We'll Always Have Summer
May 3rd 2012
The biggest decision of her life . . .
Just when she thought she had all the answers . . .
Isabel has only ever loved two boys, Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher.
One broke her heart; the other made her happier than she ever thought she'd be. But each brother is keeping a secret, and this summer Isabel must choose between the Fisher boys, once and for all. Which brother will it be?
Hmm. I feel very conflicted about this book. On the one hand, I really enjoyed it, but on the other, it took me a while to get into it and I found myself disliking the characters more than I remember. For the first third of the book, I just kind of facepalmed a lot, and that prevented me from really getting into it. I also kind of feel that the ending was a teeny bit rushed, but I did also enjoy it once I overlooked the characters, well, stupidity. Overall, I think I sadly left feeling a tiny bit disappointed, especially as I'd loved the other books so much.
I did really love the fact that we got chapters from Conrad's point view. The man of mystery was finally revealed to us! But at the same time I also feel that that was unfair upon Jeremiah, because I did think that they purposely only showed Jere at his worst just to make Conrad look better. But I did find myself looking forward to Conrad's chapters than Belly's, because I think after all this time, and with him having been so absentee, it was just really interesting to finally see his actual opinion on things. How he really feels about Belly and Jere, and also how he views himself.
I also really liked the fact that all of the characters were college-aged, because even though I'm not that old yet, I do like reading about American college life as much I like reading about American High School life. It's all just as foreign to me. I liked seeing Belly's freshman college experience and how it had differed from her expectations, and that the time of the story spent in college was really well balanced out with the time at Cousin's Beach, so it still had that summery feel to it.
Despite issues I had with the characters (I'll get to that in a minute), by the last 150 pages, I found myself being less distracted by my annoyance, and when I reached the end I was struggling to put it down, just like how I had with the first two. It just took me time to get into the story.
Belly really, really annoyed me in this book, and I didn't really know why because she didn't annoy me this much in the first two! She just came across as being really bratty and stupid, and I am all for flawed characters, but it grated on me because of how unreasonable she was being. I just kind of wanted to shake her by the shoulders and tell her to get her act together, because she was acting like she couldn't do what she was about to do any later than when they were going to do it! No, Belly! You're EIGHTEEN. YOU CAN WAIT. I would definitely have been her mother in that situation. But I think she got less bad as the book went along, and actually gave some thought to what she was going through with and realised why she was doing it. So.
It also annoyed me, because as I said earlier, it felt like we were being made to like Jeremiah less. And I know that people are sometimes different than they really are, and it's a perfectly realistic thing to do, but I liked Jeremiah even though I never wanted him and Belly to be together. I don't have to not like Jere to want Belly and Conrad to be together, y'know? And it felt like that's what was happening, even though I do think that's how Jere would act in that situation, because he's not mature, and I don't really think that he a Belly worked as a couple that well.
One last thing - why is it like she can only be with one of the brothers! I've said this about love triangles before, and maybe if it's not completely apparant to you who you wanted to be with, maybe you shouldn't be with either of them. I know that it's a nice romantic ideal to get to pick from two mega swoonsome brothers, but someone should've had the courage to walk away. Because someone was always going to be hurt, and none of them had to stick around with that. I kind of wish Jere or Conrad or Belly had just realised that none of them were really all that happy and nothing was really happening here and maybe it wasn't all worth it. I don't know. Now that I actually say that it sounds really negative. I guess I'm just not a romantic.
Despite being annoyed by it at first, I did get into We'll Always Have Summer by the end and ended up enjoying it, though I do feel that I didn't love it as much as the first two books in the series.