Is “The Summer I Became Pretty” based on a book? Here’s How Amazon Changed Jenny Han’s Series

If you’ve been paying attention to shows on Amazon Prime this month, you might have heard of their new show, The summer when I became pretty. The eight-episode series follows Isabel “Belly” Conklin (Lola Tung) as she spends the summer with her mother Laurel (Jackie Chung) and his brother Steven (Sean Kaufman) at Cousin beach. But when she reunites with old family friends, things get interesting.

Surrounded by Susannah, Laurel’s friend (Rachel Blanchard)his sons, Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) and Konrad (Christopher Briney)and another teenager named Cam (David Iacono), Belly suddenly finds herself in an emotional love affair she never saw coming.

It’s the coming-of-age story we wish we had, but luckily we can see it unfold on screen…and maybe read about it? Since Amazon Prime billed the show as a project of To all the boys I’ve loved before author Jenny Han, fans wonder if the series has literary origins or is entirely its own thing. The answer may surprise you…

Peter TaylorAmazon Prime

East The summer when I became pretty based on a book? how can i read The summer when I became pretty books in order?

The summer when I became pretty is based on a book of the same name by Jenny Han. But there is a catch. It proves The summer when I became pretty is the first in a trilogy of young adult novels, all of which follow Belly, Jeremiah and Conrad through three very different summers.

As the series has already been renewed for the second season even before the premiere of episode 1, there is a good chance that we can see the story unfold from the other novels, It’s not summer without you and We will always have summer.

Does Susannah die at The summer when I became pretty books? Who does Belly end up with in the books?

While longtime fans of the novels may enjoy the series drawing inspiration from previous books, Amazon Prime’s version takes some creative liberties to make the series stand out as its own story. Here are some of the differences we noticed while watching it and there are major spoilers ahead:

  • In the book, all the teenagers know that Susannah has been diagnosed with cancer. At 13, Belly and Jeremiah overhear their mothers discussing potential treatments. But on the show, none of the kids know the truth about Susannah’s illness because she wants to have one last summer before having chemo. Eventually, Conrad finds out about his mother’s illness in the pilot episode and Jeremiah learns after reading Susannah’s emails on her phone in the season finale. As for whether Susannah dies in the books, she does, but it happens between the first and second books. Again, another potential difference between the series and the novels.
  • In the novel, Steven is not a focal point. He goes on a trip with his and Belly’s father, not being there for the majority of the events. But the show hasn’t just given him a storyline (a novel at that), he’s also here to provide comic relief for his older siblings.
  • Throughout the original book, Jeremiah and Conrad struggle with the news that their parents are divorcing. On the show, however, it’s unclear if Laurel and the boys’ father are going their separate ways. But she tells viewers that her husband cheated on her throughout the first cycle of chemo.
  • At one point in the novel, Jeremiah tells Belly that he has romantic feelings for her. Belly, not reciprocating, tells her that she is still in love with her brother. The show, however, completely twists that scenario and actually gives the two the chance to be a couple. While Belly and Jeremiah eventually become a serious couple by book three, their romance becomes rocky when he cheats on her. Long story short: Belly and Conrad get together before they officially get married.

    Are you already intrigued? ‘Cause we’re… so don’t mind if we’re going to air that again.

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    Angela C. Hale