First off, there are some minor spoilers in this review. I don't think it's anything beyond what you’d already know from reading the summary, but still, if you haven't read the previous two books and don't want to know anything about what has happened/will happen, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.
Now, the summary:
Belly has only ever been in love with two boys, both with the last name Fisher. And after being with Jeremiah for the last two years, she’s almost positive he is her soul mate.I don’t know how I feel about this book. On the one hand I love it, because it’s got some of my favorite fictional people in it--Belly, Jeremiah, Conrad--and I can’t ever get enough of them. Jenny Han just makes them feel so REAL. You see their silly sides and their good qualities and their annoying habits. You see the depth of their friendship and the pain they put each other through. You see why they’ve fallen in love and why they’ll never get over it. You see everything about them.
Conrad has not gotten over the mistake he made when he let Belly go even as Jeremiah has always known that Belly is the girl for him. So when Belly and Jeremiah decide to make things forever, Conrad realizes that it’s now or never--tell Belly he loves her, or lose her for good. Belly will have to confront her feelings for Jeremiah and Conrad and face a truth she has possibly always known: she will have to break one of their hearts.
But on the other hand, gah! this book was just so ridiculously painful to read. In the two previous books, there was definitely a love triangle going on, but it didn’t feel so monumental to me, since they’re basically just kids. But in this book, I hurt for everyone involved. Because Jeremiah and Conrad both love Belly so, so much, and she loves them both too--just in different ways. She’s been dating Jeremiah for two years and what she feels for him is honest, but at the same time, she still has real feelings for Conrad. And they’re adults now (well, 18 to 20--so not REAL adults, but still, they’re technically adults), so their decisions have that much more consequence. They’re making decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives. And the whole time I wanted them to make the right choices, but even I didn’t know what I thought the right choices were.
After reading the second book (It's Not Summer Without You), I was totally on Team Jeremiah, but I will admit that Conrad grew on me in this one. Maybe it’s because parts of the book were from his perspective so I got to see behind his mask a little, but I could finally see some of what Belly sees in him. I still think he’s kind of a jerk and that he’s unfair to Belly at times, but overall, I started to like him. I won’t say who Belly ends up with in the end, but I will say that although it was bittersweet, I was ultimately satisfied with what happened. And that the joy in the last little chapter kinda basically made up for the rest of the book being so painful.
Basically, I think I maybe loved this book, and I thought it was a good conclusion to the series. If you haven’t read this series yet, I definitely recommend it. Like, go read it already!
And p.s., here’s my favorite quote. I just couldn’t resist including it. It’s from the very beginning (page 12, actually), so it won’t spoil anything that wasn’t already revealed in the summary:
I watched him make his way through the crowd, feeling proud that I could call him mine. My boyfriend, my Jeremiah. The first boy I had ever fallen asleep next to. The first boy I ever told about the time I accidentally walked in on my parents doing it when I was eight. The first boy to go out an buy me Midol because my cramps were so bad, the first boy to paint my toenails, to hold my hair back when I threw up that time I got really drunk in front of all his friends, the first boy to write me a love note on the whiteboard hanging outside my dorm room.
You are the milk to my shake, forever and ever. Love, J.
He was the first boy I ever kissed. He was my best friend. More and more, I understood. This was the way it was supposed to be.