Author: Jenny Han
From GoodReads, "Annemarie Wilcox, or Shug as her family calls her, is beginning to think there's nothing worse than being twelve. She's too tall, too freckled, and way too flat-chested. Shug is sure that there's not one good or amazing thing about her. And now she has to start junior high, where the friends she counts most dear aren't acting so dear anymore -- especially Mark, the boy she's known her whole life through. Life is growing up all around her, and all Shug wants is for things to be like they used to be. How is a person supposed to prepare for what happens tomorrow when there's just no figuring out today?"
I just finished reading Jenny Han's new novel, It's Not Summer Without You last night. After reading the novel, I remembered why I feel in love with Han's writing in the first place, Shug. Shug reminded me again of the power of love, especially first love.
The book was told from the perspective of Annemarie Wilcox, or Shug (her nickname). I loved that the book was written in the style of a journal, which made the reader feel like they were participating in something secret with the main character. Shug is an easy character to like because she is so realistic. She is friendly, bubbly, sarcastic (at times) and funny. When she realizes that she has strong feelings for a guy who just happens to also be her best friend, the story begins. This is a story about guy/girl friendships and what happens when you want to be more than just friends, but aren't sure you should act on it because you might jeopardize that friendship. I felt Shug was easy to identify with, especially if you had experience with some of the same situations she was facing. This is Jenny Han's first novel and a incredible one it is. I have been recommending it to many of my upper elementary and middle school readers, especially the girls, and there hasn't been a single one that has come back with anything but good things to say about this book.