‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ Recap Before Season 2


The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 1 was all about Belly finding love in expected and unexpected places, and it turns out that no matter the highs and lows of first love, bigger heartbreaks are just waiting to happen. With Season 2 right around the corner, we know that those lessons are going to continue. The thing is, we don’t really give enough credit to teenagers for their emotional intelligence. Sure, they are hyper-focused on things that feel trivial to most adults, but that doesn’t mean that people in their teens do not understand or are not affected by the goings on around them, and Jenny Han really brings that out in her book, upon which the series is based. Before we dive headfirst into the second season of Belly’s Summer, this is a recap of everything that happened in Season 1.

Spoilers Alert

Belly, Conrad, And Jeremiah

Belly is a 15-year-old girl who is about to turn 16 in a matter of days. Her mother, Lauren, is best friends with Susannah, and they have spent summers with each other at Cousins Beach for as long as Belly can remember. She has also had a crush on Conrad, the older son of Susannah, for years, and now that Belly has started growing up a little, aka, getting a little pretty, she hopes to be able to kiss Conrad during her stay at Cousins. We truly wish there was a better way to phrase this context, but here we are.

When Belly reaches Cousins with Lauren and her brother, Steven, she is immediately greeted by an enthusiastic Jeremiah and Susannah, though Conrad is a little distant. The first thing everyone notices is that Belly has gotten pretty, though we appreciate that this has not dragged out for long, considering her age. Belly is signed up for a debutante ball by Susannah, who is extremely enthusiastic about the event and wants to prep Belly for it, and Lauren agrees. She is there for a book signing event of her own, and we can tell that at that stage, she is not as successful as she would like to be, though that changes soon enough. As for Susannah, she has been in the middle of a divorce ever since her husband cheated on her. She is also fighting cancer, though only Lauren knows about it. Susannah is at the end of her days, and this summer means a lot to her since it will be her last with the kids. Meanwhile, Lauren has a decently better personal life, even though her professional one remains not so great. Her lack of money in the face of Susannah’s wealth has always made her conscious, but during that summer, Lauren ends up meeting a man named Cleveland, and they start seeing each other. Since Lauren’s divorce last year, things have been tough overall, but now, with her trying to find inspiration for her book and her friend going through such a tough phase, Cleveland is a breath of fresh air for her. Frankly, the story might have been about Belly, but it is Lauren and Susannah that end up shaping the fates of her love stories.

Who Does Belly End Up With?

There is no doubt that Belly has always liked Conrad, but during this summer, she doesn’t want to deal with his disinterested push and pull. Therefore, she finds her own date and goes out with a guy named Cam. He doesn’t last long at all, courtesy, Conrad. Belly and Conrad have a moment during some celebrations, which makes Belly think that he wants to be with her. That is why, as a naive girl, she breaks up with Cam in the hope that Conrad will make his move or will be open to her doing so. He had purchased a necklace for her birthday but hadn’t been able to gift it to her then. Belly had chanced upon the necklace, and upon asking him about it, he admitted that it was for her. However, after Cam, when Belly asks out Conrad, he refuses to be with her, and Belly is done with him. She doesn’t want to spend her summer pining for him the way she does all year anyway, so she goes out with Jeremiah, though that turns romantic very soon. Jeremiah had always liked Belly, and he never held back from telling her, though his friendly, flirtatious manner had Belly and the audience thinking that he was just having fun. But after he makes his intentions clear to her, Belly also starts seeing him differently, there is no turning back. That is why when Conrad tries to win her back the next day by finally giving her the necklace and asking her to go to the ball with him, she refuses. Belly may have liked him, but his actions ensured that she couldn’t trust him, and Belly didn’t want to be with him anymore.

Who Does Belly End Up With?

It’s hard to say what makes a debutante ball so romantic. Despite the acknowledgment that it is a sexist and classist tradition, the romance attached to it has endured. Maybe it is simply the idea of wearing the prettiest possible dress and dancing with the person you like so much that makes people not ready to let go of this tradition. When Belly is waiting for Jeremiah at the ball to dance with her in what looks like a wedding dress, he doesn’t show up. Instead, Conrad does, and despite all of Belly’s moving on, her wanting to be with Jeremiah, or anything else, this was her dream that finally came true. But the moment is short-lived because the reason Jeremiah did not show up to the ball was because he finally found out about Susannah’s cancer. When he tells his brother about this, we find out that Connrad had not been needlessly brooding all summer. He knew about this, and he had been dealing with it in his own way. Jeremiah is furious at Conrad for keeping this a secret, but these were Susannah’s wishes. Back at home, Lauren and Susannah have also had a tough fight since the latter does not want to get chemotherapy. She wants to be with her friends and family in all her senses in her final days. Lauren is furious that Susannah would let herself go this way, but she has no choice but to accept this from her. Even Conrad and Jeremiah beg their mother to change her decision, but she is adamant, and they just have to accept that she has chosen to go. Maybe Susannag knew that with or without chemotherapy, her days were numbered, and she wanted to preserve the slight modicum of peace and happiness she had during this time.

When all is said and done, Belly meets Conrad at the beach, where he is finally able to tell her how he feels. He had been distant all summer due to the secret he was keeping, but he liked Belly and wanted to be with her. Belly wonders whether Conrad is saying all that because he needs her as his support system, but he denies it and tells her that he has wanted to be with her forever. That is all Belly wanted to hear from the beginning, and Season 1 of The Summer I Turned Pretty ends with both of them sharing a kiss, just like Belly had imagined.

What Can We Expect From Season 2?

The trailer for Season 2 of The Summer I Turned Pretty tells us that it is going to be a far more grounded story than Season 1, where romance may not be at the forefront, but the people will have to pick up the pieces of the aftermath of the summer. We only wish that there isn’t another tug-of-war between Conrad and Jeremiah over Belly. On that note, we hadn’t really rooted for Belly and Conrad as a couple in Season 1, but Season 2 promises to show us what actually makes them so good for each other. We are also enjoying the fact that Back To December has made an appearance in the trailer. It would be great to have a show using a Taylor Swift playlist exclusively. That would really fit in with the promised vibe of Season 2 of The Summer I Turned Pretty

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

Must Read

DMT Guide

More Like This