Last week Prime Video announced that The Summer I Turned Pretty has already been renewed for a season 2 before the show even hit the streaming airwaves. After watching it, I’m not at all surprised.
The new Jenny Han book series come to life is charming, honest, and somehow makes a teen love triangle trope feel fresh. In the series, we meet Belly, a 15-year-old girl with a lifetime crush on her mother’s best friend, Suzanna’s, son, Conrad. However, after an interesting summer, Belly goes from first crushes to lifetime love lost and somehow makes the turn to possibly find new love with Suzanna’s other son, Jeremiah. Only proving that sometimes you find love where you least expect it.
The Summer I Turned Pretty fun doesn’t stop there!
This series gives Beaches meets an edgier To All The Boys vibe. Something I love about this series is the kids aren’t written with kid gloves. They are mature, yet youthful with slang and coming into their own when it comes to relationships. They also understand what goes on in their parents’ lives and don’t pretend like they’re perfect.
I also love that the adults in the series aren’t forgotten. They’re written with care and fantastic backstories that weave their way through the lives of the children making it all come together in the end. I haven’t read Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty, but if it’s anything like the tv adaption I’ll be devouring it over the summer because I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!
The Incredible Casting of The Summer I Turned Pretty
In case you are unfamiliar, I watch and review a lot of young adult content. It’s something that I’ve always loved starting in my tween years. What I love about a lot of YA series now, is that the actors playing the teens ARE teens. They are all adorable but are definitely in that awkward puberty stage of life that can only be seen in actual actors that age.
Newcomer Lola Tung as Belly is incredible. I fell in love with her the moment she hit the screen. She has great chemistry with every co-star and is incredibly charming, and effortless in every scene. Her long-time and new love interests are played by Christopher Briney (Conrad) and Gavin Casalegno (Jeremiah).
Briney is incredible as the deeply troubled Conrad and has that “smirky kind of mouth” down. What I love is that while yes, Conrad is dark and brooding, he actually has a ginormous reason for being that way. What he’s dealing with personally all season isn’t just your typical teen angst. It’s a real issue that he’s keeping from everyone in order to save the feelings of the entire family and you can see the weight on his shoulders.
Casalegno as Jeremiah is fantastic as the bi-sexual, loud, and outspoken one who is never afraid to speak his mind. He brings this super fun energy and heart to someone who could easily become obnoxious to watch.
The Summer I turned Pretty heartfelt story for the parents
As I said, I LOVE that the adults are not cast as the side characters in this series. The lifelong friendship of Laurel (Jackie Chung) and Suzanna (Rachel Blanchard) is incredibly important when it comes to the rest of the story. The energy of each parent weighs on the children differently. They each live full lives outside of the children and together over the summers.
The dynamic between Laurel and Suzanna with their children is also fantastic. They don’t hover, they don’t pretend like they don’t understand the world. If they want to eat an edible then raid the snacks they’re going to do it with zero shame.
Honestly, I’m in love with this series and can’t think of anything I didn’t enjoy besides it being too short. The Summer I Turned Pretty is only 8, 40-ish min episodes and I’m dying for more. Season 2 can’t get here fast enough.