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Parents' Guide to

The Summer I Turned Pretty

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

YA romance-turned-show is sweet and summery.

The Summer I Turned Pretty TV Show Poster: Isabella in the foreground with Jeremiah and Conrad behind her

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 27 parent reviews

age 12+
I watched this show with my 12 year old daughter! It was really entertaining and a great chic-flick!
age 17+

Watch with caution…or not at all

Very little that’s edifying about this show. Gives formative teens an unhealthy view of sex and romance. Far too much emphasis on romance and includes long make out scenes, including girl straddling guy and removing her shirt on first date. Parents getting high and engaging in casual intimate relationships, including spontaneous car sex. Teens drinking a lot as well. This is all laughed off and celebrated. The main character is sweet and there is one boy that is a good role model but the rest of the cast seem pretty lost and messed up - not a good ratio. Is this really the kind of behavior we want to encourage in our kids? Entertaining, yes, but definitely not appropriate for younger teens and advised to watch and discuss with older teens.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (27 ):
Kids say (119 ):

As sweet and refreshing as a soda on ice by the swimming pool, this book-based drama tackles the confusion and loveliness of an awkward coming of age. Last year, Belly had glasses and braids -- but as her BFF tells her, she looks "a lot different" this summer, with "new boobs" and everything. Boys notice her, talk to her; movie night with the moms doesn't feel the same, and neither does hanging out with her family and longtime friends -- one handsome family friend in particular. Wonderfully, terrifyingly, Conrad seems to notice her, too, but what does that mean when he has personal drama of his own?

Han's same-named novel is beloved and bestselling, and here she shows she has a deft touch with spoken dialogue and pacing, too. As personified by Tung, Belly is beguiling and conflicted, on one hand wanting to play like a puppy in the pool with her good old friends and, on the other, feeling intoxicated by the sudden rush of power she feels. She wants to put on a white dress and please Susannah with a coming-out season at the country club and also to wear something slinky and short that will make all the boys notice her at the bonfire. In later episodes, the teens grow up even faster as they grapple with the death of a beloved adult. It's easy to love this ensemble and painful yet satisfying to watch as characters fight for what they want while trying not to hurt each other -- something that isn't always possible. It's enough to make viewers remember their own coming of age in all its embarrassment and glory, equal parts cringe and magic, just like this series.

TV Details

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