After reading Famous in Love, I definitely wasn’t expecting a sequel. After reading the sequel, I can’t believe this is going to be a trilogy! Where can it go from here?? I’m literally confused at how another book is going to be written when the love triangle has been sorted, Paige has chosen who she prefers and there’s no more scandal. Truly, Madly, Famously was a cute end to the books, so to think there’s another to come makes me roll my eyes. Love triangles officially need to be put to rest. Not all of them are worthy of a trilogy! Argh, love triangle rant, here I come. Continue reading “Review: Truly, Madly, Famously by Rebecca Serle”
‘You’re the One that I Want’ was only my second New Adult book. I found it under the ‘Chick Lit’ section of the bookshop, however, due to the age of the characters moving from nine years old to twenty seven, its safe to say that the majority of the novel happens when the three main characters are in their teens.
I love Gi. I found her when she first started making videos on her channel, ‘Giovanna’s World’ and like to catch up with her blog posts for Hello! Magazine. She’s so bubbly and fun, and her personality really diffused into this novel.
There was nothing difficult about the writing style. I didn’t feel like I needed to be twenty seven to enjoy it. It was written exactly how a teenager, and how I imagine a university grad, would write and feel. It really just made for a quick and fun read that didn’t have me questioning the origins of the universe.
The novel focuses on Maddy, a bride to be, and Ben, her best friend but not her groom. These are the two perspectives of the novel, however we also get to experience the groom’s speech, written by Robert, the final point in our love triangle (or self-proclaimed love tripod.)
Main problem: will Ben pipe up at the altar and claim Maddy for himself?
After the first scene of the wedding, when Maddy is contemplating her romantic decisions, we are rocketed back to the past, when all three characters are nine years old. Until they are twenty one, we get to see the relationship develop between Maddy and Robert (who become a couple at sixteen) and Ben and Maddy (a relationship that never quite got off the ground.) I loved how Gi waited until they were twenty-one to get serious, because teenage relationships are meant to just be fun. It felt completely natural that Maddy and Robert would stay together if they didn’t have a reason to separate.
Only they did. Cue Robert doing something stupid. This led to the relationship between Ben and Maddy intensifying.
The one thing with this love triangle was that the novel knew that’s all it was focused on. I wasn’t annoyed by the backwards and forwards of will she love me or won’t she because I knew what I was getting, unlike in YA novels, when a love triangle is thrown at you for no reason. Also unlike with YA novels, I never knew which guy I preferred. They both did questionable things to Maddy, but both seemed to really care for her.
When they grew up some more, however, I thought that the relationship between Robert and Maddy was a compromise for their true feelings. It felt like they were staying together because they didn’t know how to be with anyone else. Of course, when their relationship went back to normal, I went back to shipping them, but a little piece of my heart would always tug towards Ben and how he drew the romantic short straw.
I really loved the ending of this novel. It wasn’t a cliched ‘speak now’ wedding, with lots of gasps and treachery. It was real. The epilogue gave me a good sense of closure for the three characters, and recognised that your first love doesn’t have to be your only love (even though it was super cute that that was how it worked out for Gi and Tom, the most adorable couple ever.)
Overall, I’d give this book 4 out of 5 stars. Like I said, I knew what I was getting, and was ready for it. It captured me for the entire time I was reading it and had me immersed in the lives of Maddy, Ben and Robert. I look forward to reading Gi’s debut novel, ‘Billy and Me’ in the near future!
Bee read this first a few years ago, and she said that she felt too young to really get the series. Now that we’re seventeen, she was interested to see what I would think of it. Answer: not that much.
The series is built around a love triangle between a girl and two brothers. In the UK editions of the series, the first book is blue, second yellow and third pink. I think they’re colour-coded by characters and who Belly, the main character (blue) ends up with.
The Summer I Turned Pretty was probably the best in the series, and that’s talking generously. I loved the flashbacks to her younger years at the summerhouse and at least the reader could understand how deeply rooted her love for Conrad, the older of the brothers, was. But the book was inconsequential for Belly’s love life. She has a summer fling with a boy called Cam, which was cute and summer-y with the purpose of proving she was a grown up fifteen year old and not a baby (which Conrad seemed to think.)
I don’t know how Belly could of loved Conrad. He was a jerk throughout the whole series yet could still claim he always loved Belly when it was convenient for him. Jeremiah, the younger brother, was no better. There was no hint of love between him and Belly, not really a hint of friendship either though they were meant to be best friends.
You can imagine my surprise when she ends up dating Jeremiah by the end of the second book. Can I even remember what happened in each book? Not really. They melted into one.
There’s always this subplot of Suzannah, the boys’ mother, who has a cancer relapse and sadly doesn’t get to live past book one. Grief was an interesting theme for the series, and keeping things exactly the same, which reminded me of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.
The third book was just ridiculous. Jeremiah, who seemed the perfect boyfriend in everyway and definitely was better for Belly than douche-y Conrad, did something completely stupid mainly so the brothers’ roles could be switched and Belly would actually be consolidated in preferring Conrad.
The third book revolves around a wedding between Belly and Jeremiah, though, as expected, it doesn’t go to plan. It seemed like the wrong message to be sending to teenagers: the way to fix a broken relationship is to stick it out and get married despite Grand Canyon sized cracks in the couple’s trust.
But really, has anyone experienced a love triangle in real life? They’re written about so much and I’m wondering what the inspiration was. Just imagine two boys being completely devoted to you. What would you do? Play them about for ages before admitting you preferred this one all along is not the right method.
In my opinion, Belly deserved neither guy. She was selfish, whiny and inconsiderate. She wanted to believe so much that she’d grown up but I believed Conrad all the way. She didn’t change. She didn’t mature. She just got her happy ending by default.
I’d give the series about 2.5 stars out of 5, because I really didn’t enjoy it, but wanted to get to the end to see the outcome. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have wasted my time. This is described by Sarah Dessen as a ‘beach read’. Does that mean a book you’d read at the beach and then leave there?
If you like love triangles that are badly built upon and convenience within plots, this is for you. If you’re looking for something light, that won’t take more than a day to finish and you want to flush your mind with some kind of romance, this is also for you.
Sorry for the negativity. This doesn’t mean Jenny Han can’t write a good book. I loved Burn for burn, co-written with Siobhan Vivian and am excited to read her newest venture To all the Boys I’ve loved before. Let’s hope for better!