We'll Always Have Summer - Summary

Jenny Han

We'll Always Have Summer Book Cover


In the novel “We’ll Always Have Summer” by Jenny Han, the author takes readers on a captivating journey filled with love, friendship, and the complexities of growing up. Set in the idyllic beach town of Cousins Beach, the story revolves around the lives of Belly Conklin, Jeremiah Fisher, and Conrad Fisher. Through their intertwined relationships, Han explores themes of first love, self-discovery, and the challenges of making choices that will shape their futures.

The Summer That Changed Everything

The book begins by introducing the readers to Belly, a young and vibrant girl who has spent every summer of her life in Cousins Beach with her mother and brother. Belly has always been in love with Conrad, the older Fisher brother, and this summer she hopes to finally capture his heart. However, things take an unexpected turn when Jeremiah, Conrad’s younger brother, starts showing interest in Belly. This love triangle becomes the central conflict of the story, creating tension and emotional turmoil for all involved.

A Journey of Self-Discovery

As the summer progresses, Belly finds herself torn between her long-standing infatuation with Conrad and the growing connection she shares with Jeremiah. Through her interactions with both brothers, she begins to question her own desires and what truly matters to her. Han expertly delves into the complexities of teenage emotions, portraying Belly’s inner struggle with authenticity and relatability.

The Power of First Love

“We’ll Always Have Summer” beautifully captures the intensity and magic of first love. Han skillfully depicts the butterflies, the stolen glances, and the heart-pounding moments that come with experiencing love for the first time. Through Belly’s perspective, readers are reminded of the raw emotions and vulnerability that accompany such a significant milestone in life.

The Allure of Cousins Beach

One of the novel’s most enchanting aspects is the vivid portrayal of Cousins Beach. Han paints a picturesque setting that becomes almost like a character itself. The sandy shores, crashing waves, and warm summer nights create an atmosphere of nostalgia and escapism. The beach serves as a backdrop for the characters’ personal journeys and adds an element of enchantment to the story.

Family Dynamics and Relationships

Beyond the romantic entanglements, “We’ll Always Have Summer” also delves into the complexities of family dynamics. Belly’s relationship with her mother, Laurel, undergoes significant changes throughout the book, as they navigate the challenges of growing up and letting go. The Fisher family, with their own secrets and struggles, adds depth and richness to the narrative, highlighting the importance of familial bonds.

Coming of Age and Making Choices

As the summer draws to a close, Belly is faced with the difficult task of making choices that will shape her future. Han explores the themes of coming of age and the weight of decisions, as Belly grapples with her feelings for both Conrad and Jeremiah. The author skillfully captures the uncertainty and fear that accompany major life transitions, making the story relatable to readers of all ages.

Friendship and Loyalty

Amidst the romantic entanglements, “We’ll Always Have Summer” also celebrates the power of friendship. Belly’s relationship with her best friend, Taylor, is tested throughout the book, as they navigate the complexities of love and loyalty. Han portrays the ups and downs of their friendship with authenticity, reminding readers of the importance of having a support system during challenging times.

Themes of Loss and Healing

The novel also touches upon themes of loss and healing. Without giving away spoilers, Han explores the profound impact of grief on individuals and their relationships. The characters’ journeys towards healing and finding closure serve as powerful reminders of the resilience of the human spirit.

The Enduring Power of Memories

“We’ll Always Have Summer” beautifully captures the bittersweet nature of memories. Through Belly’s reflections on her past summers at Cousins Beach, readers are reminded of the fleeting nature of time and the importance of cherishing moments that can never be recreated. The book serves as a poignant reminder to hold onto memories that shape who we are.


In “We’ll Always Have Summer,” Jenny Han weaves a compelling tale of love, friendship, and self-discovery. Through her vibrant characters and evocative storytelling, Han captures the essence of first love, the complexities of growing up, and the enduring power of memories. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking a heartfelt and engaging story that will leave a lasting impression.

Read other book summaries