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The Summer I Turned Pretty, a highbrow book series and popular television show, struck teens with its love rectangle between Belly, Jeremiah, Conrad, and Cameron. It was featured on Amazon Prime Video in the summer of 2022. (***SPOILER WARNING)
by Ansleigh Hester
The comparison between the show and the books is similar yet drastically different. Students at Walnut Grove share their views on the show and books.
The first season of the show correlates closely with certain parts of the first book of the series. The Cosmopolitan explains, “The Summer I Turned Pretty ends with Belly getting surprised by a winter visit from Conrad in her hometown. This is pretty much how we know the two end up choosing each other and that the eldest brother finally confessed his feelings. The show's first season ends with the two together on the beach.”
The Summer I Turned Pretty came out in 2009; however, the show first aired on July 17, 2022. Many events and conflicts were changed in the show compared to the books. It was a known fact in the book that Susannah (Jeremiah and Conrad’s mother) was getting a divorce from her husband. In the show, that was not the case. The Cosmopolitan expresses, “Jeremiah and Conrad [in the book] grapple with the fact that their mother is getting a divorce from their father… a divorce isn't exactly set in stone [in the show]. Rather, we know there's a lot of tension between the two because he cheated on Susannah.”
Underclassmen of WGHS have a multitude of opinions about The Summer I Turned Pretty. Junior Ciara Alexander has read the first two books of the trilogy and has seen the first season of the show. She compared the show to the books as a whole. “I think the show is better than the books, but the books [have] more details.”
Freshman Carlyn Tripp has watched the show. She pinned the first season against other shows in the past. “Compared to other shows, [TSITP], it’s 100% worse. Shows from the ’70s and ’80s (like 21 Jump Street) were so much better and easier to follow.”
Freshmen Kassidy Harris has watched the hit show. She expressed that the actors played the characters well. “I think the characters are really good…[I didn't really have anything to compare it to since I didn't read the books], but in the show, they portrayed the plot line very well,” Kassidy Harris elaborated.
The conflict throughout the show with Belly, and her many lovers, was a hot subject. “Instead of going back and forth between the two (Jeremiah and Conrad) she (Belly) should have figured out her own feelings for them and decipher friendships from a [romantic] relationship,” Kassidy Harris said.
This summer, the second season is expected to come out. Kassidy Harris exclaims, “I believe the second season is really needed because they left us on a cliffhanger.”
On TikTok, Jenny Han, the author of the book series, revealed that on set there is a new character being added to the new season. Elsie Fisher, a sibling of Conrad and Jeremiah, is the projected new character. They are not part of the book series. Many believe that the new addition may not be the best move. “The new character shouldn’t be added to the show because it will just add confusion,” Carlyn Tripp concludes.
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