We’ll Always Have Summer — “Summer” Series (2024)

  • Book Review
  • Jenny Han
  • Contemporary, Romance

We’ll Always Have Summer — “Summer” Series (1)


Readability Age Range

  • 12 and up


  • Simon & Schuster


  • ALA/YALSA Reader’s Choice, 2012

Year Published

  • 2011

Plot Summary

College freshman Belly Conklin was in love with Conrad Fisher for most of her life. Her mother Laurel was best friends with Conrad’s mother, Susannah, so Belly and her mom would go stay at the Fishers’ summer house in Cousins Beach every summer. Belly’s childhood dreams of dating Conrad came true in high school, but Conrad’s emotional distance eventually broke them up. Susannah’s death from cancer drove them further apart, and Belly began dating Conrad’s younger brother, Jeremiah.

Now finishing her freshman year of college, Belly has been happily dating Jeremiah for two years. They’re a comfortable couple, happy together and well-liked by everyone they know. At a post-finals party at Jeremiah’s frat house, Belly feels jealous when Jeremiah talks to Lacie, a beautiful girl at his frat’s sister sorority.

Belly dismisses her fears as groundless until she overhears Lacie saying she slept with Jeremiah during spring break. Jeremiah admits that what she said is true, and Belly slaps him, utterly devasted by his betrayal. She tells him they’re finished.

Belly recalls how she and Jeremiah had gotten into a fight before spring break. They broke up, but Jeremiah thought the breakup was permanent while Belly understood the breakup to be a temporary moment of trouble in the relationship. To Jeremiah, getting physical with Lacie didn’t seem like cheating on Belly, but Belly interprets his actions as cheating.

Belly’s disappointment in Jeremiah makes her think of his brother, Conrad. She recalls how, six months earlier she had driven down to the Fishers’ beach house and stayed the night. Conrad showed up and the two of them shared fun conversations. Belly never told Jeremiah about that day because she felt guilty about it. That day made Belly realize that, even after a few years of dating Jeremiah, she was still in love with Conrad.

After a few days, Belly and Jeremiah have a heart-to-heart talk. He says that he knows she’s the only girl for him and that he’ll never risk losing her again. He pulls out a diamond ring and asks her to marry him. Belly is shocked by the sudden proposal, but she loves Jeremiah, so she agrees to marry him although that night she still dreams about Conrad.

Telling both their families about their marriage plans will be a challenge, so they decide to break the news to everyone simultaneously at a dedication event honoring Susannah. When she was alive, Susannah was a key supporter for an abused women’s shelter, and the shelter is planting a garden in her honor.

At the garden dedication event, Conrad arrives late and the narration switches to his point of view. Conrad still loves Belly, though he’s aware he has no right to discuss his feelings with her since he treated her badly when they were together and she’s now in a long-term relationship with his brother.

Jeremiah announces to Belly’s mom, Laurel, and his father, Mr. Fisher, that he and Belly plan to get married, and the parents are stunned and angry at the announcement. Laurel takes Belly home and strictly forbids her from marrying Jeremiah. Belly refuses to back down from her choice, and Laurel says she won’t attend the wedding or help Belly plan it.

Belly goes wedding dress shopping with her best friend, Taylor, but feels terrible that her mother isn’t there with her for such a big moment. Jeremiah visits Laurel. He tries to persuade her to accept his and Belly’s marriage plans, but it doesn’t work. Laurel and Belly get into a fight, and Belly moves out of their house and into the Fishers’ beach house.

Conrad is also staying at the beach house and is shocked to learn that Belly is moving in until her August wedding. Jeremiah seems nervous about leaving Belly at the beach house with her former love, but doesn’t really have a choice in the matter. Belly and Conrad fall into a daily routine of her planning wedding-related things and him doing small home repairs around the beach house.

She needs help with wedding preparations, so he goes with her on various small trips to pick out flower vases and decorations, which just makes Jeremiah more jealous. Conrad endeavors to hide his love for Belly, though he pays close attention to all her needs. When he hears her crying because her mother won’t attend her wedding shower, he resolves to convince Laurel to repair her relationship with Belly and is successful.

Laurel comes to Belly’s wedding shower, which makes Belly incredibly happy. Conrad feels increasingly agitated as the wedding day draws near, and an older friend of his advises him to tell Belly how he feels, even if it means breaking up the wedding. Belly also feels uneasy about the upcoming nuptials and imagines kissing Conrad, growing even more drawn to him when she learns that her mom only attended the wedding shower because Conrad personally convinced her.

At Jeremiah’s bachelor party, Conrad overhears Jeremiah’s friends teasing him about not having sex with Belly yet. The guys also mention how Jeremiah slept with Lacie during spring break, infuriating Conrad, who had assumed that his brother was faithful to Belly and would never do anything to hurt her.

