As summer slips away, it’s easy to escape into the crunching leaves and cozy sweaters of autumn without remembering the souvenirs this summer has given us. An important keepsake from summer 2023 is the second season of “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” a book trilogy now adapted into an Amazon Prime original series that encapsulates the freedom and fear of formative years. So before we curl up under our blankets with pumpkin spice lattes, let’s reminisce on the series that had us all rooting either against the main character or for one of two very attractive brothers.
The series picks up at the end of the school year, revealing that Susannah has died and Belly and the Fisher boys aren’t in contact. When Belly receives a call from Jeremiah confessing that Conrad is missing, the two find him at Cousins Beach, where their late mother’s beach house is for sale. Alongside new characters and fan-favorites from season one, Belly and the boys fight to save the beach house, resurfacing old memories and feelings on the way.
The second season of “The Summer I Turned Pretty” is notably less adolescent than the first. Of course, there is an addicting combination of drama and teenage angst; however, the actors have grown, and the show has matured with them. Each episode weaves together stories of grief, family and love – falling both in and out of it. Dual timelines depict the pitfalls of Conrad and Belly’s relationship as Belly reconnects with Jeremiah, highlighting the advantages and flaws of each brother and leaving audiences arguing over which relationship is better.
Truly one of the main successes of “The Summer I Turned Pretty” is its ability to give viewers something to fight over. Many love triangles are born from conflicts curated solely to separate a show’s main couple. This show, however,introduces two valid love interests for Belly, and choosing sides is a genuine competition. Even Belly’s brother and her best friend have differing opinions on who Belly should choose.
Ultimately, the show works because of its ability to capture viewers’ attention. The short seasons mean each episode is filled with excitement, and audiences are left on the edge of their seats. “The Summer I Turned Pretty” checks all the boxes for a young adult drama yet feels uniquely compelling and emotional. Considering the quick confirmation of a third season, the series will surely be a summer classic for years to come.