Tatiana Maslany to Hulu’s “Only Murders In The Building: Season 2” staring Selena Gomez, Martin Short and Steve Martin, people ate up the new tv shows and movies hitting the screen. One of the most popular shows, accumulating over 1.3 billion views on TikTok, The Summer I Turned Pretty has taken the hearts of many.

“The vibe you get from the TV show was just pure happiness,” said BHS Student Eva Neamonitis [15]. “I just felt like the books captured that better.” 

The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy by Jenny Han came out with the first book being published in 2009. It featured the same main character as the show–Isabella “Belly” Conklin– in the summer she turned 16 years old, where she experiences new feelings and changes with her family and friends at Cousin’s Beach. Since the TV show is significantly different from the book in terms of plot, character sexualities, diversification of the cast and side plots, many have questions about whether the books or TV show is better. 

Eva stated, “They just put more pieces together in the book than in the show,” explaining her reason for loving the books more.

BHS student, Nora Kerrigan [15] agreed, stating, “I like the books better than the TV show because you just get so much more character backstory than you do in the TV show especially with Conrad.” 

In contrast, Cassie Peters [17] said, “Usually I hate when TV shows change what was in the books, but I really liked the changes in the TV show like the debutante ball. I did  like Belly was annoying in both, but with characters like Jeremiah, I liked his character a lot more in the show than I did in the books.”

The debate still continues as the wait for Season 2 of The Summer I Turned Pretty stays alive. After Season 1 covered book one of the TSITP trilogy, Season 2 will cover book 2 with even more love triangles and emotional-rollercoasters. Who knows what Season 2 will hold for the avid readers and watchers of the series.

And so, the real question stands: Team Conrad or Team Jeremiah?