Entertainment

This Update About ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ Is Beyond Exciting For 'TATB' Fans

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With the success of the To All The Boys trilogy on Netflix, it was only a matter of time before more of Jenny Han's books were scooped up for adaptation. But to fans' surprise, the announcement for more Han rom-coms didn't come from Netflix. Instead, it is Amazon Studios that has swooped in, grabbing the rights to Han's trilogy that came out prior to TATB. These The Summer I Turned Pretty details will get fans excited for a brand new story, this time adapted to series instead of a film trilogy.

The Summer I Turned Pretty was Han's first big hit novel and the start of her first major YA trilogy. Released in 2009, the book series revolves around Isabel "Belly" Conklin and the summers she spends at "Cousin's Beach," with her brother Steven and mother Laurel. Her mom's BFF, Susannah, also spends every summer at the beach with her family, including sons Conrad and Jeremiah. Over the course of three books, a love triangle forms between Belly, Conrad, and Jeremiah as she navigates growing up.

The follow up books, It's Not Summer Without You and We'll Always Have Summer were also major bestsellers. This suggests that if The Summer I Turned Pretty is a hit for Amazon, it could run several seasons. But alas, I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's what's known about the series so far:

'The Summer I Turned Pretty’ Announcement
Simon & Schuster

On Feb. 8, 2021, Amazon revealed it had greenlit an adaptation of Jenny Han’s YA novel The Summer I Turned Pretty. According to Variety, Amazon gave the show a straight-to-series order, with eight installments.

'The Summer I Turned Pretty’ Cast
Amazon

To cast the all-important role of the show's lead, Belly, Amazon went with a brand new talent. On April 29, 2021, the series announced newcomer Lola Tung had landed the part. Christopher Briney (Dali Land) will play Belly's crush, Conrad.

Jackie Chung (Station 19, Grey's Anatomy) plays Laurel, Belly's newly divorced mother. Laurel is a writer who's struggling with writer's block due to the upheaval in their lives. She was all too glad to take up the invitation of her BFF, Susannah, to spend the summer together. Rachel Blanchard (You Me Her) plays Susannah, who also happens to be Conrad's mother.

'The Summer I Turned Pretty’ Plot
Netflix

Unlike To All The Boys, which is mainly the story of Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky (OK, with a few distractions), The Summer I Turned Pretty is a genuine love triangle.

As Deadline describes it, Belly "used to be gawky and awkward, but this summer she turns 16 and she is starting to turn heads-and it's taking some getting used to. Conrad Fisher, the boy she's loved forever, the boy who never even looked in her direction-is paying attention to her. It's exhilarating to suddenly be an object of desire...but it's also scary."

But Conrad is only the tip of the iceberg. Belly falls in love with both Conrad and his brother Jeremiah and has serious relationships with both over the three books in the series.

This trilogy is also a generational tale. Belly's mother Laurel and her BFF Susannah are significant figures in Belly's life. Their relationship with each other, and the way they relate to Belly, are just as important as the romance aspects. That makes this a far more complex series than fans might expect.

Fans of Han's work will note the move to Amazon comes with some exciting and somewhat unusual developments. For one thing, this adaptation is a series, not a film like To All The Boys. For another, Han wrote the pilot script herself and will serve as co-showrunner on the series, giving her far more direct control on this adaptation.

'The Summer I Turned Pretty’ Release Date
Netflix

There is no official release date for The Summer I Turned Pretty as of yet. But in a statement shared by Variety, Han said, "The Summer I Turned Pretty is many years in the making, and I'm so excited to tell Belly's story in 2021."

Whether that means the series will debut this year remains to be seen, but it sounds like Amazon and Han are working toward that goal.