Warning: This post contains spoilers for book 2 of The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy.
Back to Cousins! The Summer I Turned Pretty is returning for season 2 — and fans have a long list of moments they hope to see recreated from the novels.
“I approached it like, ‘What do I think are the most important elements of the story to keep and what do the fans care the most about?’” Jenny Han told Collider in July 2022. “I’m able to pull from all the emails and letters and comments I’ve seen over the years from fans, so that’s how we looked at this adaptation. Like, ‘What do the original fans care most about?’”
For Han — who is both the author of the original book trilogy and showrunner of the TV adaptation — it’s also about finding a new story that will keep her engaged. “I ask, ‘What it’s going to be most fun and exciting to explore [for me?]’ Because you as a writer, have to feel like you’re doing something new,” she explained to the outlet.
The Summer I Turned Pretty premiered on Amazon Prime in July 2022 and centers on teenage girl Belly’s (Lola Tung) love triangle with Conrad (Christopher Briney) and Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) — brothers whom she’s spent every summer with growing up. While season 1 ended with Belly and Conrad’s first kiss — much like the first novel — the next chapter brings a whole new dynamic for the main trio.
Season 2, which begins dropping its eight episodes weekly in July 2023, will likely continue in loosely following the OG story. The second book, It’s Not Summer Without You, picks back up with the characters after Susannah’s (Rachel Blanchard) death — something that creates a rift between the three lifelong friends. While Belly and Conrad face strain in their relationship, she also finds herself reconnecting with Jeremiah — and the tension of the love triangle reaches an all-time high.
Following season 1’s premiere, Han made it clear that the show isn’t always going to follow the book’s narrative verbatim. “I don’t want to spoil too much but the books have been out for a while. You never know what could happen with the show,” she shared with Variety in July 2022. “I was open-minded going into it. I was considering a lot of different possibilities.”
The best-selling author also wants the actors to feel like they have room to breathe and bring their own nuances to the story. “I really wanted to find actors that felt real and natural and fresh,” she shared. “There’s a feeling of discovery about that. The linchpin was going to be Belly because everything hangs around her.”
One thing that will be different? A bigger group that includes Steven (Sean Kaufman), Taylor (Rain Spencer) and Cam Cameron (David Iacono), characters from the first book that don’t make major — if any — appearances in the second or third novel.
Still, there are certain beats of the It’s Not Summer Without You book that fans are crossing their fingers will play out on screen. From Belly and Conrad attending prom together to Jeremiah and Belly’s passionate kiss —awkwardly witnessed by Conrad.
Here are the moments fans hope to see most on season 2 of The Summer I Turned Pretty:
Belly and Conrad Go to Prom
Fans are hopeful they’ll get a chance to see Belly and Conrad attend her prom together before the night ends in shambles — and their subsequent breakup.
The Final Party at Cousins
When Belly, Jeremiah and Conrad think their time at Cousins is coming to a close after the boys’ dad, Adam (Tom Everett Scott), declares he’s selling the beach house, the trio throw one last epic party. The bash ends with multiple arguments, lots of tears and a drunk phone call to Belly’s mom, Laurel (Jackie Chung).
Belly and Jeremiah’s Big Kiss
After steadily rebuilding their relationship throughout book 2, Belly and Jeremiah finally act on their feelings by sharing a passionate kiss … which Conrad witnesses.
While Belly and Jeremiah technically have their first kiss during season 1 of the show, fans are still hoping this iconic book moment — which represents a shift in Belly’s feelings and sparks a heated fight between her and Conrad — will somehow be included on the TV series.
Conrad and Belly at Cousins in Winter
There is no Belly and Conrad without their night spent alone at Cousin’s beach at Christmas. The two sneak off in the middle of winter to the empty residence for some cozy one-on-one time and it has become a fan favorite moment of the book series.
After Conrad’s dad says they can keep the beach house if Conrad passes his college finals, Belly and Jeremiah buckle down to help him with an all-night study session. The twosome quiz Conrad on a variation of subjects and feed him cheeseburgers when he gets the answers right.
With the overwhelming angst of the love triangle reaching a high in the second book, the moment of levity and bonding between the group is a welcomed reprieve fans hope the show will keep.
Belly and Jeremiah Making Slurpees Together
It’s Not Summer Without You focuses a lot on Belly and Jeremiah’s longstanding friendship and features various flashbacks of the pair growing up together. In one of the most memorable scenes, the twosome secretly use their family’s fancy blender to try and make homemade Slurpees. The project goes horribly awry, but the memory highlights the duo’s bond.
Laurel vs. Adam Showdown
While the kids try their best to save their beach house after Susannah’s death, it isn’t until Belly drunkenly calls her mom, Laurel, that things start getting better. Laurel’s epic showdown with the boys’ father, Adam, ends with him agreeing not to sell the home. Considering the Cousins residence is the centerpiece of the book trilogy, fans want to watch the kids reclaim their favorite place.
While Susannah’s fate is still up in the air after season 1 of the Prime series, she is dead by the beginning of the second book installment. One of the novel’s major moments is when Belly finds Conrad laying with his ex-girlfriend at the wake. The awkward encounter leads to a fight that ends with Belly telling Conrad she hates him and never wants to see him again.
Jeremiah and Conrad Talk About Belly
After two seasons of both brothers having feelings for Belly but refusing to talk about it, Jeremiah admits he “likes” her and asks Conrad if he does, too. While Conrad says no, Jeremiah knows he’s lying, but still feels relieved by his brother’s denial. The conversation marks the first time the twosome — who have a strained relationship due to Belly and other factors — talk openly about their love for the same girl.
Hotel Rain Scene
Belly, Conrad and Jeremiah are forced to spend a tense night in a motel just hours after Conrad caught Belly and Jeremiah kissing. The eldest brother then admits that he “didn’t mean it” when he said he didn’t have feelings for her anymore.
While the next day ends with them parting ways. The iconic book scene is one moment fans won’t want left out of the TV series.