The Summer I Turned Pretty: A quintessential seaside summer guide


Lola Burns

Read about the Amazon Prime Video series, “The Summer I Turned Pretty,“ featuring a love triangle between three friends that was released June 17, 2022.

Frances English, Writer

Summer: late nights, the smell of salty ocean water, beach volleyball, friends, night swims, endless sunshine and the moments you know you’ll miss when the season comes to an end. While all of these activities present nostalgic flashbacks of summers not so long ago, they also represent a popular TV series, “The Summer I Turned Pretty.” The show was released on Amazon Prime Video on June 17, 2022, leading it to inspire fashion, music and activities throughout the entirety of the summer of 2022. 

The series’ main character, 16-year-old Isabel (Belly) Conklin, experiences an abundance of firsts even though she is in the same environment as all her summers before, as things have changed in every way possible. The trip to Cousins Beach, Mass. feels particularly different than before. This is the first summer that Belly finally feels pretty—which for her, means grown-up, loved and finally fitting in. For as long as she can remember, she has been spending the months of June through August in a shared summer house with her brother (Steven), her mom (Laurel), her mom’s best friend (Susannah) and Susannah’s two sons (Conrad and Jeremiah).

Conrad, the eldest, is getting ready to go to college and is acting differently than the summers before. Jeremiah, however, is her best friend and the closest to her age at the house, and he is the same golden retriever type he has always been. She meets new friends along the way and invites her best friend Taylor to visit. She even meets a new love interest, Cam, despite the fact that she has been in love with someone else her entire life. She is met with romance, adventures and loads of drama. It is up to her to make difficult decisions and the most of the season before everything changes. 

Who do you think is the best love interest for Belly?


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The show is based on a trilogy book series, which came out in 2009. Although the books took place in a time different from the present, the TV series does a beautiful job of sticking to the story and creating the same feeling in the pages, while being set in 2022 and easily relating to today’s teens. One of the most popular aspects of the series is the music, containing hits from Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, other summer favorites and a feature of Swift’s new release of her re-recording of “This Love” from her “1989” album. These songs quickly became a must-add to every summer playlist.

Social media has also praised “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” creating edits and videos with celebrities such as Lizzo reacting to suspenseful scenes. Hashtags supporting team Conrad, Jeremiah and Cam—Belly’s three main love interests—have also been sprinkled out through posts and tweets. To the delight of fans worldwide, Season 2 was renewed before the series even came out and started production just a month after the first release. New theories and suspicions about the upcoming season are spreading through the internet, while readers of the books are hopeful that the writers will incorporate their favorite moments that have not been set to screen yet. 

The show is easy to relate to at any age, allowing for younger generations to connect to their yearning to grow up and the shocking realization once they have. For adults, it enables them to reflect on their teen years and watch the grownups of the show go through their own battles. Not only is the series easy to relate to, but it’s easy to binge-watch, even in entire sittings. The show is a summer must-watch and the perfect reminder of what it feels like to experience long days and even longer nights during the season.

What do you think?