It's Not Summer Without You Summary & Study Guide

Jenny Han
This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of It's Not Summer Without You.
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It's Not Summer Without You Summary & Study Guide Description

It's Not Summer Without You Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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Isabel, known to all her friends as Belly, is in the summer between her junior and senior years of high school. It's the first summer that she's ever spent at home. Prior to this summer, Belly, her mother Laurel, and her brother Steven, spent every summer at the beach house in Cousins that belonged to Laurel's best friend, Susannah. Susannah has died of cancer and the families are struggling to deal with their grief. Added to the situation is Belly's recent relationship with Susannah's older son, Conrad. Belly has always had a crush on Conrad and the previous summer he seemed to return her affection. Conrad, away at college, had driven to Belly's house to visit a couple of times and it seemed they were headed for a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. Belly invites Conrad to her prom and he is reluctant. When she says she'll go with someone else, Conrad is obviously jealous and agrees to go. He doesn't bring a corsage and is ill at ease, making it obvious to her friends that he doesn't want to be there. When the prom is over, their budding relationship seems at an end. Susannah, nearing death at that point, doesn't know things went wrong between Belly and Conrad, but Conrad's younger brother Jeremiah does and berates Conrad for ruining Belly's prom.

Early in their first summer spent away from the beach house, Jeremiah calls Belly with the news that Conrad has gone missing from summer school and isn't answering his phone. Belly and Jeremiah go in search of Conrad and discover he's gone to the beach house. When they arrive, Conrad reveals their father, Adam, is planning to sell the house. Conrad, Jeremiah, and Belly believe they can't do anything to stop the sale and throw a party they believe to be their last event at the beach house. Belly drinks a great deal and, during the night, calls her mother. Belly is obviously drunk and is crying which prompts Laurel to drop everything and rush to the beach house. She berates the three for their actions and helps clean up the mess from the party. She then asks Adam to join them for breakfast.

When Adam arrives, Laurel takes control. She points out that the beach house belonged to Susannah and admits that she has no say-so in the fate of the house. But she also points out how important the beach house is to Conrad and Jeremiah, eventually reaching Adam so that he agrees he won't sell the house on the condition that Conrad pass all his summer classes. Though Laurel promises that Belly will be grounded for a long time, she sees that the final day with Conrad and Jeremiah is important to Belly and agrees to let Belly stay behind to help Conrad study for his summer finals. They do, staying with the studying until the moment they have to get Conrad back to school.

On the way, Belly allows herself to cry for the passing of her childhood. She realizes things will never be the same with Conrad and Jeremiah, and that she'll never return to the beach house in the same way. At school, Conrad heads for class while Belly and Jeremiah wait for the results, though they know Conrad has never failed at anything he set out to accomplish. At one point, Jeremiah gives in to his own love for Belly and kisses her. She responds but is confused by her emotions, believing that she's always been in love with Conrad and always will be. Conrad sees the kiss and is obviously angry. The three set out for Belly's house but a storm forces them to stop at a motel for the night. The next morning, Conrad says he has a friend who will pick him up and refuses to go on with Jeremiah and Belly. Belly accepts that whatever they might have had is over and that her friendship with Jeremiah is deeper and more solid than her crush on Conrad.

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