Conrad tells Belly that Jeremiah cheated on her, and when she replies that she already knows, he openly confesses that he still loves her. Belly is angry that Conrad is telling her the words she always wanted to hear two years too late. He explains that he originally let her go because he felt like he didn’t deserve to love anyone after his mother’s death. Then he removed himself from Belly’s life so Jeremiah could have her, but only did so on the assumption that Jeremiah would treat her well. Conrad asks Belly to cancel her wedding to Jeremiah and be with him instead, but she refuses.

The day before her wedding, Belly is in a quandary, loving both brothers but not knowing which one to choose, since her decision will permanently wound the remaining brother. She tells Jeremiah about Conrad’s love confession, and Jeremiah realizes that Belly also still cares for Conrad and might only be marrying him to erase her memories of loving his brother.

On the morning of the wedding, Belly learns that Jeremiah has vanished and that Conrad went to go look for him. When Conrad finds Jeremiah, they have a verbal fight over Belly that escalates into Jeremiah punching Conrad. Jeremiah agrees to return with Conrad to the wedding but says he never wants to see Conrad again afterward.

When Jeremiah returns, Belly is already wearing her wedding dress and is disappointed that Jeremiah doesn’t even want to discuss the fact that he ran away right before their wedding. He finally admits that he’s not content with their relationship and feels like he’s never had Belly’s whole heart because she was always meant to be with Conrad. He asks if she still loves Conrad, and when she confirms that she does, he decides to let her go. They cancel the wedding.

A few years later, Belly is almost 24. After breaking up with Jeremiah, she spent a year abroad in Spain, where Conrad began to write her letters. The letters re-established their relationship, and they decide to marry. On Belly and Conrad’s wedding day, Belly thinks of Susannah and of all the dreams Susannah had for Belly’s future. Instead of going to the reception immediately after their wedding, Belly and Conrad drive to the ocean to play in the water like they did when they were kids.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Mr. Fisher was a cheating husband when Susannah was alive and an absentee father to his sons growing up. He tries to re-establish a relationship with them now that they’re in college.

Belly’s mother, Laurel, loves her but doesn’t support her decision to get married as a college sophom*ore. Laurel refuses to take part in any planning or to attend the wedding, though she later changes her mind. Belly loves and respects her mother and is miserable planning the wedding without her.

Profanity & Violence

Profanity used includes a–, d–n, h—, s—, d–k and the f-word. God’s name is used in vain a few times.

Belly slaps Jeremiah. Jeremiah punches Conrad.

Sexual Content

Belly and Jeremiah kiss passionately and often sleep in the same bed. They haven’t had sex in the two years they’ve dated because Belly hasn’t felt that the timing was right.

When Belly moves into her college dorm, she and other girls play the drinking game “I Never.” The other girls mention things like going skinny-dipping and having sex in public places.

Jeremiah had sex with Lacie when he and Belly were broken up. Multiple characters assume that the only reason Belly is marrying Jeremiah is because she’s pregnant.

Conrad recalls having a sexual relationship with a girl from his university. Belly’s friends tell Belly that she might not enjoy sex the first few times after she’s married, because it can be slightly painful.

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments

Alcohol: College kids drink alcohol.

Drugs: Jeremiah has a habit of smoking marijuana.

You can request a review of a title you can’t find at [emailprotected].

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsem*nt by Focus on the Family.

Back to Top

Latest Book Reviews


Read Review »


Elf Dog and Owl Head

Read Review »


A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses Series)

Read Review »


Read Review »

Young Adult Fiction


Read Review »


The Minor Miracle: The Amazing Adventures of Noah Minor

Read Review »

Back to Top

We’ll Always Have Summer — “Summer” Series (2024)


How does Conrad find out Jeremiah cheated on Belly? ›

At Jeremiah's bachelor party, Conrad overhears Jeremiah's friends teasing him about not having sex with Belly yet. The guys also mention how Jeremiah slept with Lacie during spring break, infuriating Conrad, who had assumed that his brother was faithful to Belly and would never do anything to hurt her.

Who does Jeremiah end up with? ›

In the final book, "We'll Always Have Summer," Belly and Jeremiah become a serious couple and even go to the same college. When Belly discovers he hooked up with someone else while they were on a break, she breaks up with him. He begs her to take him back and proposes, to which she agrees, much to her family's chagrin.

Do Belly and Jeremiah get married? ›

But, fans of Belly and Jeremiah might want to look away now as in the books written by Jenny Han, Belly ends up marrying Conrad. Yes, really! In Jenny Han's third book, We'll Always Have Summer, Belly breaks up with Jeremiah after two years when she discovers he cheated on her while they were on a break.

