November 2023

8 Heartwarming Books Similar to "The Summer I Turned Pretty" by Jenny Han

— Looking for heartwarming books that capture the magic of summer and the bittersweetness of growing up, just like "The Summer I Turned Pretty"? Check out these 8 recommended books!
8 Heartwarming Books Similar to "The Summer I Turned Pretty" by Jenny Han
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Jenny Han's novel, "The Summer I Turned Pretty," is a beloved coming-of-age story that captures the magic and bittersweetness of growing up. The novel follows Belly, a teenage girl who spends her summers at a beach house with her family and two boys she has known her entire life, Conrad and Jeremiah. As the summer unfolds, Belly navigates the complexities of love, friendship, and family, while discovering new things about herself and the people around her.


If you loved "The Summer I Turned Pretty," you may be looking for more books that capture a similar feeling. Here are some recommendations for books that explore themes of first love, family, and self-discovery, just like Han's novel.


  1. "Along for the Ride" by Sarah Dessen


Sarah Dessen is known for her heartfelt, coming-of-age stories, and "Along for the Ride" is no exception. The novel follows Auden, a young woman spending the summer with her father and stepmother in a beach town. She meets Eli, a fellow insomniac, and discovers a new side of herself as she explores the town and learns to let go of her perfectionist tendencies. Like "The Summer I Turned Pretty," this book is a heartwarming story of self-discovery, friendship, and first love.


  1. "Love & Gelato" by Jenna Evans Welch


"Love & Gelato" is a delightful novel that will transport you to the beautiful Tuscan countryside. The story follows Lina, a teenage girl who spends the summer in Italy to fulfill her mother's dying wish. There, she discovers a journal that leads her on an adventure through the country, where she meets new friends and learns about her heritage. Like "The Summer I Turned Pretty," this book is a heartwarming coming-of-age story about family, love, and finding oneself.


  1. "Second Chance Summer" by Morgan Matson


Morgan Matson is another author known for her poignant, coming-of-age stories, and "Second Chance Summer" is one of her best. The novel follows Taylor, a teenage girl who spends the summer with her family at a lake house. There, she reconnects with old friends, including her first love, and navigates the challenges of her father's terminal illness. Like "The Summer I Turned Pretty," this book explores themes of family, first love, and the bittersweetness of growing up.


  1. "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Ann Brashares


"The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" is a beloved young adult novel that follows four best friends who spend their summer apart but stay connected through a pair of magical pants that fits them all perfectly. The story explores themes of friendship, family, and self-discovery as each girl navigates her own unique challenges. Like "The Summer I Turned Pretty," this book captures the magic and wonder of adolescence, while exploring the deep connections that bind us together.


  1. "The Moon and More" by Sarah Dessen


Sarah Dessen is so talented at capturing the complexities of teenage life that we had to include two of her novels on this list. "The Moon and More" follows Emaline, a high school graduate who is spending her last summer before college working at her family's beachside rental business. She is torn between her longtime boyfriend and a charismatic outsider who challenges her in new ways. Like "The Summer I Turned Pretty," this book explores themes of love, friendship, and the bittersweetness of growing up.


  1. "Summer Sisters" by Judy Blume


Judy Blume is a legendary author who has written many iconic young adult novels, and "Summer Sisters" is one of her best. The novel follows the friendship of two girls, Victoria and Caitlin, who spend their summers together on Martha's Vineyard. The story spans several years, exploring the ups and downs of their relationship and the impact that their summers together have on their lives. Like "The Summer I Turned Pretty," this book captures the intensity of adolescent friendships and the transformative power of summer.


  1. "The Last Song" by Nicholas Sparks


Nicholas Sparks is known for his emotional, romantic novels, and "The Last Song" is no exception. The story follows Ronnie, a teenage girl who is sent to spend the summer with her estranged father in a small beach town. There, she falls in love with a local boy and learns to heal her relationship with her father. Like "The Summer I Turned Pretty," this book explores themes of love, family, and the bittersweetness of growing up.


  1. "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd


"The Secret Life of Bees" is a beautifully written novel that explores themes of family, love, and racial identity. The story follows Lily, a young girl who runs away from her abusive father with her African American caretaker, Rosaleen. They find refuge with a family of beekeepers and discover the power of love and forgiveness. Like "The Summer I Turned Pretty," this book captures the magic of summer and the transformative power of love.

Our favourite quote from The Summer I Turned Pretty

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer—they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

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If you loved "The Summer I Turned Pretty," these books are sure to capture a similar feeling. Each one explores themes of first love, family, and self-discovery in a unique and heartwarming way that will leave you feeling nostalgic for the summers of your youth. Whether you're looking for a heartwarming romance or a poignant coming-of-age story, these books are sure to captivate your heart and leave you feeling uplifted.

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