Do Taylor and Steven end up together in the books? ›

Do Taylor and Steven end up together in The Summer I Turned Pretty books? Unfortunately, there are no answers about Taylor and Steven's relationship in It's Not Summer Without You. Unlike the show, Taylor and Steven have very minor roles in the book and we don't see either of their romantic lives explored in depth.

Does Belly lose her virginity to Conrad or Jeremiah? ›

In the second episode, it's revealed that Belly loses her virginity to Conrad by the fireplace in the house at Cousins Beach after the snow at the beach scene. “I felt like that's where Belly was in her journey,” Han tells Variety. “These two characters were very much in love and had known each other their whole lives.

Does Belly forgive Jeremiah for cheating? ›

Things begin well, but at college Jeremiah cheats on Belly at a frat party and she ends things with him. In response, Jeremiah begs Belly to forgive him and he proposes to her. Despite her family's concerns, Belly says yes.

Do Jeremiah and Belly get divorced? ›

However, at the end of the book, Jeremiah calls off their wedding because Belly is still in love with Conrad. They agree that they just aren't meant to be together, and that's okay. A few years later, Belly and Conrad marry, and Jeremiah brings a date to the wedding.

Do Conrad and Belly sleep together? ›

Belly's First Time

While the pair also staged a secret visit to Cousins during Christmastime on the page, Belly and Conrad did not have sex. But in the second episode, it's revealed that the couple are intimate for the first time in front of the fireplace. "Conrad, it's only you," she tells a sleeping Conrad after.

Why does Conrad break up with Belly? ›

But after Susannah's death, Conrad's grief created distance between him and Belly leading to their breakup at prom. This summer, Belly and Conrad seek closure for their failed relationship, while she and Jeremiah resume their friendship, after she picked Conrad over him.

Do Belly and Conrad stay together? ›

The series ends with Belly marrying Conrad, and the couple starting a new life together. Jeremiah "Jere" Fisher: At the outset of the series, he is the "golden" boy, the one who appears to be untainted in the eyes of everyone. He is a good friend to Belly and a loving brother to Conrad.

When did Belly lose her virginity in the books? ›

However, in a flashback in The Summer I Turned Pretty season 2, we see Belly lose her virginity to Conrad. Fans of Jenny Han's The Summer I Turned Pretty books will know this did not happen in the original novel series.

Does Belly ever sleep with Jeremiah? ›

Jeremiah was Belly's first kiss, abruptly kissing her during a game of Truth or Dare at fourteen years old. Belly had been furious since he stole her first kiss, which she wanted to be special, and he had only done so as a joke and to make Taylor jealous. The two did not have sex during their two year relationship.

Does Steven end up with Shayla? ›

He dated Cousins' resident summer it-girl, Shayla Wang, in Season 1. However, in the Season 2 premiere, he announced during his valedictorian speech that Shayla broke up with him at the end of the summer.

Why did Belly choose Jeremiah? ›

“They really love each other. They really are best friends—and now more.” As for why Belly chooses Jeremiah in the season finale, Han says that, as always, Belly is following her heart. “I think part of what she loves about Jeremiah is his openness and the way he allows her to really see him and love him,” she says.

Why is Conrad so moody in season 1? ›

As the story progresses, the reader learns that Conrad is aware that his mother's condition has grown worse and realizes the family will likely lose her soon. Much of what appears to be bad behavior is actually evidence of his emotional turmoil. Instead of sharing his feelings with others, he withdraws into himself.

Why does Belly choose Conrad over Jeremiah? ›

Belly's indecisiveness and selfish desires lead her to make the wrong choice in picking Jeremiah over Conrad in The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2. Despite her complicated relationship with Jeremiah, it is clear that Belly has been in love with Conrad since the first episode and their connection cannot be ignored.

Why did Conrad break up with Belly in season 2? ›

But after Susannah's death, Conrad's grief created distance between him and Belly leading to their breakup at prom. This summer, Belly and Conrad seek closure for their failed relationship, while she and Jeremiah resume their friendship, after she picked Conrad over him.

How does Jeremiah betray Belly? ›

They go through a bit of a rough patch when Belly finds out that Jeremiah slept with someone else while they were on a break. But they seemingly make up when Jeremiah proposes to Belly, and she says yes. However, at the end of the book, Jeremiah calls off their wedding because Belly is still in love with Conrad.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Twana Towne Ret

Last Updated:

Views: 6853

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Twana Towne Ret

Birthday: 1994-03-19

Address: Apt. 990 97439 Corwin Motorway, Port Eliseoburgh, NM 99144-2618

Phone: +5958753152963

Job: National Specialist

Hobby: Kayaking, Photography, Skydiving, Embroidery, Leather crafting, Orienteering, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Twana Towne Ret, I am a famous, talented, joyous, perfect, powerful, inquisitive, lovely person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.